Government’s SEN failures means children with autism left waiting over three years for support

St Helens South and Whiston MP Marie Rimmer has today called for more Government action to ensure children with autism are not left behind in the education system due to lack of support.

During a Westminster Hall debate on the subject of ‘Education in Merseyside’, Marie highlighted evidence from the National Autistic Society, which shows almost one in six children wait for more than three years to get support for their child after concerns were first raised.


Marie also called for the Government to look again at the issue and increase the support given to local authorities to help speed up services.


Speaking after the debate, Marie said:


“The Government introduced the new SEND system as part of the 2014 Children and Families Act. Two years on and still too many families are facing an uphill struggle to get support.


“Every child with autism deserves an education that supports them to reach their potential. The Government needs to act now to improve identification, diagnosis waiting times and also ensure support can be put in place much more quickly.


“I’ll continue to work with the National Autistic Society, local families and other charities to push for improvements to support for those on the autism spectrum.”


In 2014, the Government implemented a new Special Educational Needs & Disability system designed to improve the support given to children with SEN and reduce waiting times.


The Department for Education’s own statistics show that just 18% of children with SEN statements have been transferred onto new Education, Health and Care plans two years into a six-year transition.

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