The final section of the green paper addresses the questions of reducing bureaucracy and services working together to support families and children with SEN/disability.
The local authority role will have 3 core features:
- strategic planning
- Securing a range of high quality provision
- Enabling families to make informed choices
The Department of Health is tasked with working with the new Health and Wellbeing Boards to consider how the needs of children and young people with SEN/disability are best addressed and with working with GP consortia pathfinders to explore the best ways of providing support for the commissioning of healthcare services for children and young people with SEN or who are disabled and their families.
Statutory guidance will be simplified and improved for all professionals working with children and young people with SEN/disabilities so that it is clear, accessible and helpful. The SEN Code of Practice will be retained but revised to incorporate other guidance that is considered helpful to professionals. The mention of the CoP, does not acknowledge the use made by parents of this publication in understanding how to obtain their child’s entitlements.
IEPs are retained, but advice on their use is removed and instead schools are encouraged to develop other approaches to enabling children with SEN to develop, progress and fulfil their potential (para 5.23). This seems strange given it is recognised that parents value these documents, but may reflect the fact that so many are poorly written and presented.
Fifteen paragraphs focus on joint working and how this might be best achieved. Interestingly, no mention is made of the CAF and its attempts to foster joint working between professionals.
Further sections focus on speech and language therapy services and educational psychology services.
Encouragement is given to local authorities to work together through joint commissioning and management of services
Attention is paid to the voluntary and community sector in providing advice and support, services and as a strategic partner to the Department for Education.
Finally, funding is addressed with the proposal for a national banded funding framework for funding high-cost provision. This seems to be a way of evening out provision for children living in different localities. The document concludes with a discussion of alignment of pre-16 and post-16 funding arrangements.