In October 2011, we set up 20 trials with 31 local authorities to test the proposals in the SEND green paper. The aim is to improve the support available to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
The proposals we are testing include the introduction of a new single assessment process, an education, health and care (EHC) plan and personal budgets for children, young people and families with SEND.
On 13 June 2013 we launched the first in a series of introductory pathfinder information packs, bringing together emerging principles, materials and case studies from the pathfinder programme. We will be updating the packs regularly and plan to publish new packs every 2 months.
Evaluation of the SEND pathfinders
The department commissioned an independent evaluation of the pathfinder programme to find out if the different approaches taken:
increase choice and control and improve outcomes for families from a range of backgrounds
make the current support system clearer, less confrontational and bureaucratic
use the voluntary sector to make the assessment process more independent
give value for money
The independent evaluation, together with lessons learned from the pathfinders, has helped to draft the legislation and will support national implementation of the reforms.
In April 2013, we appointed pathfinder champions to help non-pathfinder areas prepare for the SEND reforms through a mix of regional events, workshops, and one-to-one support, as well as self-evaluation and planning tools.
This letter explains how the pathfinder champions can help local authorities to implement the reforms in their area.