Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan: Headlines
Today, the Department for Education published the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan: Right Support, Right Place, Right Time. ALLFIE will publish a detailed response shorty, but in the meantime have pulled out 3 key areas which concern us greatly.
There is an all-round failure to address the concerns we outlined in our SEND Review consultation submission, which we developed alongside our members and supporters during our open consultation in 2022, regarding the importance of inclusive education and our concerns with the current education system.
This is now available online: ALLFIE SEND Review Consultation Submission: Right support, right place, right time
We will publish a detailed response to today’s report shorty, but in the meantime have pulled out three headline areas which concern us greatly and are a step backwards from inclusive education:
- No Recognition of the UNCRPD or Current Legal Frameworks
Zero mention of the Convention, multiple discussion of EHCPs that already exist in law (chapter 2, 24-8), and a view to ‘review’ legislation in 2025 for both social care and laws related to EHCPs.
- Three Tier System with National Standards
Move to a three tier system – mainstream (with support), Short Term AP and Long-Term Placement moves the UK further away from the Inclusive Education commitments made through the ratification of the UNCRPD. Yet to be defined national standards that will shape (legal?) requirements of support going forward. Potential move to make this standard for mainstream and EHCP applying to high need/specialist. Only partial implementation however from end of 2025.
- Timeline that focuses on Specialist Provision
The steering group intended to guide the assessment of mainstream will only begin in the summer of 2023, with only partial delivery set for the end of 2025. Meanwhile, specialist is the only provision actively planned over the next two years within the overall budget of 70 million pounds.
Roadmap: “Invest £2.6 billion between 2022 and 2025 to fund new places and improve existing provision for children and young people with SEND or who require alternative provision.” and for 2023: “Announce the successful schools which will be opened as part of the new special and alternative provision free schools.”