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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Review: Right support, right place, right time

Have your say on the Government consultation on the system for SEND and alternative provision in England.

Thank you to everyone who helped us to develop a response to the government's consultation. In total we had 56 responses. Some of the key themes from our online survey that became part of our response included:

  • Co-production of proposals with parents is important.
  • Providing alternative options for placements.
  • General support for the government's proposals around inclusion and improvement.
  • Resourcing was highlighted as a concern in terms of funding and the workforce.



In 2014, the SEND system was significantly reformed, and Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) replaced the previous Statement of Special Educational Needs. 

By September 2019, parents, carers and providers faced delays in accessing support, and local councils faced increasing financial pressures. The Government commissioned the major review into support for children with Special Educational Needs at look at what the challenges were and how a new system could deliver better support for children and young people with SEND in a more consistent way.


Over the past three years we have worked with partners, children and their families to change the way we work in County Durham. A number of areas highlighted in the green paper are already being addressed through this work, including:

  • employing more staff to support children, and their parents and carers through their learning journey and linking them to more post-16 learning opportunities
  • introducing online systems that are transparent and can be accessed remotely by parents, carers and schools as well as a standardised and digitised EHCP process
  • ensuring fair and consistent funding for all schools
  • helping children better become part of their community, which reduces pressures on our special schools
  • improving the way children at risk of exclusion are supported, including offering targeted support through the work of Behaviour and Inclusion Partnerships of schools
  • improving standards to help children and young people moving between mainstream education, alternative provision and post-16 places of learning
  • reviewing the provision, budget, and accommodation of the Pupil Referral Unit so that fewer children need this support 
  • a new streamlined process for providing aids, adaptation and equipment for pupils, that is aligned to their education, health and care needs
  • improving access to assessment, treatment and review of children and young people in need of therapies
  • continuing to review and set new objectives while working with partners

What is happening now


The government has published a green paper which sets out its vision to improve the quality of support given to children across education, health and care.

It proposes to:

  • create a single, national SEND and alternative provision system
  • provide excellent provision from early years to adulthood
  • introduce a reformed and integrated role for alternative provision, for children who can not attend mainstream school, whether for behavioural, health or other needs
  • reform system roles, funding and accountability


We want to work with partners, children, and their families to respond to the Government green paper.

Icon for pdf Martyn Stenton - video transcript (PDF, 55.0kb)

Have your say

You can either send us your comments or feedback to the Government directly.

The deadline for comments to us was 5.00pm on Friday 17 June 2022.

Contact us
03000 263 593