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The Tory plans

The party's policy commission this week recommended that:

Special schools be able to become special academies, with freedom to expand and replace the 9,000 special school places lost since 1997

Statements to be replaced by special needs profiles by assessors independent of local authorities

The profiles would allocate a pupil to one of a dozen categories tied to a legal amount of funding

A mediation scheme to avoid the adversarial nature of appeals. Tribunals should be a last resort

The shadow cabinet is still considering the recommendations, but David Cameron has already backed transferring responsibility for assessing pupils needs from councils to independent experts.

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