Parent Pledge Should be Required

The “Parent Pledge” should be included in statutory guidance that schools have a legal requirement to follow, the children’s commissioner has said.

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In a new report released today, Dame Rachel de Souza proposed that the Department for Education should include the pledge in statutory guidance as part of her plan overhaul provisions for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

She said this would make clear what parents should expect from schools through the pledge and how this support would be funded for pupils with SEND.

The Parent Pledge would set out the minimum expectations parents should have of their child’s school, including access to specialist support and funding for SEND provision. It would also commit schools to work closely with parents to support their child’s education.

Dame Rachel said the Parent Pledge would help build trust and confidence between schools and parents and ensure that parents feel empowered to advocate for their child’s needs.

The Department for Education has said it is “carefully considering” the report’s recommendations. A spokesperson said: “We know parents want the best possible education for their children, and this government is committed to making that a reality. We will respond to the report in due course.”

parent pledge

According to the latest figures, more than 1.4 million children and young people in England have SEND – an increase of more than 65% since 2013. The number of children and young people receiving support through Education, Health, and Care plans has almost tripled over the same period, from just over 24,000 to more than 71,000.

The government has committed to reforming the SEND system to ensure that all children and young people with SEND get the support they need to succeed in education, employment and independent living. A green paper on SEND reform will be published later this year.

What do you think of the Parent Pledge? Should it be made a legal requirement for schools? Let us know in the comments below.

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