Education (Special Educational Needs) Bill 2010-11

The above has been introduced into the House of Commons by a Conservative MP for Portsmouth North, Ms Penny Mordaunt. The first reading of the Bill took place on 8th June 2011; the second reading is provisionally booked for 2nd December 2011.

The following excerpt from Hansard gives a flavor of Ms Mordaunt’s private members Bill:

“….. a Bill to require the Secretary of State to increase parental involvement in provision of education for children with special educational needs; and for connected purposes.

…….

The Department for Education’s current guidance is clear about what parents of a child with special educational needs should expect from their local education authority once a statement has been drawn up: to have their choice of school respected, provided it is a suitable use of LEA resources. In practice, this guarantee is often not worth the paper it is written on. I have met the evidence, so to speak: parents of children with dyslexia or a language disorder, struggling in the aftermath of short-sighted LEA decisions which undermine the principle of an education for all”.

The Bill will almost certainly need the support of the Government if it is to become an Act. Given the “SEN and Disability Green Paper” talks about putting parental choice at the very centre when it comes to the health, social care and education, it may well be that the contents of Ms Mordaunt’s Bill will find their way onto the statute book.

Ms Mordaunt’s contact details can be found HERE. Whilst there are strict rules about what contact MP’s can have with people not in their own constituency, there is nothing to stop anyone writing to Ms Mordaunt to share with her an opinion about the Bill.