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As teaching assistants lose their jobs due to cuts, pupils are at risk of being refused places in mainstream schools, says the Local Government Association (LGA). In light of this, parents seeking to obtain further support for their children within mainstream schools will be better placed if they were to obtain an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) to ensure that their child receives the support he or she needs to achieve the best possible outcome in their education.
The trend towards provision of support for SEN outside the mainstream
According to official statistics, pupils with special needs are increasingly being educated in special schools – from 5.6% in 2012 to 8.5% in 2016. Moreover, there has been a rise in the proportion educated in independent schools, from 4.5% to 6.3%.
It is feared that the latest round of budgetary pressures on mainstream schools (cuts; rises in national insurance and pension contributions) will lead to a continuation of the trend towards provision for SEN outside the mainstream. The irony is that, on average, the cost of a special school place is significantly greater than a mainstream place and in some circumstances it may be beneficial to the child if they were to remain within a mainstream setting.
Where a child requires further support but will benefit from being within a mainstream school placement, an education, health care plan which is carefully drafted and detailed, will provide parents with the tool they need to enable their child to make progress within such an environment.
We recommend that you seek professional advice regarding whether your child might benefit from having an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) in order to ensure that your child receives the support he or she needs.
Sinclairslaw is the leading law firm in England and Wales for legal matters relating to special educational needs. Please contact Mr Adam Friel, Head of Education Law (London), on 0208 891 4488 or at firstname.lastname@example.org should you require more information about our specialist education law services.