Evaluations of the SEND pathfinders

Written by SQW and DfEDate 30 Jul 2015

In April 2013, the Department for Education appointed a number of local authorities as pathfinder champions to help non-pathfinder areas prepare for the SEND reforms.

They did this through a mix of regional events, workshops, and one-to-one support, as well as self-evaluation and planning tools.

The department commissioned an independent evaluation of the pathfinder programme to find out if the different approaches taken:

  • increase choice and control and improve outcomes for families from a range of backgrounds
  • make the current support system clearer, less confrontational and bureaucratic
  • use the voluntary sector to make the assessment process more independent
  • give value for money

The independent evaluation, together with lessons learned from the pathfinders, has helped to draft the legislation and will support national implementation of the reforms. You can access all of the pathfinder evaluation's, reports and materials using the link below.

The final final report on the pathfinder programme was published in July 2015. The evaluation describes and analyses the work done to develop new approaches to delivering Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans across 31 local authorities. The report looked at families’ experience of the new system, the impact on perceptions on satisfaction, fairness and outcomes and the cost effectiveness of the new approach. You can download the report using the links below.