THE biggest shake-up for 30 years in how children with special educational needs are supported has won top marks from Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris.

The reforms aim to put parents in charge, giving them control of budgets for their children so they can choose the expert support that is right for their child.

The plan also replaces SEN statements and learning difficulty assessments with a single, assessment process and education plan from birth to 25.

Local authorities and health services will be required by law to link up services for children and young people with disabilities.

Children with special educational needs will also be given the legal right to seek a place at state academies and free schools as well as maintained mainstream and special schools Mr Morris said: “Whilst most families value the quality of support offered by local special schools like Halesbury, many are frustrated that the process to get an SEN statement is too complicated and takes too long, meaning that their children do not receive the support they need as quickly as they should.

“Making things a little easier for the parents of children with special needs was an issue that I raised before the election, and I am delighted that the Government has acted to introduce these reforms, which are long overdue.”

Critics, including teachers’ leaders, claim the biggest problem facing SEN support is lack of funding and fear the changes could leave some children who need support without it.