Two years and still waiting: SEND Review anger

There are renewed calls this week for the government to publish its promised and long-awaited review of SEND, which has been beset by long delays.

It has been two years since the review began its root and branch look at how to improve SEND provision across the system, but publication has been delayed three times.

The Department for Education (DfE) has blamed the pandemic in part for the delay, stating that it has “materially altered the context for reform” (APPG, 2021), but experts have also told Headteacher Update that the DfE has struggled to bring together “all the moving parts of siloed provision and the organisations involved” (see Headteacher Update, 2021).

The review came after the Education Select Committee in 2019 reported on an SEND system that was dysfunctional and adversarial. The MPs’ now infamous report said that poor implementation of the government’s 2014 SEND reforms has resulted in “confusion, at times unlawful practice, bureaucratic nightmares, buck-passing, no accountability, strained resources, and adversarial experiences”.

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