Earlier today, the Department published Invitations to Tender for two new contracts to support the ongoing delivery of the SEND reforms over the next two years:

  • A contract supporting strategic participation by children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and parents (LDSG (SEND) 18-19/02).    
  • A contract providing strategic support to the workforce in mainstream and special schools (LDSG (SEND) 18-19/03).

Information on how to request the Invitations to Tender can be found on the Contract Finder website at the links below:

Strategic participation:  https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/1f9fc153-7901-45a0-bed0-7d0357693216

Workforce: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/5df96cf3-b759-4526-bb1e-f54bb02d9cda

In view of the festive season, the timescale for bids to be prepared has been extended; bids should be submitted (both electronically and in hard copy) by 10 am on Monday 29 January. 

In addition, the Department is also planning to publish an Invitation to Tender for a contract providing for information, advice and support to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and parents. We expect further information to be available shortly. 

On 5 December 2017, the DfE sent out the following update e-mail:

From: IMPLEMENTATION, SEN <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 5 December 2017 at 12:01
Subject: Updates from the Department for Education and Department for Health


In this update we have included:

  1. An invitation to respond to the consultation on mental health launched in a green paper published yesterday by the Department for Health and the Department for Education.
  2. Details of a consultation on raising concerns and making complaints about health, social care or education. This involves a survey for children, young people and adults with a learning disability, autism or both, their families and paid carers.
  3. Details of recommendations for the UK made by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Please do forward this email onto anyone in your organisation or networks who you think might have an interest in these developments.

1. An invitation to respond to the consultation on mental health from the Department for Health and the Department for Education in a green paper

Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision: a Green Paper is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paper; with the consultation mini-site at https://engage.dh.gov.uk/youngmentalhealth/. Please do let us have your views by submitting a response to the consultation. The deadline for replies is 2 March 2018.

The text of a Written Ministerial Statement announcing the publication is at http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-12-04/HCWS306/.

The press release below contains further details.



  • New measures signal a fundamental shift in mental health support, with over £300 million funding available
  • Training for senior designated mental health leads in schools to improve prevention work
  • Earlier access to services through the creation of new Mental Health Support Teams working in and directly with schools
  • New four week waiting time for NHS children and young people’s mental health services to be piloted

Children in England will be able to access mental health support at school or college under Government proposals to transform services for young people. The Government [on 4 December] set out ambitious plans in a green paper to increase mental health support and provide earlier access to services, with over £300 million funding available to take the proposals forward.

The announcement delivers on the Government’s manifesto commitment to a green paper focussed on action to support the mental health of children and young people. As the Prime Minister has set out, this is one of the burning injustices which holds people back from achieving their true potential.

 Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

"Around half of all mental illness starts before the age of 14 so it is vital children get support as soon as they need it - in the classroom. If we catch mental ill health early we can treat it and stop it turning into something more serious.

"These ambitious new plans will work with schools to make sure this happens, as well as reducing waiting times for the most severe cases."

Education Secretary Justine Greening said:

“We want every young person to grow up feeling confident about themselves and their future - but too often mental health issues can have a lifelong impact and affect their performance at school, careers and ultimately their life opportunities

“There are great examples of schools and colleges across the country already playing a vital role in supporting students’ wellbeing and mental health. We want that kind of excellence to become the norm and these proposals will help deliver that by strengthening the links between schools and the experts who can give young people the support they need.”

Under the plans every school and college in England will be incentivised to appoint a designated senior lead for mental health to co-ordinate existing school-based support as well as helping children to access specialist therapies and other NHS treatments if they need them.

Supported by a training package of up to £95 million from 2019, the senior leads will also be responsible for developing a “whole school approach” to mental health and wellbeing – including making sure pastoral support is available for all pupils and that strong policies are in place to reduce bullying and other behaviours that can cause mental distress.

A further £215 million will be available to create new Mental Health Support Teams which will improve join-up between schools and the NHS. The teams will provide a wider range of support and treatments in or near schools and colleges, to improve earlier intervention to so mental health problems can be addressed before they become too serious. Several thousand people are expected to be recruited over the next five years to form these new teams, which could be trained to offer Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based treatments in the classroom.

Supervised by clinicians they will also work closely with educational psychologists, school nurses, counsellors, social workers and others to assess and refer children for other specialist treatments if necessary.

Other measures set out in the Green Paper include:

  • Ensuring every primary and secondary school in the country is offered mental health awareness training.
  • Ensuring teaching all pupils about mental health and wellbeing is a focus of our work to improve the quality of relationships education and PSHE.
  • A new working group to look at mental health support for 16-25 year olds.
  • Commissioning further research to fill evidence gaps across children’s mental health, including understanding how better to support vulnerable families.

The consultation on the green paper will run for approximately 13 weeks. The Department of Health and Department for Education will run a number of roundtables and focus groups to ensure maximum engagement.

 Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said

"We're facing a mental health crisis in our classrooms, and right now far too many children are not getting the support that they need. Too often we hear from young people who have started to self-harm, become suicidal, or dropped out of school while waiting for the right help.

"We are very pleased to see the Government recognise the fundamental importance that schools play in building resilience of their pupils and intervening early when problems do emerge. So we welcome the green paper's proposals to introduce mental health leads in every school, as well as mental health support teams to offer support within schools as early as possible.

"The ambition for a four week waiting time is also welcome. Long waits have a devastating impact on young people and their families, and currently only one in four young people with mental health problems get the help they need. Now it is crucial that services are given the resource to match the true scale of need, so that all children and young people in need of mental health support are able to get it."

