Children and Families Act 2014

Legal references on this page apply to England.

Changes to SEN law will be introduced between 2014 and 2018

This document from DfE published April 8th 2014 gives April 2018 as the final date for statements to be changed to EHC plans (page 5)

Home education and special needs website
New SEN Code of Practice 2014
Archived page as pdf March 13th 2014

Children and Families Act 2014

The Children and Families Bill received royal assent on March 13th 2014 and is now the Children and Families Act. Some SEN provisions will come into force in September 2014.

First Commencement Order (Family Proceedings)

Ipsea sets out compelling reasons to delay implementation proposing a new consultation on revised SEN code with commencement postponed from September 2014 to January 2015

Survey Parent Carer Forums published April 10th 2014, via Contact-a-Family Many parent carer forums don't think their local area will be ready to implement the SEND Reforms by September 2014

Home Education

Home education was discussed in the Lords on January 7th 2014 October 23rd 2013 and October 30th 2013

On January 7th 2014 the Government set out what should happen to the special educational provision and the health provision specified in the EHC plan when a child or young person is home educated.

Government amendment 38A to Clause 42, page 34, line 14, leave out "to the extent that" and insert "if", agreed House of Lords January 7th 2014

Government spokesperson, House of Lords 7 Jan 2014 : Column 1449: "In the current system, set out in the Education Act 1996, when a statement is maintained for a child or young person the local authority is under a duty to secure the special educational provision specified in it. The local authority is relieved of its duty to arrange the special educational provision in the statement, including securing a place in a school or college named in a statement of SEN, if the parents or the young person have made suitable alternative arrangements for special educational provision to be made, for example, in an independent school or college or at home."

"The Bill introduced to Parliament in February 2013 retained this provision, but when government amendments were introduced in Committee in the other place to place a duty on heath bodies to arrange the healthcare provision specified in an education, health and care plan, Clause 42 was amended so that, under Clause 42(5), local authorities’ and health bodies’ duties to secure and arrange specified provision would not apply "to the extent that the child’s parent or the young person has made suitable alternative arrangements"."

"We made this change with the intention of ensuring that, in cases where a parent or young person had made suitable alternative arrangements only for education provision, the duty on responsible health commissioners to arrange required health provision would remain in place. On reflection, that wording is problematic and could have unintended consequences, since it could be interpreted to mean that when a parent or young person makes alternative arrangements for only some of the provision the local authority or health body is only relieved from its duty to make that provision and must secure and arrange the remainder. This would not be sensible or fair."

"Amendment 38A would address this issue and ensure that local authorities have a clear duty to secure the special educational provision in a child or young person’s education, health and care plan; it would enable parents or young people to make alternative arrangements; it would require local authorities to satisfy themselves that those arrangements are suitable; and it would enable local authorities to assist parents in making their own arrangements suitable, if they consider it appropriate, without imposing any duty on them to do so. It has not been sufficiently clear that local authorities can assist parents in this way until now and I am pleased that this amendment gives me the opportunity to clarify the position."

"Where parents or a young person make alternative arrangements, the local authority must satisfy itself that those arrangements are suitable before it is relieved of its duty to secure the provision. It can only conclude that arrangements are suitable if there is a realistic possibility of them being funded for a reasonable period of time. If it is satisfied, the authority need not name its nominated school or college in the plan and may specify only the type of provision. This is to avoid the school having to keep a place free that the parents have no intention of taking up. If the local authority is not satisfied that the parent or young person’s alternative arrangements are suitable, it could either name another appropriate school or college in the EHC plan or assist parents in making their arrangements suitable, including, if they consider it appropriate, through a financial contribution, though it will be under no obligation to meet the costs of those arrangements."

"Where parents make suitable alternative arrangements for educational provision, the health commissioning body is still responsible for arranging the healthcare specified in the child or young person’s EHC plan. If parents make alternative arrangements for healthcare provision, then the health commissioning body would need to satisfy itself that those arrangements were suitable. If the arrangements were not suitable, they would arrange the provision specified in the plan or, if they felt it appropriate, assist the parents in making their own arrangements suitable. We will, of course, clarify this position in the SEN code of practice."


EHC Plans

Can parents be involved after 16; direct payments; personal budget; do plans go up to 25?; has the code already changed?; will statement end as soon as law changes?; do EHC plans entail the same legal duties?; do you need EHC plan to get support?; what can you appeal in the EHC plan?; does LA have to carry out social care assessment as part of EHC plan? See Contact A Family Information Sheets http://www.cafamily.org.uk/advice-and-support/resource-library/guidance-on-the-top-children-and-families-bill-myths-part-2/ http://www.cafamily.org.uk/advice-and-support/resource-library/guidance-on-the-top-children-and-families-bill-myths-part-2/

Pathfinders and the Local Offer

To learn more about the proposed new Local Offer for children and young people with special needs, click here


Changes to Family Law from April 2014

From April 22nd 2014 the new Family Court will deal with family proceedings which would previously have been heard in magistrates' courts. Contact and residence orders are replaced by child arrangements orders. This link explains how cases are split between the Family Court and the High Court. Read more here Legal references all on one page here. More about Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings NB as explained here "the much debated provisions in the Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA 2014), s 11 providing that 'unless the contrary is shown, that involvement of that parent in the life of the child concerned will further the child’s welfare' doesn't yet have a commencement date."

