Councils must meet their SEND legal duties

By Catriona Moore | 20 May 2021

The suggestion that local authorities are on the road to bankruptcy because of disabled children and young people with the highest needs (High needs spending could ‘bankrupt councils, 13 May) perpetuates the myth of sharp-elbowed parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities ‘challenging the system’. The clear implication is that a group of children and young people with the most complex needs are costing the public purse too much by claiming more than their fair share of resources, and that this is unsustainable.

The reality is quite different. There is a weight of unequivocal evidence to show that local authorities routinely fail to comply with the SEND legal framework, making unlawful decisions about provision for children with SEND and breaching children’s rights to the statutory support they need and are legally entitled to.

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