Many thanks for contacting me about the Government's plans for reforms to the SEND system. I have made a note in my diary about the virtual parliamentary event on the Green Paper on Friday 17 June and I will attend if my diary allows.
I am encouraged that the Government has ambitious plans to level up opportunities for all children and young people, without exception. This includes children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) as well as for every other child.
Following an extensive review of the current SEND system, the Department for Education is aware of the need for much greater consistency in how needs are identified and supported. This means that decisions will be made on what children or young people need in cooperation with their families, rather than where they live or the setting which they attend. The Department intends to create a more inclusive education system to ensure that children and young people with SEND are set up to thrive.
As part of the SEND Green Paper the Department for Education has said that it will introduce a number of measures, including increasing the total investment in the schools budget with an additional £1 billion during the 2022-23 academic year to support children and young people with the most complex needs. Alongside this an investment of £2.6 billion will be made over the next three years to deliver new places and improve existing provision for children and young people with SEND. The Department has also said that it will fund more than 10,000 additional respite placements and invest £82 million in a network of family hubs which means that more children, young people and their families will be able to access wraparound support. I am glad that the Department is also commissioning analysis to understand better what support SEND children and young people need from the health system, to ensure that there is a clear focus on SEND included also in the healthcare workforce planning system.
These proposals are currently subject to a consultation, which is due to close on 1 July 2022. I would therefore encourage everyone to check out what is proposed and respond to the consultation, so the Department hears as many voices as possible to ensure the new system is delivered to the highest standard. You can do this here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/send-review-right-support-right-place-right-time
If you or anyone you know is affected by this locally and you think that I can help, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me about these important issues.
25 April 2022