‘Treacle of bureaucracy’: report on special educational needs is a huge relief for parents like me | John Harris

Far-reaching Common’s inquiry finds families struggled with lack of accountability, buck-passing and unlawful practice

Being the parent of a child with special needs and facing the education system’s serial obstacles and complexities can leave you bereft of hope. The world of special educational needs and disabilities – or SEND – is a sea of acronyms, arcane officialspeak and labyrinthine processes, to the point that those of us at its heart often feel completely lost.

But if there is a key cause for optimism, it is the recent report by the Commons education select committee into the SEND system. What a tremendous relief to pick up the report last week and be instantly be hit by its bluntness. The product of 18 months of work by cross-party MPs, its 127 pages focus on the practical results of the 2014 Children And Families Act, and drastic changes to special needs provision in England against a background of cuts and political confusion and paralysis.

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