DfE publishes the SEND Review

The Department for Education (DfE) has today published the SEND review. The Green Paper, SEND Review - right support, right place, right time, launches a consultation that seeks responses by 1st July 2022. BASE will be seeking member views on the SEND Review proposals before submitting a response.

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

  1. Navigating the SEND system and alternative provision 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 alternative provision are consistently worse than their peers across every measure. 
  3. Despite the continuing and unprecedented investment, the system is not financially sustainable.

The review confirms the allocation of £18 million over the next three years to build capacity in the Supported Internships Programme, and improve transitions 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.


BASE Chief Executive, Huw Davies, said,

"BASE welcomes publication of the Green Paper. We have been in discussions with DfE for many months about the content and the need to improve life outcomes for disabled young people. The SEND system has been difficult for families to navigate and has been unnecessarily adversarial and inconsistent around the country. We are pleased that DfE recognises this and wants to develop a system where every young person can access the right support in the right place at the right time. We welcome the new local SEND Partnerships and development of local inclusion plans and hope that they will ensure greater consistency in how support needs are assessed and met.

"We welcome the investment in workforce development, particularly within mainstream education. This is vital if we are to reduce the SEND employment gap. The Review signals improved support for providers and employers to deliver high quality supported internships, traineeships and supported apprenticeships. 

"We are pleased to see the introduction of common transfer files as a way of sharing information between providers and we will need to see far better data on outcomes and job sustainability. We'd like to have seen the removal of the word "special" when describing young people with additional needs and questions remain about the adequacy of funding and the requirement for all schools to join an academy trust. However, overall, this Green Paper is a strong step in the right direction and we look forward to working with DfE on its implementation."


The proposals

Detailed proposals in the SEND and alternative provision green paper include:

  • Setting new national standards across education, health and care to build on the foundations created through the Children and Families Act 2014, for a higher performing SEND system;
  • simplified Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) through digitising plans 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;
  • A new legal requirement for councils to introduce ‘local inclusion plans’ that bring together early years, schools and post-16 education with health and care services, giving system partners more certainty on who is responsible and when;
  • Improving oversight and transparency through the publication of new ‘local inclusion dashboards’ to make roles and responsibilities of all partners within the system clearer for parents and young people, helping to drive better outcomes;
  • A new national framework for councils for banding and tariffs of High Needs, to match the national standards and offer clarity on the level of support expected, and put the system on a financially sustainable footing in the future;
  • Changing the culture and practice in mainstream education to be more inclusive and better at identifying and supporting needs, including through earlier intervention and improved targeted support;
  • Improving workforce training through the introduction of a new SENCo NPQ for school SENCos and increasing the number of staff with an accredited level 3 qualification in early years settings; and
  • reformed and integrated role for alternative provision (AP), with a new delivery model in every local area focused on early intervention. AP will form an integral part of local SEND systems with improvements to settings and more funding stability.

The proposals are backed by new funding to implement them, worth £70 million. This will build on the £9 billion government investment in local authority high needs budgets next year and £2.6 billion for new places for children with SEND over the next three years. Capital funding allocations worth £1.4 billion have also been published today for councils to pay for new places and improve existing provision for children and young people with SEND, or those who will benefit from high-quality Alternative Provision.

Alongside the Green Paper, you'll also find: