David Coleman: Current model for getting special needs help is flawed
The special educational need services, within schools, are a scarce and hard-to-access resource. As a practising clinical psychologist I frequently meet children in real difficulty, socially, emotionally, academically and/or behaviourally.
I'm well aware that any one of these kinds of difficulties could impact negatively on a child's education unless they get targeted, additional help in school. I know they need extra resources and I am part of the system that determines if they are eligible to receive them.
At the moment, the only route to getting such help is to have a clear and unambiguous diagnosis from a professional like me (usually a psychologist or psychiatrist depending on the issue). That diagnosis must fit very strict criteria in order to unlock the educational resources.