Posted: 29th November 2016
Author: CLP

National Autistic Society School Report 2016

holding hands

The National Autistic Society has recently undertaken research based on surveys of approximately 1000 parents, carers, children and young people to look at how well the system of dealing with Special Educational Needs & Disability is working in England and how well the system is meeting the needs of those with a diagnosis of autism.

The Children & Families Act 2014 came into force over 2 years ago with one of the aims being to try and make the system easier and fairer for children and families.

The National Autistic Society has published their research in a report which can be found at www.autism.org.uk/schoolreport2016 and unfortunately shows that many families are still facing lengthy and exhausting battles with their local authority to secure the support their children need.

The changes that the Government had hoped to implement as a consequence of the new law unfortunately, do not seem to be working in practice for many families.

Our experience at CLP echoes the findings of the National Autistic Society research, currently we are in a system with two different laws operating and with many local authorities struggling to cope with the workload involved in transferring Statements of SEN to Education Health & Care Plans.

More initial requests for EHC needs assessments appear to be being refused and local authority personnel simply do not appear to have the resources available to enable them to deal with the volume of work and increasing complexity of many of the cases with which we deal.

It remains to be seen whether the situation will improve in April 2018 when all statements should have been transferred to EHCPs and therefore we will all only be dealing with one system.