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Commenting on the SEND and Alternative Provision Green Paper, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The publication of this Green Paper is long overdue.

“There is a growing and urgent need to provide additional and increased support for both pupils with SEND and for schools.

“There is growing evidence that there has been a significant increase in the number of pupils with special and additional needs, but many pupils are not able to access the support they need and are entitled to.

“This is not due to failures on the part of school staff, who are working tirelessly to do their best for these pupils. The Government has to recognise that cuts to funding for specialist services and real terms reductions in school budgets have contributed to long waiting lists for assessment and reduced levels of support available for pupils.
 
“The Green Paper’s ambitions need to be matched by substantial and sustained additional investment.
 
“Much of this plan relies on inter-agency working and collaboration in the provision of services for children, but it is not at all clear that the proposals in the Green Paper will repair a decade of damage done to key services, and much will depend on the Government’s implementation plan, which is yet to be published.

“Promising to improve training for school and college staff is all well and good, but must also be accompanied by guaranteed time to access these opportunities or else it just risks adding to the already excessive workloads which are driving too many teachers out of the profession, further depleting the support available to pupils with SEND.” 

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