Introduction to Phase One of the DBV in SEND programme

The Department for Education (DfE), in collaboration with Newton Europe and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), is working to deliver Phase One of the programme over a two-year period.

The Programme is currently in ‘Phase One’ and the information shared through this website pertains to Phase One only.

Illustration of a group of young people interacting

The programme comprises two phases:

Phase One (Diagnostic)

55 local areas which have opted to participate in the initiative are being supported to identify the highest impact changes that can be made to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND, and to optimise the use of finances. In Phase One, each local authority receives dedicated technical support and funding to help identify opportunities for improvement with their partners. They will then create a plan to deliver the improvements across their local system.

Once local areas have developed their improvement plan, they will move into Phase Two.

In addition to the above, Phase One of the programme will:

  • Collate good practice in delivering services for children and young people with SEND. It is envisaged that all local areas nationally will be able to access these learnings.
  • Aggregate data and evidence across all local areas in the programme to understand consistent themes and challenges and inform future policy.

Phase Two (Implementation)

Local authorities and their partners will deliver the plans to realise improvements for their local area. It is expected that the implementation plans developed by each local area in Phase One will build on existing initiatives and address underlying challenges in each area’s SEND system.

Participant testimonials

Local areas participating in Phase One have provided feedback on their experiences of the programme.

"The case reviews on Monday might be one of the best things I've ever done in my career in education ... I want to replicate this exercise with the entire team as it was so valuable."

Assistant Director in SEND

Participating local authority

"I benefited personally from working with Newton's specialist to learn new skills, reflect on my own practice and have the space for legitimate collaboration because the DBV programme had gravitas that meant l could prioritise the work. We've adopted the case reviews as business as usual with our next event scheduled for April. Thank you for helping us on our journey to move from good to outstanding services for children and young people with special educational needs and their families."

Assistant Director SEN & Education Psychology

Participating local authority

"We always embark on these types of conversations with trepidation, but it's been a really good conversation. I feel really enthused and energised by the approach, it sounds like there's some real support coming our way so thank you."

Education Improvement Consultant

Participating local authority

"The diagnostic has been very valuable and has created momentum across the partnership. Both Newton and our DfE Advisor have given us excellent support. The data and deep dives have supported us in presenting an objective reality to partners and this has been, and will continue to be, very useful and powerful."

Head of Service, SEND Transformation

Participating local authority

"I wasn’t going to come and only did because someone dropped out, but I’m so glad I did because this has been so useful."


Participating local area

“We always embark on these type of conversations with trepidation, but it’s been a really good conversation. I feel really enthused and energised by the approach, it sounds like there’s some real support coming our way so thank you.”

Education Improvement Consultant,

Participating Local Authority

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