Evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Green Paper Pathfinder Programme 2011-15


Client: Department for Education (DfE)

In October 2011, the Department for Education (DfE) introduced the SEND pathfinders programme to improve the support available to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. SQW was commissioned by the DfE to lead a consortium to undertake a longitudinal evaluation of the SEND Green Paper Pathfinder Programme.

The evaluation is seeking to understand the process involved in setting up and delivering the Pathfinder, and the outputs, outcomes and impacts that are experienced by families and agencies including what has worked, for whom, in what context and why. The evaluation was also expanded to include: the piloting of SEN Direct Payments, involving assessing the level of demand from families for SEN Direct Payments, the benefits that they experienced, the practicalities of introducing SEN Direct Payments and the implications for wider provision; and a high level evaluation of local area readiness to meet the 2014 SEN reforms and the six Green Paper Support Contracts, that were commissioned by the DfE to build the capacity of local areas to deliver effective services to children and young people with SEN and disabilities and their families.

The findings of the evaluation will be communicated on a regular basis through a series of quarterly reports to DfE.

Reports detailing the process and implementation, and impact evaluation findings associated with the SEND Pathfinder Programme over its first eighteen months, and the complementary high level evaluation of the Green Paper support contracts are available to download below.

A series of thematic case studies are also being produced as part of the evaluation of phase two of the Pathfinder Programme (April 13 – Mar 14), each of which will focus on a distinct topic. The first two of this series have now been completed – Key Working and Workforce Development, and the Education Health and Care Planning Pathway for Newcomers to the SEN System – and are available to download below.