MPs pass educational needs code

The special educational needs draft code of practice was
approved in the House of Commons last week, despite major concerns
from some MPs.

During the debate, Conservative MP John Hayes 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
in statements.”

Hayes also argued that the code failed to give local education
authorities guidance on how to fulfil their duties and how to
identify children who have special educational needs. He added that
it also omitted to mention that they should undertake assessments
of children with medical problems that constituted 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

The special educational needs provisions of the SEN and
Disability Act 2001 will be brought in simultaneously.

Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs from 0845

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