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NEW SEN BILL WILL SUPPORT PARENTS AND PUPILS

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A new Bill announced in today's Queen's Speech will improve the ...
A new Bill announced in today's Queen's Speech will improve the

service available to parents of children with special educational

needs and help to improve the standard of special needs education,

education and employment secretary David Blunkett said today.

The new Bill will build on the document 'A programme of action -

meeting special educational needs, published in November 1998. The

action programme set out the government's agenda for improving

standards and achievement for all children with special educational

needs.

Included in the SEN Bill there will be:

a duty on LEAs to offer a parent partnership service and provide

schools and local agencies (including those working with children

below compulsory school age) with information about the services

available.

The service would include providing parents of children

identified as having SEN with access to an independent parental

supporter;

a requirement on LEAs to establish conciliation arrangements for

resolving disputes with parents;

changes requiring local education authorities to comply with orders

of the SEN tribunal and continue to improve the effectiveness of the

SEN Tribunal to ensure a better service for parents and children with

SEN.

Mr Blunkett commented: 'This Bill will improve the quality of education for children with special needs by making it easier for parents and children to secure the type of education they want. It will strengthen the right to a place in a mainstream school for those with special needs who want it, in all cases where it is appropriate. This government is making a reality of parent power and meeting the individual needs of pupils in a more coherent way - putting equality into practice.'

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