Stephen Lloyd MP recently tabled a debate in Parliament on support for disabled young people.
The debate aimed to focus particularly on transition post-16 for young people with a disability.
Mr Lloyd drew on the National Autistic Society’s Make School Make Sense campaign to talk about this.
He pointed to statistics in the campaign report that found that although it’s a legal obligation for young people with disabilities to have a transition plan, only 53% of young people with statements actually receive them. According to the report, this figure is only 34% in mainstream schools, and 45% of those who participated in transition planning were dissatisfied with the process.
Mr Lloyd also questioned the recent closure of support programmes, and called for provision of key workers to co-ordinate services post-16.
Kate Green MP raised the issue of the loss of Education Maintencance Allowance and the Connexions service, and asked whether the Government is assessing the impact of this on disabled young people.
Much of the rest of the debate focused on concerns around benefit changes and most notably, the changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA), which currently focus on adult DLA. The NAS is working hard on the proposed changes to adult DLA. To find out more go to www.autism.org.uk/whobenefits
Responding to the debate, Disabilities Minister Maria Miller agreed that post-16 provision needed to be more joined-up. She said that the proposed changes to the SEN system would mean that young people with a disability, would be able to access an Education, Health and Care Plan, which will replace statements, up to the age of 25.
The National Autistic Society has welcomed the proposal to extend these plans to the age of 25. However, we are also working to ensure that those with SEN who do not have an Education, Health and Care Plan or statement can also access the support they need.