Forum Thinkpiece: The SEND Green Paper; What next for Trust Leaders?

by Natalie Packer, Forum Strategy Associate; June 2022

On 30 March 2022 the Department for Education (DfE) published its long-awaited Green Paper SEND Review: Right support, right place, right time. The paper sets out the government’s vision for a single, national SEND and alternative provision (AP) system, following the outcomes of a review which investigated the effectiveness of the current system introduced in 2014. This is something which, if agreed and brought into being, has implications for trust leaders not only within specialist settings but across the full spectrum of trust settings.

The Green Paper analyses the challenges within the current SEND system and proposes measures that will help create a more inclusive one. This article outlines the main proposals within the Green Paper and highlights some of the implications for trust leaders. 

The SEND Review (used to inform the Green Paper) concluded that, although the reforms to the SEND system introduced in 2014 have the right aspirations, implementation of the reforms has not been as effective as it should have been and as a result, delivery of true reform has failed. The Green Paper notes there are three key challenges facing the SEND system that are having an impact on the wider education system: 

  1. Outcomes for children and young people with SEN or in AP are poor.
  2. Navigating the SEND system and AP is not a positive experience for children, young people and their families.
  3. The system is not delivering value for money. 

The Green Paper proposals therefore aim to deliver improved outcomes, restore parents’ and carers’ confidence and secure financial sustainability. It gives the promise that every child or young person will have access to the ‘right support in the right place at the right time’ and without doubt, leaders across the education system will have a key role to play in delivering on this promise.


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