The Children and Families Act 2014

The Children and Families Act 2014

Since September 2014 there have been changes to the way children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are supported.

The largest part of the Act (part 3) deals with laws and provisions relating to children who have special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities. Major changes revolved around giving families better control over the welfare of their child. New provisions put in place by the Act included the following:

  • A new Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan based on a single assessment process will replace special education statements. EHC plans are documents that support children, young people and their families from birth to 25.
  • The commissioning and planning of services for children, young people and families is now run jointly by health services and local authorities as a result of the Act.
  • Extends the rights to a personal budget for the support to children, young people and families.
  • Local services available to children and families must be made available in a clear, easy to read manner.
  • Local authorities must involve families and children in discussions and decisions relating to their care and education; and provide impartial advice, support and mediation services.

There is also a code of practice, the special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years, which accompanies the Act. The code tells local authorities, schools and others how they must
carry out their duties under the new law.

Useful links:

The Children and Families Act 2014

The SEND Code of Practice 0 to 25 years

Council for Disabled Children - Implementing SEND reforms 

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