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Councils to receive extra SEND support

12/06/2014 Kelly
Councils are to receive extra investment to help prepare for an overhaul of the support for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Some £45 million is to be provided by the government to ensure councils give young people and parents greater say over their personalised care and assistance.

A new, birth-to-25 system for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities is to be established using the money.

The government has published an easier-to-read code of practice, offering practical advice for councils, schools and hospitals to ensure they are providing the required support. This will include the legal requirements that people and organisations supporting those with SEND must follow.

According to the Department for Education, the new code of practice received positive feedback from a consultation that recently took place, with many people reporting that it is clearer and more accessible.

Several reforms are to be made to SEND provision under the Children and Families Act. Children and young people with an education, health and care plan are to be given a legal right to express a preference for state academies, free schools and further education colleges.

Councils are also to publish a 'local offer' showing the support available to all disabled children and young people and their families in the area - and those with special educational needs.

Mediation for disputes and trial is to be introduced, giving people the right to appeal if they are unhappy with their support.

Children and families minister Edward Timpson said: "It's more important than ever that councils put the pedal to the floor and redouble their efforts to make sure all families can benefit from this comprehensive support from September.

"Over 2,000 families have been testing our reforms, with many saying that the new rules are already giving them a greater say and more control over how and where they access support."

He added that the additional £45 million being provided by the government will ensure everyone experiences a smooth transition to the new system.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801727721-ADNFCR
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