The law governing Special Educational Needs and Disability changed in September 2014 when the Children and Families Act was implemented. The changes are designed to give families, children and young people more choice and control over what happens to them and give their views and wishes much more importance.
The changes mean that:
- Existing Statements of SEN will be transferred to an Education, Health and Care Plan over the next three years. In Hartlepool, EHC Plans are known as ONE Plans and are meant to cover ALL of the education, health and social care support required by a child or young person;
- ONE Plans can remain in place until a young person reaches the age of 25, if they still require specialist education support;
- Personal budgets have now been extended beyond social care direct payments, into education and health support;
- The Local Authority must publish information about services and how to access them in a Local Offer.
At the same time as the Children and Families Act was introduced, the Department for Education published a new SEND Code of Practice. This provides schools, local authorities and others with practical guidance about how to implement the new law. There is also a guide for parents, which you can access here:
SEND – A Guide for Parents and Carers