NDCS report raises concerns over impact of changes to education system

1 September 2015

Last September, the Children and Families Act 2014 came into force. It introduced a number of big changes to how children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities are supported in education. However, a new report issued today by the National Deaf Children’s Society suggests that some of the promises made of better support by the Government are not being met.  

The report includes the results from a survey of over 500 parents of deaf children. Some of our key findings include:

  • Only 6% of parents said they had noticed any improvements to the support that their child receives over the past year
  • Only one in ten parents of deaf children were confident that their local authority is successfully implementing the changes.
  • Only 16% of families had seen the Local Offer for where they live
  • Of those that had seen their Local Offer, 24% said it was easy to find the information they were looking for and 28% reported that the Local Offer gave them information about support for deaf children in their area.

Overall, our analysis suggests that many local authorities are struggling to implement the changes and that some may in fact be acting unlawfully. For example, by law, the Local Offer must include information on special schools in the area and nearby, yet our analysis suggests that many are failing to include this information.

The National Deaf Children’s Society report makes a number of recommendations to help the Department for Education and local authorities keep their promises to parents of deaf children. The recommendations include making sure that Ofsted hold local authorities to account for the quality of support provided to deaf children.

NDCS will be sharing the report with the Government and continuing our campaign work to make sure deaf children get the education support they need.

What you can do

  1. Take action - email your MP and ask them to raise our concerns with the Government.
  2. Read our factsheets and find out more about the new education system and your rights under the new system.

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who completed our survey and told us about their experiences over the past year.

Contact: campaigns@ndcs.org.uk