Government announces SEND Review

News - 06 Sep 2019

The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has announced a governmental review of SEND provision, which will report by the end of the year.

Following on from the announcement made last week of an additional £700 million for SEND in 2020-21, the government says that it is time to review the progress made since the SEND reforms of 2014/5, in order to ensure these reforms are being implemented as well as possible.

There are concerns from all stakeholders, particularly parents, about the implementation of the SEND reforms; the number of children and young people being identified as having SEND is increasing, and a greater proportion of children and young people with EHC plans are being educated in specialist provision, in both the state and independent sector, at significant cost.

The call for evidence into SEND closed in July, and the DfE intend to use the information collected to inform the review. The review is intended to be cross-governmental i.e. to include health ad social care, as the challenges of implementing a joined-up approach has been documented, for example in CQC reviews into SEND in local authorities.

The review will look at:

  • the evidence on how the system can provide the highest quality support that enables children and young people with SEND to thrive and prepare for adulthood, including employment;
  • better helping parents to make decisions about what kind of support will be best for their child;
  • making sure support in different local areas is consistent, and that high-quality support is available across the country;
  • how to strike the right balance of state-funded provision across inclusive mainstream and specialist places;
  • aligning incentives and accountability for schools, colleges and local authorities to make sure they provide the best possible support for children and young people with SEND;
  • understanding what is causing the demand for education, health and care plans; and
  • ensuring that public money is spent in an efficient, effective and sustainable manner, placing a premium on securing high quality outcomes for those children and young people who need additional support.

The review is also intended to inform the revision of the SEND Code of Practice planned for 2020.

An independent panel will advise the review, comprised of Anne Heavy (National Director of Whole School SEND, of which nasen is the lead partner), Sir Kevan Collins, (chair of the Education Endowment Fund) and Tony McArdle (lead commissioner in Northamptonshire County Council).

We will keep you up to date with all developments so keep checking the nasen news feed.

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