Inclusion Now 56

Our Rights to Education, Health and Social Care Provision

The RIP:STARS are back with an update on the Education Committee’s SEND Report they contributed to.

RIP:STARS Graphic Story: Defining quality and rights based Education, Health and Care Plans for Disabled children and Young people

A generation of children and Young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is failing to receive the support it deserves, say the Education Committee in its report on SEND. The words of the Government in October 2019. At last we thought, recognition that more needed to be done to support the 1.3million children with special educational needs and disabilities in England. We were proud to have been part of that SEND enquiry, seeing our words in that report and giving evidence alongside other Disabled Young people, and the many parents and professionals from across England. We waited for decisions to be made, announcements to be made about how things were going to get better – after all admitting to letting down a whole generation surely deserved some response from government.

Never did we expect to see this…

Our rights to education and health provision set out in Education, Health and Care plans were removed. As of the 1st of May 2020, our rights to support under Section 42 of the Children and Families 2014 were modified by the Secretary of State for Education due to the coronavirus. Our rights have been reduced to ‘reasonable endeavours’, which means our access to important support such as speech therapy, teaching assistants, and specialist resources will be up to individual local authorities to decide as they see fit. Given the percentage of SENDIST appeal hearings that find in the family’s favour is approximately 89%, we do not hold out much hope that disabled children and young people will get the support they have a right to, and of course deserve.

Yes we know this has been passed because of COVID-19, and at the moment this is just in place until 31st July 2020. But it has already been extended twice, announced over a weekend, and it could be extended again… so we are watching and waiting.

So as many children will be starting to go back to school, there will be many Disabled children and Young people who won’t be able to as their support has been removed, their needs will not be met, and their right to an education gone. Please sign the petition to ensure this is a temporary measure.

Of course, our own research showed that the quality of EHCP needed improving but at least they gave approximately 350,000 children and young people some legal rights to support. To us removal of our right to support is discriminatory. We are not an afterthought, we are not to be side-lined, we are rights-holders with a right to an education and a future.

Please see our website

Follow us on Twitter: @stars_rip

The RIP:STARS – Eva, Ben, Jordan, Tom

Sign the petition here – and share with friends & family: Reinstate our Children’s rights to education and health provision from 1st August 2020