The BBC is reporting that reforms aimed to give children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and their parents a greater say in the support they receive have come into effect in England…
Under the “simpler and more joined up” system stretching from birth to age 25, “education, health and care plans” replace special needs statements.
The government said it was “a landmark moment” for children with SEN.
Parents can now express a preference for a greater range of schools.
Up to now, the parents of a child with a special educational needs had to ask the local education authority to complete an assessment. The most severe cases received a special needs statement, a formal document outlining the child’s learning difficulties and support to be given, which was enforceable by law.
The new system incorporates health and care needs alongside educational ones, with an individual worker and single budget for each family.
The changes were set out in the Children and Families Act, which became law in March.
Children and families minister Edward Timpson said the reforms “put children and parents at the heart of the system”…
A new legal right lets those with an education, health and care statement express a preference to attend an academy, free school or further education college.
Mainstream or special schools were the only previous options.
Councils must now publish a “local offer” outlining the support available to all children and young people with disabilities and their families.
And the reforms have introduced mediation for disputes with local authorities as well as a trial of a new appeals system for those who are unhappy with the support they have received…
Your thoughts on these reforms for children with special educational needs? Are they a step in the right direction? Are schools ready to implement them properly? Please give us your insights in the comments or via Twitter…
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