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Live webchat with Sarah Teather, Minister of State for Children and Families, TODAY, Tuesday 4 September, 1pm

(73 Posts)
FrancesMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 31-Aug-12 13:25:28

Sarah Teather, Minister of State for Children and Families joins us again for a LIVE webchat on Tuesday 4 September at 1.00pm to talk about the SEN and Disability Green Paper. The Green Paper will:

· Replace statements with a single assessment process and a combined education, health and care plan
· Require local authorities and health bodies to take joint responsibility for providing services
· Require local authorities to publish a local offer of services for disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs
· Extend statutory protections to young people aged 16-25 in further education and focusing on preparing them for adulthood.
· Give parents and young people the option of a personal budget

The draft Bill will be published in September to give people the chance to tell the Government what they think. Following this, the Bill is expected to be debated in Parliament from Spring next year. More information is available from

Do please join us on Tuesday, if you can't make it on the day; please post up your questions in advance here.


wannabestressfree Sat 01-Sep-12 05:42:44

From my point in view I applaud the extending of protection into adulthood as I feel this is severally lacking.
I would like to see the ease of accessing respite made a lot easier to protect the family. It seems you have to be at breaking point and beyond to get any help. I asked for help numerous times but was told by s/s that ds's IQ was too high to access children with disabilities team and not 'at risk' for any other. Situation reached crisis point before derisory help was given......
I hope some of these work. Waiting lists are too long to access services that disabled children need urgently. And one again I think up protect the family more could be done.....

HotheadPaisan Sat 01-Sep-12 07:21:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PlentyOfPubeGardens Sat 01-Sep-12 07:33:11

Hi Sarah,

Personal budgets look great on paper but so far, within adult social care, they have resulted in drastically reduced eligibility, people left with no funding for months on end, loss or fragmentation of services and severe financial hardship and instability for small orgs who provide services.

What have you learnt from this and what measures will you put in place to prevent this happening as PBs are rolled out to children and young people?

HotheadPaisan Sat 01-Sep-12 16:45:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

devientenigma Sat 01-Sep-12 17:51:58

I need this to work as so far my DS has nothing!!!

He is a severely disabled 11 year old who is challenging and complex.

He is at home 24/7 and the LA are refusing to acknowledge what health say, it is all conflicting with each other and in the process a child is being severely let down by the whole system that is supposed to be supporting him, not to mention make him flourish and encompass every child matters and EDCM !!!!

I have not much else to say or ask........if you and the system can let down a child like mine, in your face disability wise, it's obvious others go overlooked. The whole system is corrupt!!

What does a personal budget mean for my son.................a future, one that will enable him to leave the house and learn to live on a daily basis doing things that others take for granted..........go for a walk, go to the shop, have a haircut...........etc etc

mariamma Sat 01-Sep-12 19:35:22

The day before back to school, lunchtime, seeking views of SN parents... hmm,

she's not going to hear from many people with inadequate respite/holiday care, nor with dc in a suicidal flap due to returning to inadequate education, nor anyone whose dc have severe and complex needs ie constant close supervision.

mariamma Sat 01-Sep-12 20:06:30

Honestly, what I would want to say if the above factors werent going to prevent me logging on would be; please don't risk selling your party out. This proposed legislation is not an improvement, my carefully considered view is that it is much more likely to be the thin end of a very nasty eugenicist wedge.

Lloyd George brought in national insurance, laid the foundations of the NHS, established council housing, raised the school leaving age to 14 (in some cases to 16). His Liberal predecessors established the school health service and gave LEAs a responsibility to educate children with special needs: initially those with epilepsy or learning disability, and then also those with physical disabilities. The 1921 education act specified that this included sensory impairment, and permitted the provision of residential accommodation if educationally necessary.

So your party, even in those long ago, supposedly unenlightened times, brought in support. And it's now being dismantled, bit by bit, initially by 'New' Labour and now by the Conservative-led coalition, aided and abetted by the Liberals.

Vagaceratops Sat 01-Sep-12 23:19:31

Marking my place.

