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DfE Green Paper 'Support and Aspiration: A New Approach to Special Educational Needs and Disability'

Described as 'the biggest programme of reform in the education and health support for children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities in 30 years, this much awaited Green Paper 'Support and Aspiration: A New Approach to Special Educational Needs and Disability' was published today for consultation. It seeks to address:

  • parents having to battle to get the support their child needs
  • SEN statements not joining up education, health and care support
  • children falling between the gaps in services or having to undergo multiple assessments.
  • Ofsted and others suggestions that too many children are being over-identified as SEN, which prevents them from achieving their potential because teachers have lower expectations of them.

Proposals include:

  • involvement of parents in the assessment process and introduce a legal right, by 2014, to give them control of funding for the support their child needs
  • replacing statements with a single assessment process and a combined education, health and care plan so that health and social services is included in the package of support, along with education
  • ensuring assessment and plans run from birth to 25 years old
  • injecting greater independence from local authorities in assessments by looking at how voluntary groups might coordinate the package of support

The consultation runs from 9th March - 30th June 2011. Download the Green Paper and access the e-consultation document and response forms at: http://preview.tinyurl.com/5sjjosp

Repeatedly, where at 16 a young person attends a further education or sixth-form college or training provision, we hear of the problems experienced in getting appropriate support for a young person's prinary or secondary mental health difficulites. One key question therefore in examining the Green Paper is to what degree the proposals will improve support to meet the needs of young people in FE with mental health difficulties?

Share your thoughts about this question and what is being proposed in the Green Paper in our policy forum