One of the key issues raised with me when I visit our schools or meet with our school leaders is the need for clear and consistent support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and the schools who support them. I have been working with our schools to raise these issues, yet to deliver sustained improvements we need to make sure the national framework, County provision and health services can work together to deliver the right support in the right place, at the right time.
Today's publication of the Government's SEND review and Green Paper outlining proposed reforms, aims to deliver on this. It is clear that the current system is too slow. I have heard too many accounts of a lack of coordinated services leading to delays, during which too many children are not receiving the support they need. I am therefore delighted that the review highlights the need to prioritise early intervention, to ensure children and their families receive the support they need, when they need it, and to break the vicious cycle of late intervention leading to disruption to education, low confidence and poorer outcomes and opportunities for children with SEND.
The proposals outlined today include a single national SEND and alternative provision system, additional £1 billion funding in 2022/23 to support pupils with the most complex needs, and clarification of the roles and responsibilities of all partners across education, health, care, and local government. Full details of the review and the Green Paper are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-and-ap-green-paper-responding-to-the-consultation/summary-of-the-send-review-right-support-right-place-right-time. The Government is now consulting on the Green Paper proposals. The consultation will run until 1 July and I would encourage schools, teachers and parents to review the plans and submit their feedback to the review.
All children should be able to access a great education. I am passionate about supporting our schools and students to deliver this. I will be working with colleagues in the Department for Education and will continue working with our schools and college leaders, and Surrey County Council, to ensure these proposals deliver the best outcomes for children across Runnymede and Weybridge.