Every child deserves a fair start in life, with the very best opportunity to succeed. Currently, life chances for the approximately two million children and young people in England who are identified as having a special educational need (SEN), or who are disabled, are disproportionately poor.

Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability makes wide-ranging proposals to respond to the frustrations of children and young people, their families and the professionals who work with them.

The vision for reform set out in this Green Paper includes wide ranging proposals to improve outcomes for children and young people who are disabled or have SEN, minimise the adversarial nature of the system for families and maximise value for money.

This publication marks the start of a four month period of consultation and a period of testing proposals in local areas from September 2011. The Department will work across government and with local and national partners to set out detailed plans by the end of the year.

The consultation will run from 9 March to 30 June, and the Department welcomes your views on the proposals.

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Visit the DfE website for more information


  • Introduction
  • Early identification and assessment
  • Giving parents control
  • Learning and achieving
  • Preparing for adulthood
  • Services working together for families
  • Next steps
  • Consultation questions
  • How to get involved