The Children and Families Bill reached Royal Assent in March, and this September saw the historic changes take place. The intricacies of the Act were constructed on the advice of parents, health care providers and schools with the outcome of increasing government support to vulnerable children.
For schools, the Act majorly changed the way Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision is delivered. The previous system categorised statements of SEN, and that led to a generalised form of support for all SEN pupils which was criticised for a lack of quality. The new system recognises the individual needs of each SEN pupil and instructs for a personalised plan of provision.
Local Authorities must now coordinate with healthcare services to plan and commission SEN support across education and health and social care, and this integration is intended to deliver a more encompassing and transparent form of provision. Schools will be involved in this decision making process which opens up a wider channel of communication for parents of SEN children.
It is now required for schools to work closely with parents to best shape SEN provision in a way that can most benefit each individual child. Parents will have a greater knowledge of the SEN provision that is available to them through the Local Authority and can make an informed decision. Rather than focusing on the outcomes of support, which placed pressure on parents; the emphasis is now on the effectiveness of the level of support.
These reforms were put in place to shape the system in a way that gives SEN children the very best educational opportunities that they deserve.
For more information on SEN and some useful tools for those involved in SEN follow this link iabolish.com
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