‘Children don’t exist in Whitehall as children. They exist as numbers, as strategies, as targets, as sheets of results and reporting indicators, as clusters of duties or responsibilities or of the shirking of both. And they exist in the fault lines between government departments.. grown around adult bureaucratic silos; in the gaps in policy, the unconsidered interest – the unintended consequence. Sometimes the invisible becomes visible – the kid with a knife, the disruptive child in class, the long long wait for a CAMHS appointment’
Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield, OBE said in ‘ A Manifesto for Children’ in September 2019:
The DfE’s 2019 analysis and summary of data for SEN is also depressing reading. The current UK model of educating children with special educational needs is broken. In turn it is breaking and marginalising those children that are most vulnerable, and their parents, families and carers. No child should be invisible to society and damaged by school. This is the problem we need to solve and this needs to change now.
Research highlighted a lack of specialist primary provision across the UK and that intensive education at primary age was critical to transforming the outcomes for this cohort of children. Key is early diagnosis of SEN and speedy access to proven interventions.