Government’s long-awaited SEND Improvement Plan published today

2 mins read

Thursday 2 March 2023

The government has published its plans to reform support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in England today.

The SEND Improvement plan includes investment in training for thousands of workers so children can get the help they need earlier. This comes alongside thousands of additional specialist school places for those with the greatest needs.

The plan will be underpinned by new national SEND and AP (alternative provision) standards in order to reduce the postcode lottery that currently exists in the SEND support system. And to improve parents’ and carers’ experiences of accessing support, the plan aims to cut local bureaucracy. The process for assessing needs through Education Health and Care (EHC) plans will be digital-first, quicker and simpler wherever possible.

Contact comments on SEND Improvement plan

Commenting on the SEND Improvement Plan, Contact’s CEO Amanda Batten said:

“Contact and the families we support have waited a long time to see the government’s SEND improvement plan. We welcome the plan’s ambition to transform services for children with SEND in England. In particular, the focus on workforce and early help should make a real difference. This is especially so for children in mainstream education, ensuring their special educational needs are identified early.

“We also welcome the government’s commitment to increase the number of specialist school places. This is vital, as we know there is a shortage nationally. Some disabled children are waiting many months to find a suitable school place.

“However, throughout the consultation process, we heard from parents again and again about the need for greater accountability in the system. We aren’t confident that this plan has adequately addressed this. In addition, the government’s planned measures will take time to implement. We are concerned that the plan lacks urgency to address the crisis for children who are struggling without support in school today.”

Read the government’s Special Educational Needs and Disability and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan: Right Support, Right Place, Right Time in full.

Easy Read version of the Improvement plan.