State special schools should be allowed more freedom to expand the number of places and services they offer by getting academy status, a report by the Conservatives said today.
The Tories’ policy commission on special needs said schools should be given the opportunity to change to special academy status along the similar lines to existing academy schools.
This would change state special schools to autonomous charitable bodies in legal ownership of their premises and exempt them from National Curriculum requirements, with the aim of replacing the 9,000 special school places the Tories claim have been lost since 1997.
The commission also recommended the replacement of special needs statements with special needs profiles done by independent assessors. Councils who will later on be required to support the child currently carry out statements.
The commission, chaired by Bob Balchin, former chairman of the Grant-maintained Schools Foundation under the last Tory government, put forward the recommendations to be considered by the shadow cabinet.
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