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The Big Changes You Need to Know from the DfE's SEND Review Green Paper

About about 2 months ago By Alex Schulte

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This week, the Department for Education released their long-awaited SEND and alternative provision Green Paper.

Titled ‘Right support, right place, right time‘, it outlines the DfE’s proposals for improving provision and outcomes for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

The Green Paper comes in response to the major challenges identified by the government’s SEND Review. This review identified three key problems with the current SEND and AP system:

1.      The system is not a positive experience to navigate for SEND children, young people and their families

2.      Outcomes for children/young people with SEND or in AP consistently lag their peers in all respects            

3.      The system is not financially sustainable.

These challenges stem from a vicious cycle of late intervention, poor systemic confidence and inefficient allocation of resources. The Green Paper’s proposals, which are in consultation until 1 July, seek to zero in on solving these challenges and creating a virtuous cycleof early intervention, systemic accountability and high-quality teaching. The document is available on the DfE’s site, but at 100 pages of A4, it is a lengthy read.

That’s why we’ve picked out the most important parts of the SEND review that everyone working in education should be aware of.


The Green Paper’s top-level proposal is to establish single, national system for SEND and AP. This will involve creating a set of ‘nationally consistent’ standards in order to reduce local discrepancies.

The DfE is also proposing to introduce digitised, simplified and standardised EHCP templates to streamline provision and improve data collection.

Under the SEND Green Paper’s proposals, ‘local inclusion dashboards’ will make system performance more transparent at local and national level. They will help inform new local inclusion plans, which will help in the production of tailored lists of local settings for parents of children who need specialist placements.


The Green Paper pledges an extra £1 billion of funding over the next year to support children and young people ‘with the most complex needs’.

This comes on top of £2.6 billion pledged for improving current provision for children with SEND between now and 2025.

Funding bands and price tariffs will be integrated into a new national framework, instead of the current arrangement of councils setting their own bandings. The government will set SEND budgets for mainstream schools ‘through a single, national formula’.

The government will also be consulting on changing the £6,000 threshold for how much mainstream schools contribute to SEND support.


The DfE are consulting on setting up a new NPQ for developing leadership skills in SENCos. These qualifications are designed to help ensure that every school has a wellspring of expertise to draw on in SEND provision.

It’s not just teachers who will receive further training opportunities. The Green Paper touts an £18 million investment in beefing up the supported internships programme to help more 16-24 year olds with an EHC plan access work placements and gain real employment experience.  

Alternative provision

To clarify the role of alternative provision schools and better integrate them into local SEND systems, the Green Paper will require local partnerships to ‘plan and deliver an alternative provision service focused on early intervention’.

AP schools will be given ‘funding stability’ and a new, bespoke performance framework.


The Green Paper seeks to strengthen redress processes by reintroducing mandatory mediation in disputes. If this does not succeed, the DfE will ‘consider whether it is necessary’ to create an independent review mechanism.

Protocol Education is here to help you navigate the changes

As a leading educational recruitment agency, Protocol Education has a wealth of experience placing SEND specialists in mainstream schools, special schools and alternative provision settings.

We have the in-house expertise to help schools and educators move with the changes in the SEND Review Green Paper and provide the best possible support to pupils with SEND.

Our recruitment consultants don’t just help schools build up resilient workforces. They are available for advice and consultation on how to make education more inclusive.

If you’re a teacher or support assistant looking for opportunities to put your skills into practice helping children with special educational needs, we will provide work and targeted training opportunities.

Whichever way you’re looking to help SEND pupils fulfil their true potentials, make it real by getting in touch today.  

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