Edward TimpsonA call for evidence has been launched that seeks views on the educational experiences and outcomes of children and young people attending residential special schools and colleges.

Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families Edward Timpson (pictured) has asked Dame Christine Lenehan, director of the Council for Disabled Children, to conduct an independent review, which is designed to find practical outcomes for the government and other agencies who work with this group of young people, who often have the most complex needs and require more intensive support.

It will look at the characteristics of this group, how and why they are placed in residential special schools and colleges, the support that’s available to them during and after their placement and the ways in which families say their experience of these settings could be improved.

To ensure that the review is informed by a range of views and evidence from the sector, Dame Christine has launched a call for evidence and is asking for contributions from people working in residential settings, students attending these residential schools and colleges, their parents or carers, and children, young people and adults who have now left these settings. Councils, academics and other sector groups are also encouraged to take part.

Dame Christine will be supported in the review by Mark Geraghty, chief executive of the Seashell Trust, which runs an outstanding-rated residential special school and college for children and young people with complex needs.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Every child, no matter the obstacles they face, should have the same opportunities for success as any other. This independent review will look at how the experiences of children and young people attending residential special schools and college can be improved, to ensure the right support is in place.”

Evidence can be submitted to the review until March 17. For more information and to take part, click here

The review will report back to the government later this year.