Vagaceratops Sat 01-Sep-12 23:30:01

My question is based on eligibility, especially for those with 'hodden' disabilities.

My DS has ASD and has full time 1:1 support in school, yet he has no real 'health' issues, but still needs the help of a SALT and an OT.

How will you decide what proportion of the budget goes to a child like my Son, who has different needs to a child with Cerebral Palsy, who has very different needs?

Vagaceratops Sat 01-Sep-12 23:31:30


Sorry, my question is so badly written, but its half 11 at night and we are nowhere near ready for bed yet - the school anxiety has hit and I cant get him to calm down sad

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 01-Sep-12 23:38:47

Hello Sarah,

I wonder about this:

'Require local authorities to publish a local offer of services for disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs'

How about a requirement to DELIVER one, and enforced by law!? There is too much publication of various policies, guidelines etc. but not an awful lot of accountability or challenge.

Publication does not equal outcomes. Do you agree?

whatthewhatthebleep Sat 01-Sep-12 23:40:09

what if the collective don't listen to parents?...this is the biggest issue in the first instance with any of these policies and whatever way they are put together....a parent or guardian is the 1st point of call, the closest observer to their own individual child, but often is the last person to be listened will this ever change?...and what if the collective specialities are not listening and you can't get on the same page with's a very scarey thought and I wonder where a family will be left if ranks close and won't listen....another child fallen through and lost in the mire....where can a parent go from there I wonder???

devientenigma Sun 02-Sep-12 00:01:49

but thats where we are without this what

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 02-Sep-12 00:11:15

Yes. A social Worker told us that although we did meet the published criteria for respite, there were people with far greater need and not enough money so we wouldn't get any.

When we complained we were told that actually we didn't meet the criteria after all and had interpreted things like 'being woken regularly' wrongly as our definition of regular wasn't the same as theirs, but no the couldn't tell us what their definition was because it is based on individual need.

How does a parent combat this kind of nonsense?

whatthewhatthebleep Sun 02-Sep-12 00:22:42

yes I know devient ...thats my should be a basic start point and parents should always be listened to...and it doesn't happen and I'm asking how this will be improved...and I'm wondering where it leaves a family if the powers that be are sitting in unison and not listening....I'd say that at least at the moment a parent can go to several places to be referred with their child so if there is going to be 1 with these changes....where does that leave a family if they are not taken seriously????...where do they go beyond this 1 stop collective thing? will that be a good thing?
Perhaps I could have explained myself better with this....

KAON Sun 02-Sep-12 08:31:16

Regarding the GCSE grade fiasco: Children have been cheated. OfQual should have sorted out the grade inflation issue years ago. It is not the children's fault. I have one 16 year old who has been cheated. I also have a 14 year old who is about to begin a GCSE programme. How can I trust that he will also not be cheated? Unless the grading system that pupils and teachers were working towards is reinstated, how can I ever trust the exam system again? Please sign this petition

sickofsocalledexperts Sun 02-Sep-12 10:06:46

To Sarah Teather

I like some of your changes, but until we actually get an effective system of educating autistic children in place, it's all just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

My autistic boy would still be non-verbal and punching me in the face, had I left him in the state autism education - the outdated, ineffective, patronising "TEACCH" system.

We haven't had a proper INDEPENDENT review of autism education for years - would you commission one and ask them to look at ABA - as used in great schools such as Treehouse, Jigsaw, Treetops and Rainbow?

For some reason, the LAs all hate ABA - yet it has got my child talking and curbed his aggression.

I fear that all we are really "educating" our autistic children for in this country is institutionalisation in later life, when they get too big to control.

And, btw, I am probably talking about more severe children here - though I think ABA also works well for hf children in a mainstream classroom.


