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Parents of children under 6 with SEN/D: are you getting enough support?

(3 Posts)
JournalistCharlotte Wed 20-Apr-16 09:56:27

Hello

I am writing an article for a trade magazine read by people who work in early years. It's looking at the experiences of families with nursery/ reception/Year 1 aged children with special educational needs over the last year or so. I am not looking at diagnosis so much as I have another article coming up on that, but it would be great to talk about some or all of:

What is happening after diagnosis for children and their families?
Is the new SEND Code helpful?
Is the EHC Plan helping the family (if you have one)
Are you able to access local support services? If not why not?

I would have to talk to people by next Monday, and am happy to talk evenings or weekend if that is more convenient, or whatever time is best. I can change names in the article if preferred. You can contact me through Mumsnet private messaging or at charlotte.goddard@gmail.com, if this is something you would be happy to discuss.

I'm a Mumsnetter too, but have obviously changed name for this - it does feel weird using my own name on the boards!

Cheers

Charlotte

BackforGood Thu 21-Apr-16 00:13:53

Well, I work alongside families of EY dc with SEN, and can tell you quite categorically that :

What is happening after diagnosis for children and their families? The are left to find their own way. The funding for support groups, Early Support Workers, etc just isn't there for the majority of families. (There are exceptions, but far more that don't get any support, than do).

Is the new SEND Code helpful? Mixed reports. Some parents have found it a very positive experience. More are still frustrated by the delays, waiting lists, professionals not having the capacity to attend their dc's meetings, etc. Most feel more positive about the final EHC Plan rather than the final Statement, so it seems to be an improvement, but still nowhere near as good as it could be with proper funding.

Is the EHC Plan helping the family (if you have one) In our authority there are nowhere near enough places in specialist provision (Resource Bases or Special Schools), so, for huge numbers of dc, the EHC doesn't actually help, as they still can't access the school place they need / the family wants. With the first £6K of funding already delegated to the schools whether the child attends or not, and LA staffing cut to the bone, then there is little 'checks' on schools who just exclude dc with SEN, or who shorten their hours, or just don't provide them with enough (or the right) support in school. Don't get me wrong - some schools are doing their best in the circumstances, but there are others that don't really try.

Are you able to access local support services? If not why not? Again, funding is SO tight, that criteria is set SO high, that it is extremely difficult to access services. Waiting lists are long. Funding isn't there to give additional support in Nursery (The LA keeps enough funding to say it does provide it, but the restrictions on the application process are now so high it's very, very difficult to access it) . that is the same across Education, Health and Social Care and also the voluntary sector.

..... and breathe.....
Sorry. I can't help your article, but it just feels good to be able to get that off my chest.
There are a lot of very, very frustrated professionals out there!

JournalistCharlotte Thu 21-Apr-16 12:32:08

Thanks BackforGood, that is actually very helpful. I am speaking to professionals as well, because of course they have an overview, and also parents because they can talk about their own specific experience. I have spoken to quite a few parents now, so thank you very much to everyone who contacted me, I am afraid I don't have room for any more or the feature would go on forever but thank you all very much for your help.

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