Giving evidence to MPs about Special Educational Needs Reforms

The Education Select Committee, a group of MPs from all political parties, will be looking at the draft clauses of the Children and Families Bill that relate to special educational needs (SEN) and are asking for evidence to help them scrutinise the reforms.

Ambitious about Autism will be submitting evidence to the enquiry. The deadline is 11 October and the questions the committee would like addressed are as follows:


  1. Does the draft Bill meet the Government's policy objective to improve provision for disabled children and children with special educational needs?
  2. Will the provisions succeed in cutting red tape and delays in giving early specialist support for children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities?
  3. What will be the cost?
  4. What impact will the draft Bill have on current institutional structures?
  5. What transitional arrangements should be put in place in moving from the existing system?
  6. What can be learned from the current pilot schemes and how can these lessons be applied to the provisions of the draft Bill?
  7. Is there anything missing from the draft Bill?


  1. Whether it would be appropriate to move away from "special educational needs" and use the term "learning difficulties and/or disabilities" instead in the new system?
  2. How the general duties on local authorities to identify and have responsibility for children and young people in their area who have or may have special educational needs (clauses 3 and 4) work with the specific duties in other provisions (clauses 5 to 11, 16 and 17 to 24)? Are they sufficiently coherent?
  3. Should the scope of the integrated provision requirement be extended to all children and young people, including those with special educational needs?
  4. Should other types of schools and institutions be included in the duty on schools to admit a child with an education, health and care plan naming the school as the school to be attended by the child?
  5. Do the provisions for 19 to 25 year olds provide a suitable balance between rights, protections and flexibility?
  6. Do the provisions achieve the aim of integrated planning and assessment across agencies?
  7. How could the power given to the Secretary of State to make regulations with regard to the practicalities of the assessment and planning process be best utilised to achieve the aim of integrated support?
  8. What impact will the new powers provided for in the clauses have on young people's transition into adult services?
  9. Should the provisions in this bill relating to portability of social care support reflect those for adults contained in the Care and Support Bill?
  10. How could the provisions in the Bill be used to reinforce protections for young people with special educational needs who are in custody or who are leaving custody?

If there is anything that you would like to see included in our response then join the discussion on Talk about Autism  or email