Monday, 24 March 2014


Can it be achieved?

The attempt to deal with the inadequacies, stupidities and sheer abuse in 'special educational needed' has spiralled off into a colossal, confused shambles. Central-government ministers and officials, professionals and their bodies charities and lobby groups, all have a share in responsibility for this, and one has to wonder now whether they have between them the nous to sort the whole thing out on the ground when the time comes to implement the resulting 'system'.

If only those who might offer alternatives were free just to walk away and provide their own thing. Unfortunately, everything and everyone within the jurisdiction is now trapped in the officially determined mare's nest. At that level, with fundamental questions unaddressed and unlikely to remain so over the foreseeable future, it is not too early to say that the years of hope and effort have failed. Reform will not have been achieved.

It is of course too early for society and its laggardly SEN institutions publicly to confront and admit this. First, the whole thing will have to be implemented, tested out in practice, tried and, if this is how things are to be, found wanting. This harsh reality-testing is presently scheduled to begin on 1 September this year.

It increasingly looks, however, that even the opening initial implementation of the Brave New World of reformed SEN might not be properly achieved. See what Jane McConnell of IPSEA says:

This is a rather long, hard and disheartening item, with a very sensible suggestion in its tail. I wonder how many of those affected by the new legislation will make the effort to read this critical piece and consider what it says. If you intend to have any involvement with 'special educational needs' in England, in any capacity and at any stage of childhood and early adulthood, in any capacity as user of as a provider, or even as a volunteer or funder, then this is how 'SEN' is going too be – long, hard and disheartening. And that includes Conductive Education.

SEN 'reform' in England? It's déjà vu all over again. Again.


McConnell, J. (2014) The draft SEN & Disability Code of Practice 2014: Red light means danger – STOP! Special Needs Jungle, 24 March

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