Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.
|17 Oct 2017, 6:49 p.m.||Special Educational Needs||Lucy Frazer|
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of her Department working more closely with the Department of Health to ensure that special needs schools are not expected to increase the services they provide without receiving additional funding.
Answer (Mr Robert Goodwill)
The 2014 Children & Families Act introduced new statutory duties that require clinical commissioning groups and local authorities to work together in joint arrangements to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and for the first time created a duty for health agencies to ensure that health care provision in a child or young person’s EHC plan is secured.
The Department for Education already works closely with the Department for Health on SEND. We have introduced the Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspections of local area effectiveness in delivering their SEND duties, which began in May 2016. These inspections are highlighting where partners, including health services, are working well together to deliver SEND responsibilities, and where there are areas for improvement, and we are working with NHS England to provide support and challenge to local areas where required.
More broadly, since the Act’s introduction, NHS England has led a programme board for Children with Complex Needs, which includes those with SEND. This ensures it sits firmly within health governance structures and has a broad range of membership, including Department of Health, Department for Education, delivery partners and parent representatives. The NHS Mandate also contains an objective on SEND, and the NHS Assurance Framework, which is used to hold CCGs to account, now contains measures on SEND.