Ed TimpsonChildren and Families Minister Edward Timpson has announced the publication of two new Easy Read guides on reforms to the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system.

The guides have been jointly produced by Mencap and the Department for Education to help parents and young people with a learning disability better understand changes to the law for children and young people with SEND.

The SEND reforms were implemented in September this year, and aim to change the way children with SEND and their parents are supported by their local council, health and social care services.

They also come in the wake of Ofsted’s annual report into schools that said "children with special needs in mainstream schools are often supported by staff with the least expertise in teaching methods".

Announcing the launch of the guides, Timpson said: “Our reforms put children and parents right at the heart of the system – so of course it’s essential that they should understand exactly what the reforms are.

“People with learning difficulties have helped us and Mencap put these guides together to ensure they explain what is now available in an understandable way.

“These important changes ensure support fits in with their needs and not the other way round - helping create a simpler and more joined up system that focuses on children achieving their best.”

Vital guidance to parents with learning disabilities
The SEND changes aspire to put children, young people and their families at the centre of decisions about their support. Mencap and the Department for Education involved people with a learning disability in the development and design of the Easy Read guides throughout the process.

Ismail Kaji, a Parliamentary Assistant at Mencap who helped to produce the new Easy Read guides on SEND reforms, said they will provide vital guidance to fellow parents with learning disabilities.

“The Easy Read guide for parents with a learning disability will help them understand the new changes to the law and learn where to go for help and extra support," he said. "It is really important that this guide is in Easy Read because parents with a learning disability will feel more included and involved. If it wasn’t in Easy Read, parents wouldn’t know what help is out there and wouldn’t know how to make sure their child has the best support.”