Government consulting on SEND and AP proposals in new green paper

9 May 2022

The government has launched a consultation on its new green paper looking at the future of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provisions (AP) in England.

The Department for Education’s green paper, “SEND Review: right support, right place, right time”, sets out proposed reforms to address three key challenges:

  • poor outcomes for children and young people with SEN or in alternative provision
  • navigating the SEND system and alternative provision is not a positive experience for children, young people, and their families and;
  • making sure the system delivers value for money for children, young people and families.

The DfE says in the introduction: “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.”

Among the proposed reforms within the green paper are:

  • establish a new national SEND and alternative provision system setting nationally consistent standards for how needs are identified and met at every stage of a child’s journey across education, health and care
  • review and update the SEND Code of Practice to ensure it reflects the new national standards to promote nationally consistent systems, processes and provision
  • establish new local SEND partnerships, bringing together education (including alternative provision), health and care partners with local government and other partners to produce a local inclusion plan setting out how each local area will meet the national standards
  • consult on the introduction of a new SENCo National Professional Qualfication (NPQ) for school SENCos and increase the number of staff with an accredited Level 3 SENCo qualification in early years settings to improve SEND expertise
  • make alternative provision an integral part of local SEND systems by requiring the new local SEND partnerships to plan and deliver an alternative provision service focused on early intervention
  • give alternative provision schools the funding stability to deliver a service focused on early intervention by requiring local authorities to create and distribute an alternative provision-specific budget


Prospect’s Education and Children’s Services Group, led by the Group Executive Council, is currently examining the green paper in detail before submitting its formal response to the consultation.

If you have any feedback on the proposals that you wish to share, please email: [email protected] 

The public consultation runs until July 2022.

Education and children's services

Prospect represents nearly 3,000 professionals in education, children's services, early years, commissioning and children's social care.