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Parents, professionals and special educational needs policy frameworks in England and Scotland

Riddell, S. and Wilson, A. and Adler, M. and Mordaunt, E. (2002) Parents, professionals and special educational needs policy frameworks in England and Scotland. Policy and Politics, 30 (3). pp. 411-425. ISSN 0305-5736

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Abstract

The research reported in this article investigates the extent to which parents of children with special educational needs (SEN) were involved in the process of assessment and recording (Scotland) or statementing (England) as active citizens, or whether they continued to occupy the passive role of service client.This article analyses competing SEN policy frameworks in England and Scotland, and explores the position of parents and professionals.We conclude that, while the English system allows parents greater power to exercise rights, they are not always willing or able to adopt the role of active citizens. Conversely, while Scottish parents have fewer opportunities to engage actively with the process, some parents are able to take an active role.While national systems differ in terms of the policy frameworks they reflect,there is considerable leeway for parents and professionals to reinforce or undermine the broad thrust of centralised policy.