Summary of the SEND Review: what do teachers need to know?


We provide a summary of the SEND Review if you haven’t had the time to read the full document.

The government has published a green paper on the future of the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision (AP) system and is undertaking a public consultation on the green paper’s proposals.

The green paper is titled: ‘SEND Review: right support, right place, right time’.

Green papers are consultation documents produced by the Government. The aim of green papers is to allow people both inside and outside Parliament to give feedback on policy or legislative proposals.

You can respond to the consultation online here (it closes on 1 Jul 2022).

The review has identified 3 key challenges facing the SEND and AP system:

  1. Navigating the SEND system and AP is not a positive experience for too many children, young people and their families.
  2. Outcomes for children and young people with SEND or in AP are consistently worse than their peers across every measure.
  3. Despite the continuing and unprecedented investment, the system is not financially sustainable

In this support article, we provide a summary of the SEND Review and link to other summary articles.

Summary of the SEND Review: a single national SEND and AP system

The government proposes to:

  • Establish a new national SEND and AP system setting nationally consistent standards for how needs are identified and met at every stage of a child’s journey across education, health and care – parents and carers will be confident that their child’s needs will be met effectively in the most appropriate local setting, they will be clear about what support their child is receiving and will be engaged in decision-making at every stage
  • Create new local SEND partnerships bringing together education, health and care partners with local government to produce a local inclusion plan setting out how each area will meet the national standards – when specialist support is needed, the local inclusion plan will set out the provision that is available within the local area, including units within mainstream, alternative and specialist provision
  • Support parents and carers to express an informed preference for a suitable placement by providing a tailored list of settings, including mainstream, specialist and independent – they will continue to have the right to request a mainstream setting for their child
  • Introduce a standardised and digitised EHCP process and template to minimise bureaucracy and deliver consistency (We have published another support article about EHCPs here)
  • Streamline the redress process to make it easier to resolve disputes earlier, including through mandatory mediation, whilst retaining the tribunal for the most challenging cases

Excellent provision from early years to adulthood

The government proposes to:

  • Increase the total investment in the schools’ budget, with an additional £1 billion in 2022 to 2023 to support children and young people with the most complex needs
  • Improve mainstream provision, building on the ambitious schools white paper reforms, through excellent teacher training and development and a ‘what works’ evidence programme to identify and share best practice including in early intervention
  • Build expertise and leadership, by consulting on a new SENCo national professional qualification (NPQ) for school SENCos, alongside increasing the number of staff with an accredited SENCo qualification in early years settings
  • Invest £2.6 billion, over the next 3 years, to deliver new places and improve existing provision for children and young people with SEND or who require AP
  • Deliver more new special and AP free schools in addition to 60 already in the pipeline
  • Set out a clear timeline that, by 2030, all children and young people will benefit from being taught in a family of schools, with their school, including special and AP in a strong trust or with plans to join or form one, sharing expertise and resource to improve outcomes
  • Commission analysis to better understand the support that children and young people with SEND need from the health workforce so that there is a clear focus on SEND in health workforce planning
  • Fund more than 10,000 additional respite placements and invest £82 million in a network of family hubs so more children, young people and their families can access wraparound support
  • Invest £18 million, over the next 3 years to build capacity in the supported internships programme
  • Improve transition at further education by introducing common transfer files alongside piloting the roll out of adjustment passports to ensure young people with SEND are prepared for employment and higher education

A reformed and integrated role for AP

The government proposes to:

  • Make AP an integral part of local SEND systems by requiring the new SEND partnerships to plan and deliver an AP service focused on early intervention
  • Give AP schools the funding stability to deliver a service focused on early intervention by requiring local authorities to create and distribute an AP specific budget
  • Develop a bespoke performance framework for AP which sets robust standards focused on progress, re-integration into mainstream education or sustainable post-16 destinations
  • Deliver greater oversight and transparency on children and young people’s movements into and out of AP
  • Launch a call for evidence, before the summer, on the use of unregistered provision to investigate existing practice

System roles, accountabilities and funding reform

The government proposes to:

  • Deliver clarity on roles and responsibilities for all partners, across education, health, care and local government through the new national standards – with aligned accountabilities, so everyone has the right incentives and levers to do their role and be held to account
  • Equip the DfE’s new regions group to take responsibility for holding local authorities and trusts to account for delivering for children and young people with SEND locally through new funding agreements between local government and the DfE
  • Introduce a new inclusion dashboard for 0 to 25 provision giving a timely, transparent picture of how the system is performing at a local and national level across education, health and care
  • Work with Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission to deliver an updated local area SEND inspection framework with a focus on arrangements and experiences of children and young people with SEND and in AP
  • Deliver funding reform through the introduction of a new national framework of banding and price tariffs for funding, matched to levels of need and types of education provision set out in the new national standards – providers will have clarity on how much funding they should expect to receive for delivering support or a service, whilst ensuring the right pricing structures are in place, helping to control high costs attributed to expensive provision

Delivering change for children and families

The government proposes to:

  • Take immediate steps to stabilise local SEND systems by investing an additional £300 million through the Safety Valve Programme and £85 million in the Delivering Better Value programme, over the next three years, to support those local authorities with the biggest deficits
  • Task the SEND and AP Directorate within DfE to work with system leaders from across education, health and care and the Department of Health and Social Care to develop the national SEND standards
  • Support delivery through a £70 million SEND and AP change programme to both test and refine key proposals and support local SEND systems across the country to manage local improvement
  • Publish a national SEND and AP delivery plan setting out government’s response to this public consultation and how change will be implemented in detail and by whom to deliver better outcomes for children and young people
  • Establish, for implementation of the national delivery plan, a new National SEND Delivery Board to bring together relevant government departments with national delivery partners including parents, carers and representatives of local government, education, health and care to hold partners to account for the timely implementation of proposals

Summary of the SEND Review: additional reading

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