Spotlight on statementing

16th October 1998 at 01:00
Margaret McGowan from Action for Entitlement (TES, October 2) is understandably concerned that there should be a measured response to the Audit Commission's report which notes an increase in the number of children with special needs statements.

The update report assesses progress in implementing the recommendations of Getting In On the Act, our joint study with inspectors on children with special needs. It provides key indicators to help councils gauge their progress, part of our role in promoting improvement. Indeed, every year for the past four years the Audit Commission has drawn attention to delays in issuing statements, delays which increase stress on parents who already have a lot to cope with.

Local authorities reported a 35 per cent increase in the proportion of children with a statement since our 1992 report. This matters to parents, as it demonstrates the pressure on the system. But we have sought to present a balanced picture. The update also highlights the progress made in educating children with special needs in mainstream schools and in reducing delays.

We hope that organisations such as Action for Entitlement will support keeping this vital issue in the public eye and maintaining pressure for improvement. But the debate about how best to provide for children with special needs would not be advanced if the Audit Commission failed to publish important information about some of the difficult issues which parents, schools and councils face. This must be done responsibly - highlighting the progress as well as the concerns - and this is what the update seeks to achieve.

Paul Vevers. Director of audit support. Audit Commission. 1 Vincent Square. London.

Document of the week, 19

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today