A special educational needs draft code of practice was approved
in the House of Commons, despite major concerns from some MPs.
During the debate John Hayes, Conservative MP for South Holland
and The Deepings, pointed out that the Independent Panel for
Special Education Advice had urged parliament not to approve the
code. “By failing to quantify provision as expected, it weakens the
position of children with special educational needs,” it said.
However, schools minister Baroness Ashton said: “We recognise
the need to make changes to the guidance on quantifying provision
Hayes also argued that the code fails to give local education
authorities guidance on how to fulfil their duties; how to identify
children who have special educational needs; and it omits to
mention that they should undertake assessments of children with
medical problems that constitute a barrier to them being able to
access education provision.
The vote swung narrowly in favour of approval – 293 votes for to
195 against. A revised draft of the guidance will be placed before
parliament with the aim of bringing it into force in January next
year. The special educational needs provisions of the SEN and
Disability Act 2001 will be brought in simultaneously.