School pupils have been faced with extraordinary pressures this year, and this is particularly true for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), whose education is often disrupted because of their health at the best of times.
Today in Parliament the Education Secretary gave an update as to how next year’s exams will be handled. I asked him for assurances that SEND children would not be forgotten about, and cited research from the Education Policy Institute that suggests increased use of internal assessments may unfairly penalise children with additional support needs. I was pleased to hear the Education Secretary say this is something of which the Government is acutely aware. This must now be backed up with effective measures to ensure SEND children get the support they need in the coming year.
This is especially important as today is the United Nations’ International Day of Disabled Persons. Labour is calling on the Government to produce a bold new deal which is co-produced with disabled people. We have also committed to incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons into British law, which would aim to eliminate disability discrimination and ensure an inclusive education system.