SEND Improvement Plan unveiled: CCN responds

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2023 | 02 March 2023

Today the government has published its Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan, a set of proposed reforms to the system.

This plan builds on the government’s SEND green paper, released last year. It comes out amidst warnings from the County Councils Network that deficits in these vital services are growing to unmanageable levels.

Below, the network responds to the announcement.

Cllr Keith Glazier, Children’s Services Spokesperson for the County Councils Network, said:

“The County Councils Network (CCN) welcomes the government’s moves to reforms the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) system; proposals which have been long awaited.

“County leaders have consistently argued that there needs to be more clarity on what support is reasonably expected for children with SEND bearing in mind the funding envelope local authorities are working from. Therefore, the plans to provide clarity for parents and professionals are an important step, as is the investment in new specialist schools and staffing.

“However, local authorities are already struggling with the deficits built up in the system meeting the statutory demands from the 2015 reforms – CCN warned last year these are set to balloon to £3.6bn by 2025 on current projections.  Reform will only be successful if it builds on an existing system that is stable and CCN urges the government to ensure it expands the safety valve programme