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A meeting was held at Portcullis House, Westminster, on Tuesday 27th November 2012 at 6pm to discuss Special Educational Needs and Disability with an opportunity to talk to Stephen Kingdom, Deputy Director SEN and Disability at DfE.
The aim of the event was to raise awareness and to identify key issues with the new SEN legislation and funding which will impact on home educating families. Contributors identified positives and negatives in the Draft SEN Bill which is currently being scrutinised by the Education Committee and is set to be introduced to parliament in the New Year.
The meeting also heard how families with SEN and disabled children fing that services and support are immediately removed once a child starts to be home educated. There was an explanation from Ipsea of how the current statement system should work; section 3 of statement is for the authority to provide and LAs shouldn't evade their duty to make provision by saying that the child is out of school.
Whilst welcoming the clarification concerning access to services, home educating parents at the meeting wanted to make it clear that some/many families preferred to find their own ways of meeting their child's needs without input from the council.
Local authorities at the meeting asked DfE for a clear exposition from the Government of how the High Needs Block could be used for children in elective home education.
It was pointed out that local authorities still Have time to use Alternative Provision Funding For SEN Support (deadline January 2013).