2. Consultation on raising concerns and making complaints about health, social care or education

The Department for Health has also launched a survey of the views of children, young people and adults with a learning disability, autism or both, their families and paid carers about people’s experiences of raising concerns and making complaints. This closes on 12 January 2018.

For further details please see the attached flyer and the consultation site https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/survey/ask-listen-do/.

3. Recommendations for the UK made by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities concluded its Periodic Examination of the UK’s compliance with the Convention in the summer. The Committee’s Concluding Observations can be found at http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRPD%2fC%2fGBR%2fCO%2f1&Lang=en.

Recommendations relating specifically to education are at paragraphs 20, 21 and 46-53.

Link to helpful app developed by Ofqual for those interested in finding out about vocational and technical qualifications:


The Government today announced a package of support worth nearly £45 million to provide additional help for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Minister for Children and Families Robert Goodwill confirmed the additional funding for councils and organisations to continue transforming SEN provision and put families at the heart of the system.

The reforms which began in 2014 introduced Education, Health and Care plans which are tailored to the individual needs of the child or young person.

In addition to the funding to bolster the roll out of these reforms, a new £9.7million fund has been set up to create new supported internships, helping to bridge the gap for some of the most vulnerable young people between education and employment. The announcement has been welcomed by the National Children’s Bureau.

Minister for Children and Families Robert Goodwill said:

We have taken action to fundamentally reform support for children with special educational needs, making sure that families are at the heart of the process and care plans are tailored to individuals – and our survey of parents tells us that this has made a difference to so many of these families.

Councils are making encouraging progress, but there is still work to be done to fully embed this improved system across education, health and care sectors.

That’s why I am pleased to announce this additional investment for councils and other groups who have been instrumental in getting us to this positive stage. Their hard work is raising the aspirations of these young people and giving them access to the same opportunities as their peers, helping them fulfill their full potential as adults.

The package of funding announced today includes:

·        £29 million to support councils and their local partners to continue pressing ahead with implementation of the reforms to the SEND system;

·        £9.7 million to establish local supported internship forums, which will create work placements for young people with SEND to provide them with the skills and confidence they need to move into paid work. The funding could also be used to train job coaches, who are vital to the success of supporting those with learning difficulties into paid work; and

·        £4.6 million for Parent Carer Forums, which bring parents together with local decision makers and help to provide them with a voice in the process.

Department of Health and Department of Education have jointly commissioned new guidance reducing the need for restraint and restrictive intervention for children and young people with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorder and mental health difficulties. We are consulting on the draft which was produced for us by the Council for Disabled Children (CDC), until 24 January 2018.

This guidance replaces:

  • Guidance for Restrictive Physical Interventions: How to provide safe services for people with Learning Disabilities and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (2002, DfES and DH); and
  • Guidance on the Use of Restrictive Physical Interventions for Pupils with Severe Behavioural Difficulties (2003, DfES and DH).

We welcome your views by 24 January 2018.

Here is a link to the consultation on gov.uk where you’ll find the draft guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/restraint-and-restrictive-intervention-draft-guidance

NB this site then points to a further link where you can participate in the survey: https://consultations.dh.gov.uk/dementia-and-disabilities/reducing-the-need-for-restraint/  

The new guidance applies to all health care commissioned by the NHS, children’s homes and special schools and colleges. Please pass on this notice to colleagues and organisations who will have an interest.  Please can local authorities pass this on to special schools within your area.


The department has today published “Good intentions, good enough?” https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/residential-special-schools-and-colleges-support-for-children, an independent report into the experiences and outcomes of children and young people in residential special schools and colleges.

In December 2016, ministers commissioned Dame Christine Lenehan to lead an independent review into these schools and colleges. Dame Christine, a social worker by background, asked Mark Geraghty, chief executive of the Seashell Trust, which runs an outstanding residential special school and college, to co-chair the review.

The review, informed by a call for evidence and fieldwork visits to schools, colleges, local authorities and other services, found that:

  • Some children and young people in specialist residential placements can have negative experiences earlier in their education prior to seeking residential placements
  • Some LAs are reluctant to use residential provision, even when they lack a viable alternative placement. This is partly because it can be more expensive, but also because some are hostile toward independent/non-maintained providers. As a result, families felt they had to fight to access these placements
  • While experiences in residential placements tend to be good, outcomes are sometimes not as good as they could be, with some providers prioritising wellbeing over educational progress

The report contains a series of recommendations for government and other agencies, focusing on:

  • ensuring children and young people with SEND get the services and support they need in their local community (in mainstream or special provision)
  • ensuring that local areas have planned and commissioned provision strategically, so that it is available when required
  • ensuring the accountability and school improvement systems enable schools and colleges to achieve the best possible outcomes

In her letter of response to the review https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/657419/SoS_letter.pdf, the Secretary of State welcomed its findings, and committed to publishing a full response to its recommendations in Spring 2018. In the interim, to demonstrate the department’s commitment to the findings of the review, she announced that:

  • As recommended by the review, the department will establish a national leadership board for children and young people with high needs
  • As recommended by the review, the department is publishing updated visiting guidance for local areas (see below for more information)
  • To help schools and colleges support children and young people with SEND, the department is announcing the publication of a new interactive ‘what works’ resource for those working with these children and young people (see below for more information).


Details on the Institute of Teaching which have been launched by the Secretary of State for Education

The SEND Implementation team published the following information today, 26th October 2017:

SEND - single route of redress national trial

Guides for Head teachers and parent/carers on exclusions

Rochford Review recommendations

Pre-key stage standards review

Pilot of the 7 aspects of engagment for cognition and learning

OfSTED and CQC inspections

Information from the Transforming Care programme