Edward Timpson Pledges Wholescale Review of SEND Provision in UK Schools
Appearing at the Whole School SEND Summit on thec 23rd Feb, Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families Edward Timpson pledged a thorough review of special and mainstream school capacity across the UK, with £23,000,000 allocated to help LAs do strategic review of SEND places, and a £215m capital funding boost to “build new school places (and) to improve and enhance facilities that are already on site” for children on Education, Health and Care plans.
Addressing an assembly of over 200 school leaders, SENDCos, parents, journalists and charitable organisations, the minister called for a “whole school approach” in order to “bring the individual performance and attainment of every child in that school, particularly those with SEND, to the heart of whether that school is good or not.”
The minister stressed the need for system wide improvement, saying that "all school leaders need to focus on students with SEND… We can’t take our foot off the gas… There is a responsibility to get the whole SEND system working, wherever those people are in the country".
The SEND Summit, hosted by London Leadership Strategy on behalf of the Whole School SEND Consortium, brought together individuals and organisations from across the sector to contribute to a series of roundtable discussions on key issues in SEND provision, with the aim of identifying and sharing good practice and driving policy going forward. Chair of the Whole School SEND Consortium Anita Kerwin Nye said “The core point of the consortium is this: If some areas are doing it well that almost certainly means that other or all areas can do it well. I think that’s what we have to assume in the system.”
The event marked 9 months since the publication of the SEND Review Guide, a free review tool part-funded by the Department for Education and developed by London Leadership Strategy to enable schools to review their SEND provision. The SEND Review guide has since received 3000 downloads and is being used in more than 50 UK Local Authorities and 72 countries worldwide. The foreword from Edward Timpson can be found here. Further projects in development include a SEND Review: Classroom Practice, SEND Review: Deploying Teaching Assistants and SEND Review: Preparing for Adulthood.
The Whole School SEND Consortium, powered by LLS, is a coalition of schools and school practitioners, charities, policy influencers, parents, carers and young people committed to improving outcomes for learners with SEND.
London Leadership Strategy (LLS) is a not-for-profit organisation run and led by serving head teachers which aims to improve educational outcomes for all children and young people.