Spectrum met School Standards Minister Nick Gibb MP at the House of Commons to raise concerns over the loophole in safeguarding vulnerable children.
During the meeting at Westminster, Spectrum presented the campaign to make regulatory training necessary, highlighting SEN school transport safeguarding issues and flagging the absence of standardised or accredited training. The private meeting was held at the House of Commons.
Spectrum Courses founder, Jane Saggers, said: “Mr Gibb and his team from the Department of Education appeared genuinely interested in our initiative and the new Act is a timely opportunity to get our voices heard.
The Children and Social Work Act 2017 is currently going through parliament is proposing changes in safeguarding.
“We want to ensure that pupils with special and additional needs are considered a priority. At the moment there is a serious safeguarding loophole and a serious lack of understanding of these pupils’ needs. The Education Minister was extremely receptive and supportive and I am grateful to our local MP Tom Pursglove for his continued support and for arranging this meeting.
“He seemed genuinely shocked to hear that in his own constituency (West Sussex) there were 576 incidents on SEN school transport in 2016/7. I explained that the majority of transport operators don’t understand behavioural problems/autism and others conditions.
“Councils are having to make public spending cuts and often are forced to accept the cheapest, rather than necessarily the best operators for these vulnerable children. Mr Gibb and his team recognised that any breakdown in journeys leads to pupils not accessing education, with the knock on impact for their parents who can’t then go to work. "
Spectrum courses, accredited by CPD UK, will improve safeguarding, understanding and also make drivers and pupil escorts aware of the important role they play for these pupils.
The government is currently inviting consultation about the proposed revisions to statutory guidance as part of Working Together to Safeguard Children:
Spectrum has submitted its own views about children with SEN.
Photo: School Standards Minister Nick Gibb MP
Photo: House of Commons where Spectrum met Nick Gibb MP to call for better transportation for children with SEN.