The green paper sets out a series of proposals designed to reform the system so it works better for both families and the public sector. This includes the introduction of a national set of standards for SEND services, including Education, Health, and Care Plans – which funding will follow from.
The proposals contained in the green paper are subject to a consultation, which closes on the 1st of July.
The government has also today announced allocations for its £1.4bn capital investment programme, designed to boost SEND capacity in schools and alternative provision.
Below, the County Councils Network responds to the announcements.
Cllr Keith Glazier, Children’s Services Spokesperson for the County Councils Network, said:
“Today’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) green paper is long awaited, and comes at a critical time for many county authorities, with those councils set to see their deficits rise to £1.3bn this year – an eightfold increase in just five years.
“The County Councils Network (CCN) is pleased to see the focus on prevention and early intervention in today’s green paper, and the proposal for new national standards which could provide clarity for both local authorities and parents alike.
“With tariffs for funding for SEND services set to follow from these national standards, it is imperative that the full costs of delivering these services in county areas are recognised, particularly in school transport services. CCN looks forward to working with the government going forward to ensure that the new national standards both improve SEND services and outcomes for children, whilst also ensuring that the system is sustainable within the funding envelope available. As part of this it would be good to see significant funding being directed to mainstream schools to promote inclusion as well as to special schools and units.
“Whilst a clear focus on the green paper is on future reform, it remains to be seen whether the proposals outlined today, such as the Safety Valve and Delivering Better Value programmes, will address the substantive deficits many local authorities have accrued in SEND services outside of those that conclude bespoke agreements with the government. Therefore, it will also be important that the government ensures there is support available to address those deficits.”