National Government Review of SEND – Right Support, Right Place, Right Time

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As you may be aware, last Tuesday 29th March, the government published its long-awaited Green Paper setting out its plans to overhaul the Special Educational Needs (SEN) system.












National Government is seeking views on their green paper about the changes they want to make to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) system in England.

They think:

  • there should be new national standards setting out how the needs of young people with SEND should be identified and met
  • there should be a more inclusive system, with more support for young people with SEND in mainstream schools
  • the current ‘postcode lottery’, where support varies around the country, should be ended.

To feed in views, please click on their survey below. Please note the consultation closes on Friday 1st July 11.30.


What could this mean locally for Calderdale ?

  • Local government to have more say in which school young people with SEND go to.
  • Changes to the system of deciding which young people would be entitled to an assessment of their needs, or to get an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) guaranteeing them support.
  • Changes to how funding is managed for young people with high needs, and the way in which their school place would be allocated.


Our Initial Thoughts

The proposal for ‘local inclusion dashboards’ to make roles and responsibilities within the system clearer for Parent Carers is interesting and could be beneficial if it makes the systems more transparent and easier to navigate.

However, there are proposals which are worrying. We are concerned that the proposal could mean that Parent Carers will only be able to choose a school from a “list of appropriate placements” and this will restrict parental choice.

We will want to look very closely at the proposals for “banding and tariffs”. Will these have the flexibility to meet individual children’s needs and, worryingly, could they be used to ration support? More optimistically, however, alongside the ‘local inclusion dashboards’ we hope they might clarify financial responsibilities between different agencies.

Finally, we are concerned that the proposal for compulsory mediation will restrict access to the Tribunal and make it harder for Parent Carers to get the support they need. These are our initial thoughts.

We know that many Parent Carers may be understandably sceptical about the Green Paper and feel that they have heard this all before. In particular, we will be looking very closely at what the document says about accountability, because that more than anything is where Parent Carers tell us the system currently falls short.

However, this is an opportunity for real change to the support children and families receive; and we encourage as many of our Parent Carer Members as possible to respond to the consultation and share their views through the Government consultation process.

We may have more analysis over the coming weeks and of course if we do, we’ll share with our Members.

Thanks, The Unique Ways Team