Special Education Needs (SEN)

SEND Reforms

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Reforms:

The Children and Families Act 2014 change is coming...

Special educational needs legislation is being reformed by the Government with new approaches coming in to place from 1 September 2014. This is to improve outcomes for children and young people with complex needs and the experience of parents and carers.

The changes form Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 which received Royal Assent on 13 March 2014.  To view a press release regarding the Act, please click here .

The three key changes are as follows:

  1. Production of an Isle of Wight Offer: Placing a duty on local authorities to set out clear and searchable information on services available to parents and carers, children and young people.
  2. Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP): for children and young people with special educational needs from birth to age 25: Replacing Statements of Special Educational Needs, and Section 139a Learning Difficulty Assessments for post 16 education.
  3. Personal Budgets: For some families and young people with an EHCP to give greater independence, choice and control over their support.

The Act also includes:

  • The need to involve children and young people and parents and carers at the heart of the process in a more person centred way
  • Places a requirement on local authorities and health services to jointly commission services for young people and families
  • Provides statutory protection for young people who are in education or training up to the age of 25
  • That SEND duties will apply equally to all schools including Academies and Free Schools.
  • The Isle of Wight have been working closely with the Isle of Wight Parent/Carer Network, called Parents Voice along with the voluntary sector, schools, colleges and early years services to develop these requirements.

Work on the Isle of Wight

SEND Reforms on the Isle of Wight - what are we doing?

The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Implementation programme will run from April 2014 to March 2015 in line with the one off grant from the Department for Education. The initial focus is on readiness for go-live from 1 September 2014.

There are three key workstreams that are being co-produced and developed with a whole range of people involved in the process across education, health and social care, including parent carers and the voluntary sector. The overall structure of the Implementation programme is is shown in the SEND Reforms Implementation Structure Chart to view, please click here.

The workstreams are:

  • Local Offer
  • Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • Personal Budgets

The final Code of Practice, which sets out in plain English the requirements, is due to be published Spring 2014 by the Government.

Transitioning from statements and s139a Move-On plans in to EHCPs.

The Code of Practice will also include the 'Transition' arrangements setting out how, who and over what time frame IW County Council have to move existing statements of special educational needs and section 139a Move-On plans (learning difficulty assessments) in to the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) format.

Parents, carers, children and young people will continue to be at the heart of these changes through Parents Voice/People Matter. We are also working with a range of people, including schools, colleges, children’s and adult’s social care, the NHS, and the voluntary and community sector.

The Implementation Board

The SEND Implementation Board is an influential multi-agency mechanism to drive activity in a local area as part of the national Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder programme.

The Local Change Board meets monthly and is chaired by Cllr Priest, Executive member for Children’s Services and Education.