With best wishes.
Senior Parliamentary Affairs Assistant to Julie Elliott MP
Thank you for taking the time to contact me about children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and the Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) campaign.
I understand your concerns regarding the difficulties faced by families with children with SEND. It is clear that life can often feel like an uphill struggle for young disabled people and their families. Moreover, I am very concerned about the provision of education in this country for children with SEND. Unfortunately, the sad reality for too many families is that the provision for SEND is designed to fit the money and resources available to a local authority, rather than a child’s specific special educational needs.
I believe that people needing care deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I am pleased therefore, that the Government is also determined to ensure that disabled children are a key priority. The Prime Minister, David Cameron MP, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg MP, will both be taking part in the Childhood and Family Task Force. The Task Force will look at the challenges that face disabled children and their families. Challenges like poverty and relationship breakdown.
I realise that this Government has had to make tough spending decisions. This is a result of the previous Government leaving the largest peacetime deficit in history. However, both this Government and I are committed to reducing the deficit, ensuring that our children do not pay the price for this generation’s mistakes.
I have always believed that the most vulnerable children deserve the very highest quality of care. I am pleased therefore, that the Government has announced that it will be bringing forward a Green Paper which aims to improve radically the entire SEN system and will cover issues including school choice, early identification and assessment, funding and family support.
GORDON HENDERSON MP