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Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Wednesday, 9 March 2011

SEN is 'too bureaucratic, too complex'

The government is setting out plans to lower the number of children classified as having special educational needs.

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) told Today presenter Sarah Montague that she welcomed moves to make the system less bureaucratic.

But she warned that less complex system would not make up for the fact that spending cuts meant the services supporting children with SEN was being "decimated".

The reform, she said, was "an unholy alliance" between saving money and improving services.

Professor Sonia Blandford, director of SEN pilot scheme Achievement for All, said that the reform would enable "capacity building" within the service, as energy saved on bureaucracy could be channelled into front line services.

"We've had 40 years of codes of practice, we've had 40 years of labelling children, we've had 40 years of building up service upon service upon service," she said.

Bringing together the services under one document was "common sense" that would allow SEN provision to focus more on both the needs of the children and their education.

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