We have responded to the Government SEND Review, in order to improve provision and support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. 

KIDS worked together with disabled children, young people and their families, alongside carers and practitioners, to outline key recommendations for the Government. A summary of these can be found below.

What we said

  • The current system for children and young people with SEND does not work. The Government needs to build on the SEND reforms of 2014, but this time reforms should be resourced, implemented and enforced. 

  • Co-production needs to be built into the foundation of the SEND system to ensure user voice and experience is at the forefront of designing and implementing change.  

  • There should be greater focus on what children can do, rather than what they can't; offering positive encouragement and aspiration.

  • Making the system easier for families to get the support they need – and importantly, the voice of the child – should not be lost in any standardisation. 

  • KIDS strongly believes in strengthening encouragement to take up mediation rather than forcing mandatory mediation. High-quality mediation is a valuable part of the SEND system when other avenues to resolution have been exhausted. 
     
  • The Review makes little reference to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Services (SENDIASS) which are currently so important to support and help families understand and have confidence in the system. SENDIASS services should be adequately resourced to help families access support, reduce isolation and lift the burden of stress. 

  • There is insufficient attention in the Green Paper to Early Years; and this is where significant impact can be made, including through pre-birth support. There should be sufficient resources to secure high-quality inclusive nursery provision and inclusive pre-school education for every child that needs it. As well as an offer of home learning for all children under 5 with SEND who are not in Early Years education, and support with transition into an early-years setting or school. Currently there are gaps in the system where families are not receiving any support, and children are being denied their right to education.
     
  • To enable improved outcomes for children and young people with SEND, we believe every family with a disabled child should have access to a trained Navigator. This is a practitioner able to support family members to access health, care, education and other relevant services and networks, and to offer emotional and wellbeing support when families need it most, including peer support, and access to Early Years education and other entitlements.  

What happens next

The Department of Education will take into account responses to the consultation, and report back on the outcome of this Review in the autumn. 

Read our full response to the SEND Review