SEND and Alternative Provision Review (England) The consultation on the SEND Review is now open. The DfE in England is seeking views from parents, children and young people, education professionals and other interested groups on the proposals in the recently published SEND and alternative provision green paper. Adoption UK has created a short questionnaire to gather members’ views on some of the key questions. This questionnaire will be open until 4 July 2022. Adoption UK questionnaire for parents, guardians and carers You may also wish to complete the full DfE consultation online You can access the associated materials, including the full report, an easy-read version and a guide for children and young people on the DfE’s website here. This consultation will close on 22 July 2022. Adoption UK’s Response Adoption UK will be submitting a response to the consultation which will focus on the issues that particularly affect families with children who are care-experienced and also have SEND. To ensure that our response reflects the views and experiences of Adoption UK members as fully as possible, we have prepared a short questionnaire for parents, guardians and carers. The results of the questionnaire will be used as part of Adoption UK’s consultation response. This questionnaire will be open until 4 July 2022 and should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete. Complete Adoption UK’s SEND Review questionnaire Completing the SEND Review Consultation The full consultation includes two sets of questions – a set for parents, guardians, carers, and professionals, and a separate set for children and young people. To access the questions for children and young people, use the link to the main consultation page (above), and select ‘a child/young person’ for question (f) of the ‘About You Section’. After pressing ‘continue’ at the bottom of this section, the questions for children and young people will appear. Selecting any other option for question (f) will direct you to the full consultation response. There are seven questions for children and young people. They focus on the types of support children need and who should be involved in making decisions about support. There is a question about the format of EHCPs, as well as a question about apprenticeships and one about alternative provision. The full consultation for parents and professionals includes 22 main questions (after gathering information about you as a respondent) covering key issues from the SEND Review report. These questions are open-ended with space to write a response of up to 250 words for each question. Not all of the questions will be relevant for all respondents, and each family will have their own experience of navigating the SEND system. However, Adoption UK has identified several areas where the intersection of care-experience and SEND may be more relevant. Question 5 is about the proposal that local authorities will create a tailored list of settings for parents to choose from as the named provision on the EHCP. In your response you may wish to consider the importance of transparency concerning who creates the list and the criteria for choosing the settings on the list. It could be relevant to consider whether there are any suitable settings in your locality that have the expertise to support children who have experienced trauma, and whether those creating lists of settings will have the expertise required to identify appropriate provision for a child with complex needs that include a history of trauma. You may consider it important to reserve the right to request a setting that is not included in the local authority’s list, including an independent setting if necessary. Question 6 is about the proposal to introduce mandatory mediation in the event of a dispute. In your response you may wish to comment on the importance of all professionals receiving specific training in the needs of care-experienced children who may have experienced trauma in order that all parts of the process, including any mediation, proceed with a full understanding of the impact of adverse early experiences on children’s educational journey. Question 8 is about strengthening SEND support in early years provision. In your response, you may wish to highlight that the average age for children to be adopted is around three years old, and comment on the additional challenges created where children are moving to a new family, transferring between early years settings and becoming known to professionals who are not familiar with their history. If there is to be a move towards a more ‘joined up’ approach to identifying and supporting SEND in early years, the range of professionals involved where children are on early permanence or pre-adoption placement, or are recently adopted will be wider than for most children and this will need to be taken into consideration. Question 12 is about supporting young people with SEND into apprenticeships. In your response, you may wish to note that Pupil Premium Plus funding for adopted and previously looked after children does not continue into post-16 education and that there is no priority access to school or college places for previously looked after young people moving to post-16 provision (including sixth forms).