RCPCH responds to the Department for Education's SEND and AP Improvement Plan

The Department for Education (DfE) have published their plans to change the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision system in England.
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In July 2022, we responded to the DfE and Department of Health and Social Care's SEND Review. The plans include: 

  • Establishing a new national SEND and alternative provision system
  • Developing new National Standards to improve early identification of needs and intervention, and set out expectations for support available 
  • Delivering a standard EHCP template and develop digital requirements for Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) systems 
  • Resourcing workforce capacity and skills development 
  • Publishing a local and national inclusion dashboard to measure performance
  • Committing £10.1bn funding in 2023-24

Additionally, a new Disability Action Plan will be consulted on and published in 2023 which will set out practical action that ministers will take to improve disabled people’s lives.

In response to the plan, RCPCH Officer for Health Improvement Dr Helen Stewart said: 

Many children with special needs and disabilities are unable to access the support they so desperately need to reach their full potential and live fulfilling lives. The plans announced by DfE are welcome, but long overdue.

We’re particularly pleased to see our recommendation for a strong focus on early intervention in the plan, which will help to avoid delays in assessments and worsening symptoms and experiences for this group of children and young people.

The Government must now prioritise these vulnerable children and families and work towards delivering these actions without further delay.