Special Educational Needs SEN

Introduction to the Children
and Families Act 2014
Laxmi Patel
12 June 2014
Children and Families Act 2014
Part 3:
Children and young people
in England with SEN
(special educational needs)
New regulations and guidance
• All are currently in draft form
• New Code of Practice
• Various draft regulations on appeals, local
offers, pilot schemes on appeals by children
Education, Health and Care Plans
• One document replaces Statements and LDA’s
0-25 years
• It ‘may’ list provision in all three areas
• Only education sections can be challenged to
the tribunal
What are EHC Plans?
• EHC Needs Assessment – is an assessment
of “educational, health care and social care
needs of a child or young person” s36(2)
• EHC Plan where “it is necessary for SEP to
be made” s37(1)
What are EHC Plans?
The Plan must specify SEN, outcomes, SEP,
any health and social care provision reasonably
required by the learning difficulties and
disabilities which result in the SEN
How long do EHC Plans last?
• May last from birth to the end of the
academic year during which the young
person reaches 25 s46
• Will stop where the child or young person
no longer needs the SEP in the plan s45
Time scales
• Whole assessment from request to end must
be max 20 weeks subject to exemptions
• Response to request for EHC assessment –
max six weeks
• LA request for information – must respond
within six weeks
Time scales
• If following assessment the LA decides not to
issue EHC they must inform parents within
16 weeks
• Parents/young people must be given 15 days
to respond on draft
Drafting of EHC and
responsibility for provision
• Need to be clear: SMART
• What it should contain
(para 7.9 draft CoP)
(guidance p103-104 draft CoP)
• Responsibility of provision – if SEN, ultimately
lies with LA (para 7.19 draft CoP)
Implementing the EHC
• Duty to admit if named: maintained school,
academy, FE institution, non-maintained
special school, institution approved by SoS
under s41
• Duty on LA to “secure SEP” and on CCG to
arrange health care s42
Implementing the EHC
LA must name a mainstream placement
unless the child or parent does not want this
or if it affects the efficient education for others
AND no reasonable steps can be taken to
prevent that incompatibility s33
Review of the EHC Plans
• Under five years – review every 3-6 months
• Over five years – review annually
• Review date on transfer remains 15 February
Ceasing EHC Plans
• Post 18 - stops once in higher education
• 16 or over - if working (excluding
apprenticeships) then EHC will
automatically stop
New Code of Practice
• SEN CoP – 0-25 years: still in draft
• Provides guidance on how education,
health and social care will work together
New Code of Practice
• School Action/Action Plus replaced by a
graduated response
• Critics say less detailed
• Involve specialists where child makes little
or no progress over sustained period
FE Colleges
• Duty on FE college to admit student if named
in EHC plan and have regard to new CoP
• FE college to use ‘best endeavours’ so young
people with SEN have access to wide range
of study programmes and support
• Current CoP and legislation still applies
• Three year transition for SSEN
• All new requests for assessment after
1 September 2014 will be considered
under new legislation
Local offer
LAs must publish information about:
• Provision it expects to be available in the
area for children and young people with
SEN or a disability
• Provision available outside its area for
children for whom it is responsible and
who have a disability
Local offer
Will include:
• Education, health and care
• Other training provision
• Home to school transport
• Help to prepare young people for adulthood
and independent living
• Must publish anonymised comments on
local offer
Personal budgets
• LA must prepare a personal budget if
asked to do so by the parent or young
Personal budgets
• If declined must set out reasons in writing
and provide opportunity for review
• Decisions about health remain the
responsibility of the CCG. If declined a
reason must be given
Where the appeal is not just about the name
or type of school/placement and no
school/placement is named (i.e. old Part 4 appeal),
an appeal can only be made where a
mediation advisor issues a certificate
• Mediator must be independent in all three
areas – education, health and social care
ss53 & 54
• Definition of independent – not employed
by LA, clinical commissioning group or
NHS Commissioning Board ss53 & 56
• Can appeal once EHC Plan is finalised or
following amendment or replacement s51(3)
• Must appeal within two months of decision
• Must consider mediation for most appeals
Powers of First Tier Tribunal
• FTT can dismiss, order (re)assessment, order
LA to make and maintain EHC Plan
• New power to refer case back to LA to
• LA must take action within two weeks of order
Potential problems
• Integration of education, health and social care
• Funding issues – who will fund areas such as
• Direct payments – amount. Schools to agree
• No set format for EHC plan
• Over 16s able to bring own appeal
An EHC Plan with not much
health and social care...
Thank you – any questions?
Laxmi Patel
0800 8840 723 / 0118 959 7711
[email protected]

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