Government review into supporting children with SEND

The Education Minister has launched a review today (6 September) to improve support for children with additional needs. Department for Education logo

Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, announced the review to better support families and professionals to end the “postcode lottery” for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

This review announcement follows the funding boost of £700m for 2020/21 which will be available for pupils with the most complex needs. It will look at actions to support children including how to provide high quality support, supporting parents and making sure all local authorities can offer consistent high quality healthcare and education.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “This review and the planned extra money for supporting children with SEND shows a welcome focus on the issue which is desperately needed.

“Nurseries across the country tell us that the resources aren’t there to meet all the needs of the children they work with. The Department for Education’s own evaluation of funded childcare found that local authority SEND teams couldn’t cope with the demand they were getting from nurseries, especially as more children are now entitled to more hours of childcare. Since reforms were made to EHC plans we have seen the number of under-fives with a plan or a statement go up by 11.3% and a 54% increase in those children attending private, voluntary and independent (PVI) nurseries.

“It’s vital that money and resources are invested in early years where they can make a significant difference to a child’s development and lifelong learning potential. This includes training and support across the SEND spectrum for nursery professionals who are the first to identify signs of developmental delay.

“Given the importance of the issue and the role the early years sector can play in supporting children and families, it’s vital this review fully engages with early years experts and professionals working with these children in settings on a daily basis.”

Read the full announcement here