Special Educational Needs

Read about our campaign to protect Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) for vulnerable students from damaging Haringey Council plans.

You can also read more widely about our policies on special educational needs and disabilities provision in Haringey's schools, sixth forms, and colleges.

Background to this issue

Tottenham Conservative Association has been at the forefront of a local campaign to protect services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Under statutory legislation introduced by the Conservatives, all children and young people aged 0-25 years old who are identified as having a special educational need or a disability which impacts on their learning are entitled to an Education, Health and Care Plan (or EHCP) from their local authority. This Plan should outline the young person's needs and any support which they need to access their learning and fully unlock their potential.

In late 2016, Labour-ran Haringey Council introduced plans to increase the threshold at which a child or young person in one of the borough's primary schools, secondary schools, or sixth forms/colleges, would be eligible for an EHCP. There was virtually no public consultation about this matter, and when Tottenham Conservatives surveyed teachers, SENCOs, and headteachers in local schools, many were completely unaware of these changes.

Changing the way EHCPs are allocated would have meant fewer young people receiving the support and funding they need, which in turn would have stretched the resources of our local schools even further. All this came just months before Haringey Council recklessly spent £44,000 of public money on sending senior Labour councillors on a trip to Cannes, yet the Labour Group tried to claim that these moves were necessary due to funding cuts to Council budgets. Clearly, this was not true.

Our policy

Any elected Conservative Councillors would:

  1. Ensure that a vote is held publicly in Council about any changes to EHCPs and specialist services;

  2. Ensure that teachers, school governors, parents, and students are fully consulted about any proposed changes to EHCPs, and oppose Labour's way of doing things behind closed doors;

  3. Vote against Labour's plans to increase the threshold at which EHCPs are allocated;

  4. Introduce a motion to Council to increase the provision of specialist services, ensuring more of our children and young people can access them. This would include the Autistic Spectrum Disorders Team, the Speech and Language Therapy Service, the Educational Psychology Service, and the Primary and Secondary Behaviour Teams.

  5. Work hard to ensure that maintained schools in Haringey only employ Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators who are appropriately qualified and experienced, such as those who have successfully completed the National Award for SEN Co-ordination (NASENCo).

  6. Look into how quickly local children and young people are able to access Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), and write to NHS Haringey to urge them to look more closely at the vital issue of CAMHS referrals and treatments.

Petition

An online petition was started at Christmas 2016 calling on Haringey Council to rethink its proposed plans to slash support for students with special educational needs and disabilities. You can view the petition, read the written responses, and sign it, on this page.