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This conference examined the future for SEND provision in England.
Stakeholders and policymakers discussed the Government’s recently published response to its consultation on the SEND and Alternative Provision green paper, The SEND and AP Improvement Plan, and digital EHC Plans, which form part of a £70m programme to be trialled in selected local authorities over the next two to three years.
They considered what will be needed to achieve government goals to:
- improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND, including those in alternative provision
- create an easy-to-navigate system that provides a positive experience for SEND students and their families
- provide value for money within the SEND system
The conference was also an opportunity for an early assessment of the new Area SEND Inspection Framework being rolled out by Ofsted and the CQC.
We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with André Imich, SEN and Disability Professional Adviser, Department for Education; Dr Tina Pagett HMI, Specialist Adviser, SEND and Area SEND, Ofsted; and Annamarie Hassall, Chief Executive, Nasen; and Chair, Whole School SEND.
Areas of discussion included:
- joint working: implementing the local SEND partnerships proposed in the green paper - developing collaborative relationships between local government, education, and health and social care
- alternative provision: proposed integration into local SEND systems - the development of a single SEND and AP system with consistent, national standards
- the future of EHC Plans: the way forward for digitalisation - reducing bureaucracy
- funding priorities: assessing local level funding - investing in targeted support, new school places and high-needs provision
- inspection: implementing Ofsted and CQC’s new inspection framework
- early intervention: helping early years staff identify students with additional needs - recognising what works - sharing best practice - improving standards in mainstream schools
- young people’s experiences in navigating the system: achieving improvements - reducing bureaucracy and delays in accessing support - increasing the confidence of parents and carers
- the SEND workforce: improving expertise and leadership - support and mentoring for staff - the rollout of proposed new SENco National Professional Qualifications
- student outcomes: raising literacy and numeracy levels of pupils with SEND
- progression pathways:
- easing the transition to further study, employment and adulthood - improving careers guidance for SEND students
- the supported internships programme - piloting and potential rollout of adjustment passports
The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from the DfE; DWP; HMCTS; House of Commons Library; NAO; and Ofsted.