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Children and Families Minister faces questions on new SEND Improvement Plan

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 The Education Committee will question Claire Coutinho, Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing in the second session on the Government’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan.  

The Improvement Plan was published a year after the Department for Education launched its SEND Review and public consultation on several of its proposals.  

The cross-party Committee will question the Minister and a senior DfE official on the decision to keep collecting evidence on the plan, rather than focus on what could be improved now, despite widespread concerns that change is needed urgently. MPs may also ask about changes to the funding system, measures to improve accountability within the SEND system and concerns over the lack of detail in the new National Standards.  

The Committee has previously heard that the Government plans to include a stand- alone SEND Subsection in level 3 early years qualifications, and they may question the Minister on what further steps will be taken to ensure the early years workforce is sufficiently equipped to care for children with SEND.  

MPs may also discuss the adequacy of post-16 provisions for young people with SEND, and concerns that the new wave of special schools will not be enough to meet excessive demand post-pandemic. There are also concerns about how the Government will assess the outcomes of its SEND and AP Improvement Plan in the long term to ensure it is realised.   

Witnesses from 10:00      

  • Claire Coutinho, Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing 
  • Alison Ismail, Director for Special Educational Needs & Disability and Alternative Provision at the Department for Education

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