Useful Links

Changes to funding for home educating families 2014-15
House of Commons Library Research Report May 31st 2013 (SEN pages 10-37)
Local Offer SEN
Ipsea on SEN changes
Human Rights Joint Committee Children and Families Bill
DfE web page on Children and Families Bill
Independent SEN Champions announced January 7th 2014
my memo to Bill Committee March 2013
Home Education Advisory Service Bill Committee memo March 2013.
Ipsea amendments including special academies, education otherwise + child/parent responsibility
Ipsea briefing March 2013
Every Disabled Child Matters memo to Bill Committee
Ipsea Timeline
Departmental response to the Education Committee Departmental response to the Education Committee
Home Education APPG on SEN and Disability November 2012
Memo to the Education Committee pre-legislative scrutiny of draft SEN Bill
Track the passage of the Children and Families Bill
Education Committee Pre-legislative Scrutiny of the draft SEN Bill
Steve Broach and Kate Whittaker Disability Rights Briefing Use Law to Fight Cuts
SEN Tribunal Statistics 3600 SEN appeals, 30% conceded by LAs.

Link Reference

This article is http://edyourself.org/articles/candfact2014.php. The following links to other websites are contained in the article, displayed as citations to aid you in printing the document.

  1. Briefing on the SEN changes http://www.specialneedsjungle.com/sen-reforms-happens-next/
  2. Douglas Silas Briefing on SEN Reforms http://www.specialeducationalneeds.co.uk/sen-articles-occasionally.html
  3. Children and Families Act 2014 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/contents/enacted
  4. Changes to SEN law will be introduced between 2014 and 2018 http://edyourself.org/articles/newcode.php#transition
  5. Home education and special needs website http://ehe-sen.org.uk/
  6. New SEN Code of Practice 2014 http://edyourself.org/articles/newcode.php
  7. Archived page as pdf March 13th 2014 http://edyourself.org/seninchildrenfamiliesbillmarch2014.pdf
  8. First Commencement Order http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/793/made
  9. proposing a new consultation on revised SEN code with commencement postponed from September 2014 to January 2015 http://www.specialneedsjungle.com/draft-sen-disability-code-practice-2014-red-light-means-danger-sto
    p/
  10. Contact-a-Family http://www.cafamily.org.uk/advice-and-support/resource-library/parent-carer-participation-send-surve
    y-results/
  11. October 30th 2013 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201314/ldhansrd/text/131217-0002.htm#13121787000386
  12. agreed House of Lords January 7th 2014 http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201314/ldhansrd/text/140107-0002.htm#14010758000139
  13. http://www.cafamily.org.uk/advice-and-support/resource-library/guidance-on-the-top-children-and-families-bill-myths-part-2/ http://www.cafamily.org.uk/advice-and-support/resource-library/guidance-on-the-top-children-and-fami
    lies-bill-myths-part-2/
  14. here http://edyourself.org/articles/localoffer.php
  15. here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/889/made
  16. Changes to funding for home educating families 2014-15 http://edyourself.org/articles/funding.php#2014-15guidance
  17. House of Commons Library Research Report May 31st 2013 http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/RP13-32
  18. Local Offer SEN http://edyourself.org/articles/localoffer.php
  19. Ipsea on SEN changes http://www.ipsea.org.uk/Apps/Content/News/?id=516
  20. Human Rights Joint Committee Children and Families Bill http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201314/jtselect/jtrights/29/2904.htm#a10
  21. DfE web page on Children and Families Bill http://www.education.gov.uk/a00221161/children-families-bill
  22. Independent SEN Champions announced January 7th 2014 http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/1102886/independent_support_q_and_a.pdf
  23. my memo to Bill Committee http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmpublic/childrenandfamilies/memo/cf20.htm
  24. Home Education Advisory Service Bill Committee memo http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmpublic/childrenandfamilies/memo/cf32.htm
  25. Ipsea amendments http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmpublic/childrenandfamilies/memo/cf23.htm
  26. Ipsea briefing March 2013 http://www.ipsea.org.uk/news/changes-to-sen-law/children-families-bill-impact-.aspx
  27. Every Disabled Child Matters memo to Bill Committee http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmpublic/childrenandfamilies/memo/cf04.htm
  28. Ipsea Timeline http://www.ipsea.org.uk/Apps/Content/News/?id=516
  29. Home Education APPG on SEN and Disability November 2012 http://edyourself.org/articles/allpartygrouphomeeducation.php#apgsen
  30. Memo to the Education Committee pre-legislative scrutiny of draft SEN Bill http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmeduc/631/631vw137.htm
  31. Track the passage of the Children and Families Bill http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/childrenandfamilies.html
  32. Education Committee Pre-legislative Scrutiny of the draft SEN Bill http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/education-committee/inqui
    ries/parliament-2010/sen/
  33. Steve Broach and Kate Whittaker Disability Rights Briefing Use Law to Fight Cuts http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/how-we-can-help/independent-living/using-law-fight-cuts-disabled-p
    eople%E2%80%99s-services