HotheadPaisan Mon 03-Sep-12 07:30:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bjkmummy Mon 03-Sep-12 12:50:28

im in a ridiculous position of having an 8 year old who cannot cope with school and is making himself physically ill at school. he is now only in school part time as this is all he can cope with. The lea have written a statement which is not worth the paper it is written on. we had an emergency review and the school stated they cannot meet his needs, even with fulltime support and he needs a specialised school place. we paid £700 for a private Ot report as the NHS would not see him - he was then dx with sensory intregration modualtion and the lea will not accept the report even though the school agrees its accurate. OT report says he will never cope in a mainstream school - lea just increase his hours of support which is pointless as hes in school part time and then say - oh we will get an NHS OT report for balance which we will pay for and accept but we wont accept your because you paid for it!!! said son is now still in the school part time only - OT yet to see him despite huge promises from the lea it was urgent. he has been offered a place at a brand new free school for ASD but the lea refuse to name it until they get this OT report - so we will now have to go to tribunal - will cost us £3K in reports - everyone and i mean everyone accept that he needs a special school even the lea to som edegree but no let my son suffer and detoriate until mum lodges the appeal papers then we may just do something about it - the sysytem is a mess - there is a code of practice but the LEA chose to ignore it, they are no penalities if they do. will the new system stop this? i think not - ican see even more red tape ahead of us and the situation getting worse not better. the lea need to be accountable for the stress they put on families - i have 2 sons with asd - last year i spent the year battling for my elder sons secondary placement no sooner is that sorted then i am battling again - it just never ever stops and i want a break from it all. i just want my son to have a full time edcuation which meets his needs - im not asking for the world. the school placement i want is £8k a year - the lea are currently spending £16K on the mainstream placement taht he cant access - it makes no sense whatsoever

bjkmummy Mon 03-Sep-12 12:58:53

sorry wrote above post without reading the guidelines - my post does sound quite like what about me.

my point is that the system is so flawed at the moment and in theory of course change would be good but a complete overhaul of the system which hasnt been properly tested is worrying. in some areas, leas are telling parents statements no longer available which strictly isnt true. any new system must have accountability for the LEA otherwise it is worthless. trying to get the lea and nhs working together historically has been difficult and now with all the budgets cuts i can only see it becoming more and more confusing. i agree that the new process must make sure that the leas have to follow the procedures and not interpert them in their own way otherwise we will be replacing one bad system with another. at least with the system we have now, there is so much case law and guidance available to fight your way through it - a new system will be untested and any appeals will be stabbing in the dark. life is hard enough without all of this added uncertainties for parents

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 03-Sep-12 14:06:19

I don't really understand the point of any changes to be honest. You can change the paint of the walls, but you're just painting over the cracks with another colour.

WHATEVER is in place needs to be transparant and with accountability. If the current system every had that, it would have worked. Local Authorities currently flout the law because it is in their interests to do so. Pushing a parent to tribunal saves them months of funding even if they are clearly going to lose. It puts other parents off even asking for provision in the first place too.

When statements are not implemented you have parents going to the LGO who rule that whilst the LA has broken the law, they were reasonable to do so due to their budgetary issues, or recruitment problems.

DS has attended 4 schools and has never had an IEP that was SMART with measurable targets. This is BASIC stuff. I would like to see a national quality standard for IEPs please.

SparkleRainbow Mon 03-Sep-12 15:04:14

Dear Sarah, I am still very concerned about dc with a disability or medical condition but no "learning difficulty" as such, who still need support in school but may not have a statement. What comeback do we have if children with severe issues need support but do not get transferred to the new system as they do not have a Statement? It took me 9 months of fighting (even with full support from the LA PDSS), including many letters, support from MP, staging sit ins, threatening civil legal action and Equalities Act 2010 etc to get our LA to help find a main stream school with disabled access for ds. We now have a super school for him, with a wonderful Head, and one to one support partially funded by pct and part by LA....are we going to lose this because he doesn't have a statement? Am I going to have to fight all over again? My ds can't be the only one in this situation.

HotheadPaisan Mon 03-Sep-12 16:35:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 03-Sep-12 16:38:24

Yes, - mediation suggests that there is a difference of opinion. If that is the case then mediation is reasonable.

But why should parents be expected to go to mediation when a LA has acted illegally, or flouted the basic guidelines of the SENCOP to quantify and specify.
How much additional time will this give the LAs to avoid funding provision?

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