On 13 March 2014 the Children and Families Bill received royal assent. This means it has now become law. The Children and Families Act 2014 (as we must now call it) will introduce a number of reforms to the SEN system in England. These are the main changes:
- School Action and Action Plus will be replaced by a single level of support
- Education, Health and Social Care (EHC) Plans will replace Statements
- Section 139a/Learning Difficulty Assessments will be discontinued. Instead EHC Plans will be extended to cover the 16 – 25 year age range, where required
- A new SEN Code of Practice will replace the current version
- Local authorities will be required to publish a Local Offer setting out the services available for children with SEN in their area, how to access them and what the eligibility criteria are
- Schools will be required to publish their own School’s Offer, setting out what support they provide to children with SEN
These changes will be introduced gradually from September 2014. For more information, keep reading the Afasic website. If you have any questions, contact the Afasic helpline.