A consultation on the government’s SEND review has been extended for three weeks after accessible versions of the document were finally published today.
Last week, FE Week reported how the near six-week wait had excluded some of the communities the SEND review seeks to support from the consultation process.
A large print version was published alongside the review in late March, with British Sign Language and easy-read versions promised in “early April”. Children’s minister Will Quince then pledged to get them out by the end of last month, which they also missed.
The government has now published the documents. In an update this morning, DfE said the consultation closing date had been extended from July 1 to July 22 to “give participants time to use the new materials and submit their responses”.
A guide to the SEND review for children and young people has also been published.
In a tweet, Quince said: “I’ve listened to your concerns and I’m extending the SEND Review consultation to July 22.
“A full, fair, open consultation is key to our vision for more inclusivity. We’ve published a suite of accessible versions of our Green Paper so even more people can get involved.”
Last week, Simon Knight, the head of Frank Wise special school in Oxfordshire, said the lack of accessible materials was “hugely concerning and is materially impacting on the ability of our students to have their voice heard”.
“It is tragically ironic that a consultation designed to address the dysfunctionality of the SEND system is, through the lack of suitable adapted materials, disadvantaging those very people the consultation is intended to improve outcomes for.”