VCS to deliver reforms for children with special needs and disabilities

The Children's Minster Sarah Teather has announced contracts for VCS organisations to help deliver key reforms to support children with special educational needs and disabilities, and their parents. The Department for Education is providing around £6million a year for two years for the contracts, which will see the contractors:

  • Delivering short breaks
  • Providing greater information and help to parents
  • Helping disabled young people prepare for employment, training and independent living after they leave school.

The contractors will also provide knowledge and support on the delivery and improvement of local services and help the 20 SEN Green Paper pathfinder areas test some of the Government"s key reforms. The VCS organisations and contracts are:

  • The IMPACT consortium - to help local authorities deliver their legal obligations to provide short breaks and involve parents in how short breaks are provided.
  • The Council for Disabled Children - to support local parent partnership services across England that provide parents with clear information about their rights and responsibilities under legislation, along with local information about options and choices.
  • A consortium led by the National Development Team for Inclusion - to improve outcomes for young people. The consortium will work with local authorities, schools, young people and their employment, training and independent living after they leave school.
  • The ES Trust with the National Children"s Bureau - to extend the Early Support programme to improve the quality, consistency and coordination of services for disabled children over five years old (the programme is currently designed from birth to five years old) and help develop key worker training.
  • The Early Language Consortium, led by I CAN - to introduce Early Language Development Training for people working with children up to five years old. The training aims to raise aspirations in secondary school and plan for will focus on the importance of early language development to improve communication and language skills for all children.