SEND Improvement Plan: DfE has not understood ‘gravity of the situation’

The “gravity” of the challenges facing the SEND system and the “urgency with which we need to act” has not been grasped by ministers in their long overdue SEND and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan.

The plan sets out new national standards for SEND and alternative provision which will give families “confidence in what support they should receive and who will provide and pay for it, regardless of where they live”.

Also promised are digitised and standardised Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) in a bid to cut the bureaucracy that has plagued the system of SEND assessment in recent years.

And training for thousands of professionals, including 5,000 early years SENCOs and 400 educational psychologists, will aim to boost earlier identification and intervention for SEND.

The plan has finally been published by the Department for Education (DfE, 2023) following its review of SEND provision, which itself was launched well over three years ago.

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