New arrangements for supporting Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
This September there will be many changes to the law for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The new laws will result in changes to the way you and your child receive support from your local council, health and social care services and your child’s nursery, school or college. What will this mean to you?
A better family centred approach
Many parents have welcomed the changes the new laws bring, particularly the greater focus on personal goals, increased family involvement and improved rights and protections for young people. These changes are not about cutting costs but about creating a better system that puts you and your child first. The changes will be gradually introduced over the next three and a half years.
From Statement to Education, Health Care Plans
Statements of special educational needs are being replaced with a single education, health and care plan for your children and young people. The EHC plan will place much more emphasis on personal goals and will describe the support your child will receive whilst they are in education. Personal budgets will also be introduced to give parents more control over the support you and your child receive. The amount you will be given and how it can be spent is something that you would agree with the school.
From School Action and School Action Plus to Additional SEN Support
For children with less complex needs but who still require help a new system called additional SEN support is being introduced. This process will be similar but it will be less about counting the hours or resources given and more about what the child has achieved as a result.
Moving to the new system
If your child already has a statement of special needs they will be transferred to the new system within the next three and a half years. The transfer is likely to happen around transition points in the child’s schooling e.g. when they move from primary to secondary school.
If your child currently receives help through School Action or School Action Plus, the transfer to Additional SEN support will take place between September 2014 and Spring 2015.
Concerns about losing support
Some parents have expressed a concern about their child losing support. I can assure you, your child will not be left without support because of these changes.
I hope this letter answers some of your questions about the changes. There will hopefully be improved coordination between local authorities, healthcare and education providers. We will publish our ‘local offer’ on our website which lists support and services that you can access under the new system.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Hutchings.