Strategic Reform Partner for SEND

As the Strategic Reform Partner for SEND to the Department for Education we provide expert advice, support sector engagement, and develop guidance and practical tools to support the sector.

CDC has been Strategic Reform Partner to the Department for Education since 2013 and we are continuing to build on this work through a 3 year contract until March 2025. We are part of a network of organisations who have been funded by Government to provide a programme of support to the sector focused on embedding the duties set out in the Children and Families Act 2014. 

Our role this year focuses on several key elements:

Expert Advice to the DfE

Part of our role includes providing policy and practice advice to government on SEN and disability and highlighting issues relating to implementation and embedding of the duties set out in the Children and Families Act 2014 alongside a range of related legislation and policy e.g. Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019.

Creating opportunities for Sector engagement

As the umbrella body for the disabled children's sector we have a membership of over 350 VCS organisations as well as our wider sector networks which include local authorities, public health bodies and professional bodies. In addition to providing opportunities for DfE to regularly engage with these groups we also facilitate a range of regular and bespoke engagement opportunities including:

  • SEND Joint Ministerial Roundtable
  • Sector Insights and Impact Meetings
  • Online communities of practice 
  • The SEND and AP Improvement Plan
Bespoke Projects, Information and Resources

We work across different national programmes to facilitate and share learning including such as the DfE funded Short Breaks Innovation Programme. We also work with the sector to develop learning examples on the following key themes:

  • Good joint working between education, health and care;
  • Strong early intervention including good wraparound support from health and care for pupils on SEN support; 
  • Effective management of the EHCP process, leading to high quality EHC plans and improved outcomes for children and families;
  • Effective preparation for adulthood including progression in HE/FE/employment;
  • Inclusive education.

We also develop bespoke tools and resources for professionals across education, health and social care and work with children, young people and parent carers to create resources and toolkits that explain how the SEND system works.

Representing England in Europe

We also act as the national coordinator for England to the European Agency for Special Educational Needs and Inclusion