Education reforms – help or hindrance for children with special needs?

04 September 2017
  • The number of children with complex needs in the capital is increasing[1].
  • In 2017, there were 204,000 children and young people in London requiring some degree of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) support[2].
  • The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced major changes to how young people and their families access SEND support in England.
  • Concerns about the effectiveness of the reforms have been raised by a range of groups[3].

How will London meet the growing demand for school places for children with SEND over the next ten years?

What are the emerging concerns of the new system?

Are the Government reforms achieving what they set out to do?

The London Assembly Education Panel will tomorrow examine the challenges involved in providing adequate SEND support to pupils in London and aim to identify what role the Mayor can play. The guests are:

The following guests will be questioned:

  • Anita Devi, SEND specialist and educational consultant
  • Anne Lyons, President, National Association of Head Teachers
  • David Bartram OBE, Director of SEND, Future Academies
  • Heather Tarbuck, Parent Participation Adviser for London, Contact a Family
  • Joyce Brako-Amoafo, London Representative, the National Network of Parent Carer Forums
  • Simon Knight, Director of Whole School SEND, London Leadership Strategy

The meeting will take place on Tuesday 5 September from 3:30pm in the Chamber, City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend

The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

Follow us @LondonAssembly and take part in the discussion using #AssemblyEdu and #SEND

Notes to editors


  1. Department for Education statistics
  2. Department for Education statistics
  3. Written submissions to the investigation.
  4. Full agenda papers.
  5. Jennette Arnold OBE AM, Chair of the Education Panel is available for interview.  See contact details below.
  6. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Mary Dolan 020 7983 4603.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.

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