The Department of Education yesterday published the draft changes to legislation that the Government are proposing to introduce to develop the special educational needs (SEN) system in England.
This follows the changes previously outlined in the SEND Green Paper (March 2011) and Support and Aspiration: A new approach to SEND report on progress (May 2012).
In welcoming the issuing of these draft provisions Linda Lascelles, Afasic’s Chief Executive commented “ We will look at these draft provisions in detail, discuss them with colleagues from other SEN organisations, and consider how we can ensure that they improve the system that is already in place. This needs to be a system that works for all children and young people with impaired speech and language, and their parents.”
The initial points to highlight from our first reading of the draft provisions are:
- Legal definition of special educational needs remains the same
- Right to a mainstream education remains the same
- Local authorities must produce their ‘local offer’ of available education, health and care services
- Education, Health and Care Plans (0 – 25) will replace statements of SEN
- The EHC plan must include the outcomes sought for the child and young person
- Section 139A assessment (Learning Difficulty Assessments) cease to apply and is replaced by a re-assessment /annual review of the EHC Plan
- All of the provisions of the Bill will apply to all schools including Academies and Free Schools
- Parents or young people must take part in mediation before making an appeal to the SEND Tribunal unless the appeal is solely about the school named in the plan.
- Local authorities must prepare a personal budget for a child or young person with an EHC plan if requested by the parents or young person
- There will be a revised Code of Practice
Afasic England will publish a more comprehensive report once it has had time to consider the impact of all the proposed changes.
Note for readers: previous information on the website about these changes may have appeared under the heading of The Green Paper.