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Remove the link between SEN diagnosis and funding.

Comment 11th July 2010

The system for the provision of support to pupils with specific personalised learning needs is grotesquely expensive and inefficient. The problem with the whole system is that 'statementing' has funding attached, and therefore becomes bureaucratic on both a clinical and a financial level.

It would be so much simpler (and cheaper!) to simply dedicate a proportion of every school's budget to the provision of special educational needs. That money must be spent on support for individuals, but not assigned to specific individuals. Then the professionals within that school (possibly but not necessarily including educational psychologists) would be able to allocate resources to their students in a way that meets their needs.

It is of course important that children are properly diagnosed, but this should be a purely medical/clinical concern. The relationship with funding means that money is constantly being wasted on appeals and such.

Schools should use professional diagnosis to justify their allocation of the fixed pot of funds that they have been given as a school. If parents cannot agree with the provision that a school allocates their child then they should be allowed to look for another school.

The current problems all come from an overly litigious approach that favours bureaucrats and only benefits the children of parents that have enough time on ther hands to pursue their claims through the many conflicting agencies and organisations.

Why does this matter?

This idea will save money in the short and long terms – exactly what this website will be about. Not only that but it will improve the provision of personalised learning in all of our schools.

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