Special_school This morning the Conservative Policy Commission on Special Needs in Education published its recommendations to restore special school places and to involve parents more in their children’s education.

David Cameron set up the Policy Commission in 2005. It is chaired by Sir Bob Balchin. The report makes makes two key recommendations:

1. Special schools should be offered the opportunity to change to ‘Special Academy Status’, which would give them freedom to respond to the challenges presented by the loss of 9,000 special school places since 1997.

2. The assessment process should become independent, Statements should be replaced by ‘Special Needs Profiles’ produced by independent ‘Profile Assessors’. This would ensure that the categorisation given to children is not simply based on what their local authority can currently provide.

The report has been welcomed by Shadow Education Secretary Michael Gove who said:

“The children most in need deserve a better deal. In the last ten years the failed ideology of ‘inclusion’ and the drop in special school places have left the most vulnerable more exposed. This report charts a way forward which puts parents back in the driving seat and I welcome it.”

The report will now be considered by the Shadow Cabinet.

You can download a copy of the report here.

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