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Sharon Hodgson MP, Labour's Shadow Children and Families Minister, responding to reports on Special Educational Needs children said:

“Our pupil referral units and young offenders institutes are full of young people who have been failed, going through their school lives with undiagnosed disorders and additional needs, so for the government to focus on taking arbitrary numbers of pupils off the SEN register is entirely the wrong starting point from which to reform the system.

“It is good that we will now see the long-overdue publication of the Government’s response to this consultation, and the next stage in the debate on how to ensure that all children, particularly those with special educational needs and disabilities, get the most out of their education.

“Parents across the country will welcome the ambition to streamline assessments, remove conflict from the system, and support young people to find employment; Labour will work constructively with the Government to ensure that the new system delivers on this.

“We will also be pushing the Government to ensure that all teachers and early years workers are given the skills and knowledge they need to properly identify and support as many children as possible within the classroom.

“However, the Government must set out clearly how they expect to deliver on these ambitions at a time when specialists are being lost due to deep cuts to council budgets, and the health and education systems are being fragmented – all of which will make it harder to deliver joint working.”

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