Councils are to receive £45 million of new funding to help prepare for the biggest transformation of special educational needs and disabilities support in over 30 years.
The new money will support councils in giving young people and parents greater say over their personalised care and assistance. It will also put in place a new birth-to-25 system for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
The government has also today published a new easier-to-read code of practice, which offers practical advice for councils, schools and hospitals to ensure they are providing the new support for these children and young people.
Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson, said:
It’s more important than ever that councils put the pedal to the floor and redouble their efforts to make sure all families can benefit from this comprehensive support from September.
Over 2,000 families have been testing our reforms, with many saying that the new rules are already giving them a greater say and more control over how and where they access support.
The additional £45 million we’re giving councils today will help ensure a smooth transition for everyone.
The new code of practice sets out in one place the legal requirements that councils, schools and other organisations that support children and young people with SEND must follow.
Studies have found that the majority of parents piloting the new system feel more empowered and are happier with the services they are receiving. Councils are also making good progress in laying the groundwork for the new system.
The reforms - part of the Children and Families Act - will:
- replace statements and learning disability assessments with a new birth-to-25 education, health and care plan - setting out in one place all the support families will receive
- require better co-operation between councils and health services to make sure services for children and young people with SEND are jointly planned and commissioned
- give parents and young people with education, health and care plans the offer of a personal budget - putting families firmly in charge
- see councils publish a ‘local offer’ showing the support available to all disabled children and young people and their families in the area - and those with special educational needs
- introduce mediation for disputes and trial giving children and young people the right to appeal if they are unhappy with their support
- introduce a new legal right for children and young people with an education, health and care plan to express a preference for state academies, free schools and further education colleges
Notes to Editors
The new code was recently published for consultation, with the overwhelming majority of respondents positive about the new guidance and reporting that it is significantly clearer and accessible. The code will be subject to parliamentary approval. Read the new code of practice.
Read more about the Children and Families Act.
The pathfinder evaluation reports ‘Evaluation of the green paper support contracts’ and ‘Evaluation of the SEND pathfinder programme’ along with examples of education, health and care plans from the local pathfinders are available on the SEND pathfinder website.