Changes to the Funding of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Provision: Views of Lead Members

Helen Poet

20 June 2012

Executive Summary

Special educational needs and disability (SEND) were the focus of the 2011 Green Paper: Support and Aspiration: a New Approach to Special Educational Needs and Disability - a Consultation.

The Local Government Association commissioned this research to gather the views of lead members for children's services on the implications of the changes proposed in the Green Paper. Specifically, the research looked at the proposed introduction of the Education, Health and Care Plan and personal budgets for children and young people with SEND.

NFER consulted with nineteen lead members through round table events and individual interviews in February and March 2012. At the time of the sessions, the Green Paper proposals were still at consultation stage.

Key Findings

  • Lead members welcomed the Education Health and Care Plan, particularly the emphasis on closer multi-agency working; the introduction of a single assessment; having a system covering birth to 25; and single case conferences.
  • They were generally in favour of personal budgets although there were a number of issues that they felt required clarification.
  • There was a general view that parents would have a stronger role in the new system, although lead members felt that there remained an important role for professionals to guide and support parents and families.
  • lead members felt that it would be important, where possible, to include the child or young person’s viewpoint.
  • There were concerns about how the increase in academies and proposed changes to school funding would impact on provision for children and young people with SEND.

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