Government consultation on the SEND system and alternative provision in England


Right support, right place, right time

The Department for Education in England published its plans in a Green Paper having carried out a review of the current SEND system and alternative provision.

The SEND review was launched because the Government recognised growing frustration about the existing SEND system and to better understand children and young people with SEND and what was creating challenges in the system so that it could create a plan for improvement.

The SEND review has identified the following challenges in the SEND and AP system:

  • Outcomes for children and young people with SEND are consistently worse than for their peers.
  • Navigating the SEND system to secure support is not a positive experience (and parents reportedly find it increasingly adversarial).
  • Despite unprecedented investment the SEND system is not delivering value for money.
  • There is too much inconsistency across the country with decisions made based on where a child lives or the setting they attend rather than on their needs.

The SEND Review identified a vicious cycle operating in the system in that Special Educational Needs were being identified too late so that they became entrenched, and parents lost confidence that mainstream education could meet their child’s SEN.  This in turn has led to an increase in the number of requests for Education, Health and Care Plans and specialist provision which then causes resources to be directed away from mainstream provision to fund increasing numbers of individualised placements.

In order to address these issues the Government’s Green Paper proposes to deliver an improved system in 5 ways:

  • to establish a new national SEND and AP system with clear nationally consistent standards for identifying and assessing need and provision and also standardised processes including the standardising and digitising of EHC Plans with parents being able to express an informed preference for a suitable placement.
  • To build capacity in mainstream education to identify needs in the early years and so that all those working with children and young people with SEND have the knowledge and skills to do so.
  • to ensure there is appropriate and affordable specialist provision for those who need it, including alternative provision. This should be high quality and close to home where possible.
  • For all partners to have clear roles and for there to be strengthened accountability and funding reform. The new national SEND standards will regulate the system across education, health and care partners with local government.
  • A delivery programme to stabilise the system in the immediate term and deliver the necessary culture change to build an inclusive system.

The 13-week public consultation on the Government’s Green Paper ended on 22nd July 2022 and the DFE will publish a delivery plan later this year.

Contact us

At Tayntons we can advise you on the best course of action if you are having difficulties with the local authority over your child’s needs.  Our team represents parents of children with a range of SEN.

If you would like to speak to our expert SEN law solicitor Imelda Brennan call us on 0800 158 4147, email us at  or request a call back and a member of our team will be in touch promptly.

To contact us please call 0800 158 4147 or 03330 145451 or email

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