In a speech made at the Council for Disabled Children conference in London yesterday the Minister of State for Children and Families, Edward Timpson MP, reaffirmed his commitment to seeing positive outcomes from disabled children and young people and those with special education needs (SEND). He also thanked the many organisations involved for their support, advice and leadership which have made bringing in the reforms a much smoother process.
Speaking at the CDC's conference on Wednesday November 11, Minister of State for Children and Families Edward Timpson said:
"A little more than a year on from the special educational needs and disability reforms coming into force, this is an opportune moment to pause for reflection, take stock, and look ahead.
"Any system is only as good as the people working within it - and I have met so many people who show real commitment to improving the lives of all children and young people with SEND. Everything we do should be through the eyes of those who are rightly the beneficiaries of our collective efforts.
"We know that these reforms will take a while to embed but with continued support - and challenge - from the parents, children and young people at the heart of them, I'm confident we will continue to see changes which empower, support and enable children and young people to reach their full potential."
The conference, Special Educational Needs and Disability: a vision for 2020, brought together senior leaders and decision makers from across education, health and social care to debate the future for disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs.
As well as Minister of State for Children and Families, Edward Timpson MP, delegates heard from Stuart Miller, Deputy Director, Department for Education; Flora Goldhill, Director, Department of Health; Jane McConnell, lead judge, SEND Tribunal and Mary Rayner, SEND lead inspector, Ofsted.
The conference provided an opportunity for delegates to debate the future direction of health, social care and education policy with Government officials, young disabled people and practitioners and to explore some of the key challenges facing children and young people over the next five years.
Christine Lenehan, Director of Council for Disabled Children said:
"We are delighted that the Minister retains his strong commitment to the SEND agenda. We believe these reforms are essential to improve outcomes for this group of children and young people and look forward to a spending review settlement which reflects their importance at a local and national level.