In March 2011, the government published a Green Paper (consultation document) outlining a radical reform of the special educational needs (SEN) system.
We organised a consultation workshop to find out how parents in Sheffield felt about the proposals, which include replacing Statements with integrated “Education, Health and Care Plans” and removing the “bias towards inclusion”. The workshop was attended by 18 parents/carers of children with a wide range of disabilities and SEN, spanning all age groups from pre-school to post-16.
Since many parents had not read the Green Paper (which is over 130 pages long!), we started off with a brief summary of the key proposals, before moving on to a series of group discussions. Parents worked very hard, covering all of the paper’s five chapters in just over 3 hours, and contributed a wide range of experiences, yet very similar views. They definitely deserved the “free” lunch served at the end!
The day’s discussions were used to shape our response to the Green Paper consultation, which we circulated to our email list before submitting it to the Department of Education at the end of June. You can download it here.
A big thank you goes to all the parents who attended the workshop, to our fantastic volunteers, and to facilitator Edmund Cross who provided his services free of charge!