On March 29th, the Government launched the long-anticipated SEND and Alternative Provision Review green paper. This is a discussion document that sets out the changes the government want to make to improve the lives of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. These proposals are now open for public consultation and feedback. The consultation period is 13 weeks long and ends on Friday 1 July.
A summary of the proposals can be found here and there is also a dedicated website with further details on how can get involved and have your say here. This website contains resources to help you understand the proposals, including this helpful summary video, and details of how to access the paper in other accessible formats and languages.
The Review focuses on SEND alongside alternative provision and outlines proposed changes. These include:
- A desire to increase early intervention for children with SEND and introduce a single system combining SEND and alternative education provision
- The creation of new national standards across education, health and care to build for a higher performing SEND system
- A national framework for councils for banding and tariffs of high needs support to offer clarity on the level of support expected and put the system on a financially sustainable footing in the future
- A legal duty on councils to introduce “local inclusion plans” across early years, schools and post-16 education with health and care services in a bid to provide greater clarity over which agency has responsibility for services
- The creation of a “local inclusion dashboard” which will set out the role and responsibilities of partners offering provision for children and young people with SEND aged 0 to 25
- An updated Local Area SEND Inspection Framework from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission will be used to hold local authorities to account over failures to create inclusion plans
- Education, Health and Care plans (EHCP) to be moved online, to make them more flexible, reducing bureaucracy and supporting parents to make informed choices via a list of appropriate placements tailored to their child’s needs, meaning less time spent researching the right school
- Plans to “streamline” the redress process which will mean tribunals will only be used for the most challenging cases
- The green paper also puts forward a raft of proposals to improve mainstream provision for pupils with SEND based on plans highlighted in the recent schools white paper including a duty on all schools to be part of a multi-academy trust by 2030 and plans to increase total investment in core schools budgets by £7bn by 2024/25
We strongly encourage you to have your say on the governments’ plans.
We urge as many families as possible to take part in the consultation, as we know the more people who comment on the proposals, the more your voices, thoughts and feelings about the changes will be heard. Tell them what you like, what you dislike and make suggestions about changes that would make things better.
We would be grateful if you would share details of the consultation widely within your networks. Your voices and views are really valued and will make a difference in delivering the new SEND reforms.