ASCL comment on SEND green paper

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the government press release about the launch of the SEND and alternative provision green paper on Tuesday.
The current system for supporting children with special educational needs is in crisis. 

“It is driven by a vicious cycle in which parents and schools are left desperately trying to access support and funding for children through Education, Health, and Care Plans, often facing a postcode lottery of processes, delays and bureaucracy.

“The green paper proposals of a system built on early and accurate identification of needs, with common standards on what support should be provided and when, and local partnerships to deliver that on the ground, seem right and sensible. 

“The frustration is that the government’s SEND review began in September 2019, it has taken nearly three years to reach this point, and full implementation of the green paper is some way off. 

“In the meantime, many thousands of children and young people will continue to pass through a broken system, with schools left to pick up the pieces without sufficient resources. 

“We understand that the pandemic has delayed this review, but the government has not shown enough urgency. Nevertheless, we at least now have a starting point and we will be replying fully and in detail to the consultation in due course