James Sunderland highlights need to improve special educational needs diagnosis

James Sunderland welcomes the Government’s efforts to improve outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities or in alternative provision and funding for a new SEND school in Bracknell in particular, but highlights the importance of diagnosis and the need to improve the Child And Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)

I was thrilled last week to receive notification from the Minister that the Department will fund a new SEND school in Bracknell for pupils with autistic spectrum disorder at key stages 1 to 5. That will be massive locally, so I thank her very much.

Having fought for improved SEND provision since becoming an MP, I know the importance of today’s announcement. Again, I am thrilled and I thank the Minister, but may I politely point out that diagnosis is really important? We have to fix CAMHS as well.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education (Claire Coutinho)

My hon. Friend has long campaigned for extra specialist provision in Bracknell, so I am delighted that that is happening. He is absolutely right that diagnosis is important, which is why we are increasing the number of educational psychologists. We will work closely with the Department of Health and Social Care on CAMHS and will ensure that we are rolling out mental health support in schools.