The government has today (6 September) announced a review into special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The review will explore:

  • the support provided for pupils with SEND and how best to prepare them for life after school and employment
  • what support parents of pupils with SEND require so that they can make the best decisions in the interests of their children
  • how to create consistency of support across different localities and ensure that support is “joined up” with other social services
  • getting the balance right between provision for mainstream and special schools
  • making sure that there is an alignment between “incentives and accountability for schools, colleges and local authorities”
  • exploring why there has been an increase in the prevalence of certain health conditions that have led to a rise in the number of education, health and care (EHC) plans
  • how to maximise spending for SEND pupils so that it is “efficient, effective and sustainable”

This review follows recent funding announcements in which the government promised a “major funding boost of £700million in 2020/21 for pupils with the most complex needs”.

Responding to the announcement, Steve Edmonds,director of advice and guidance at the National Governance Association, said: “Governing Boards have both a legal and moral duty to improve provision and outcomes for children and young people who have SEND.  However, as our annual survey demonstrates, an increasing number of governing boards are concerned that their schools do not have the resources to meet the needs of their most vulnerable pupils. The additional funding announced by the Government is welcome but is unlikely to remove all the pressures placed on school and local authority budgets. This needs to be recognised as does the reality that providing the best possible support for pupils with SEND requires more than just money. NGA welcomes any work towards building a more coherent and sustainable system for providing support but this system must be adequately resourced”.

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