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SEND Green Paper

SEND and AP green paper: responding to the consultation


The government is determined to level up opportunities for all children and young people – without exception. We are just as ambitious for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) as for every other child.


The SEND review sets out government’s proposals for a system that offers children and young people the opportunity to thrive, with access to the right support, in the right place, and at the right time, so they can fulfil their potential and lead happy, healthy and productive adult lives.


The reforms to the SEND system introduced in 2014 had the right aspirations and since then there has been much to celebrate. It is clear that the system is driven by a hardworking and dedicated workforce. However, despite examples of good practice, too often the experiences and outcomes of children and young people are poor. Parents and carers are frustrated at having to navigate an increasingly complex and adversarial system. Growing tension across the system is causing delays in accessing support and increasing financial challenges for local government.

The SEND review is a response to the widespread recognition that the system is failing to deliver for children, young people and their families.


Over the course of the review, we have listened to a wide range of people, most importantly children, young people and their families. As the review progressed it became clear that alternative provision is increasingly being used to supplement the SEND system. Therefore, we have looked at the specific challenges facing the alternative provision sector, and proposed potential solutions, as part of this review.


The review has identified 3 key challenges facing the SEND and alternative provision system.

  1. Navigating the SEND system and alternative provision is not a positive experience for too many children, young people and their families.
  2. Outcomes for children and young people with SEND or in alternative provision are consistently worse than their peers across every measure.
  3. Despite the continuing and unprecedented investment, the system is not financially sustainable.