The SEND Green paper is a long awaited response to the Goverment SEND Review that was carried out in 2019. A summary of the review can be read here Summary Version

The SEND review was a wide ranging look at how the SEND Reforms of 2014 had been implemented. It was tabled before parliament shortly before the pandemic which is why it’s taken so long for the goverment to respond with the Green Paper.

What is a Green Paper? A Green Paper is a proposal, or a discussion, which is still at a formative stage.

The Green Paper takes into account the SEND Review that raised a number of concerns about SEND.

The reforms to the SEND system introduced in 2014 had the right aspirations and since then there has been much to celebrate. It is clear that the system is driven by a hardworking and dedicated workforce. However, despite examples of good practice, too often the experiences and outcomes of children and young people are poor. Parents and carers are frustrated at having to navigate an increasingly complex and adversarial system. Growing tension across the system is causing delays in accessing support and increasing fnancial challenges for local government. ……… Green Paper 2022

If you’d like to read the full Green Paper you can by visiting this goverment site. click here SEND Review

The headlines of the Green Paper are:

There are three key challenges facing the SEND system

Challenge 1: outcomes for children and young people with SEN or in alternative provision are poor.

Challenge 2: navigating the SEND system and alternative provision is not a positive experience for children, young people and their families

Challenge 3: despite unprecedented investment, the system is not delivering value for money for children, young people and families

“A vicious cycle of late intervention, low confidence and inefficient resource allocation is driving these challenges.” – Green Paper 2022

The headlines of the proposals are:

  • A single national SEND system
  • New local SEND partnerships
  • Mandating the use of local multi-agency panels to improve parental confidence in the Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment process
  • Standardise EHCPs to ensure consistent access to specialist provision
  • Digitise EHCPs to reduce bureaucracy
  • Propose to amend the process for naming a place within an EHCP
  • Propose to strengthen earlier redress through clear national standards and the introduction of mandatory mediation
  • Identify need at the earliest opportunity in high-quality early years provision
  • A new SENCo qualification
  • Investment in high-quality specialist placements where needed
  • By 2030, every specialist setting can benefit from being part of a strong trust

Whilst all the proposals have alot of additional information, the majority of the proposals don’t have any details as to how they would work. For instance the proposal to ‘digitise EHC Plans’ doesn’t expand on whether this would be a national digital system, or LA’s would source their own system. It doesn’t expand to detail whether this means parents and carers would have digital access, or if the digitised part is just to compile the EHC Plan. So, information we have, detail we don’t.

A Green Paper is an opportunity for the government to consult on proposals, which may then become a White Paper.

What is a White paper? White Papers are issued by the Government as statements of policy, and often set out proposals for legislative changes.

The Green Paper consultation is based mainly around a set of questions on the proposals. The consultation is open until 1st July. The consultations questions can be answered by anyone.

How will Bolton Parent Carers Respond?

Bolton Parent Carers will submit a response to the consultation questions, we will use our local knowledge to answer the questions, and we will also run some polls during June to help us understand how parents feel about the consutation questions to help us formulate our responses.

In addition this, we will work with our local National Representatives of the NNPCF (National Network of Parent Carer Forums) who will be responding directly to the Green Paper.

We are also coproducing the Bolton Local Authority response to the Green paper consutation.

Do we think the Green Paper will effect changes to the SEND system?

Hopefully. The SEND review definitely picked up on the issues that parents face, and that can’t be denied. Whether any changes that come to the system will be strongh enough to make actual positive change will only be seen in time, and will need goverment investment. The Green Paper provides many questions, probably more than answers due to the lack of detail, but there does seem to be a focus on key areas, ie SEN Support that we do believe needs attention. We also don’t know the timeframe for next steps. The consultation is open until 1st July, and a White Paper will follow, an ammeded SEND Code of Practice will follow. So nothing is changing soon.

If you would like to read the full Paper and maybe complete your own consutation response visit

We will ensure your voices are heard!