#AdditionalNotSpecial - a powerful message from RISE Youth Forum

Published: Tuesday, 26th October 2021

Cllr Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for children and vulnerable families, has praised a group of young people with additional needs for their campaigning work.

The RISE Youth Forum has sent a powerful message about their lived experience.

Cllr Thompson said: “I spoke recently about the importance of the language we use to describe individuals and their needs. These young people in the Rise Youth Forum are experts through their experience and will be encouraged to contribute towards our SEND improvement journey particularly when it concerns co-production.

“One of the things they are really passionate about is the term SEND, and they have started a campaign titled #AddtionalNotSpecial proposing that the use of ‘Special Educational Needs’ in the Children & Families Act (2014) and Code of Practice (2015) is outdated and should be removed.

“They feel that it does not accurately describe provision that many children need and should be replaced with the more appropriate term ‘Additional Needs’.

“Here at the council we are very happy to do this, supported by the Parent Carer Forum.

“Choice of language is really important so although we will still need to use SEND in certain arenas, where it is within our gift to decide, we will be using the term CAN.

“I’d encourage people to take time to view their video and listen to their powerful voices.”

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