Table of Contents
Children and Families Act 2014
The Children and Families Bill became law in March 2014 and is now the Children and Families Act 2014. The first Commencement Order covers family proceedings. The second Commencement Order variously 1st April, 22nd April, 13th May, 25th July and 1st September 2014, and covering SEN and disability (but excluding young offenders), duty to support pupils with medical needs, childminder agencies, adoption, single family court, and free school lunches.
Ofsted Role for SEN
Lord Low July 2014: On Report, the Minister announced the Government had asked Ofsted to review the need for an inspection framework to drive improvements in local SEN provision and the local offer. The Minister indicated that Ofsted would publish its findings in summer 2014 but to date we have heard very little about Ofsted’s progress.
Minister July 2014: Ofsted is now completing its survey of how local areas are working on the reforms and will make recommendations soon about the possible role of inspection in monitoring and accountability. I will...ensure quickly that I check precisely where Ofsted is. If Ofsted is not where we think it might be, we might give it a bit of a chaser. More More
Minister January 2014: The Ofsted study will focus on the extent to which local areas ensure that children and young people with SEN and those who are disabled are identified and their needs met. It will look for improved outcomes, and at the satisfaction of parents and young people. It will establish a baseline from which to evaluate progress in implementing the reforms; provide guidance to local authorities about the development of effective practice and advice about aspects requiring further development; and consider how, if required, effective accountability could take place. The study will consider how local authorities identify and assess social care needs and will ensure that those needs are met. It will look at how local authorities work with clinical commissioning groups to identify and commission the range and sufficiency of specialist services required to support the needs of children with and without EHC plans, and will evaluate the effectiveness of these services. It will also consider arrangements for personal budgets, transition to EHC plans, and how school and college inspection and other inspection activity could provide ongoing information about the effectiveness of the local area’s arrangements. This will be a comprehensive study. Should Ofsted recommend that an inspection framework is needed we would, of course, take that very seriously. If it does not make such a recommendation, we will consider what further action is necessary. More
New SEN Links August 2014
For a quick and very readable summary of the main concerns regarding the new SEN legislation click here
Very useful all-on-one page SEN and disability links from lawyer Steve Broach, June 2014 here
DfE response to SEN Code of Practice consultation published June 11th 2014. 103 page pdf setting out what Government plans to do next.
Approved SEN Code of Practice July 2014
Transitional Arrangements published July 2014
Draft Guidance for LAs June 2014 (transition to the new 0 to 25 SEND system from 1 September 2014) via DfE web page on implementing the new 0 to 25 SEN system, updated July 22nd 2014.
Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 Parents Guide to new SEN system published August 2014.
Regulations covering the form of EHC plans will come into force on September 1st 2014. In its response to the consultation on the SEN Code of Practice published the same day, DfE explained that it had chosen not to introduce a single national template, but will share further best practice examples of completed EHC plans. A common labelling system has been introduced in the Code of Practice meaning that every EHC plan must contain specified sections that must be labelled with the same letter. see page 31 Government response and final Code of Practice 2014 paragraphs 9.61 to 9.69
How soon will statements be replaced by EHC Plans? Click here for a brief guide
Direct Payments and Personal Budgets for SENMore including Direct Payment FOIs
Pathfinders and the Local Offer
Changes to Family Law from April 2014
As of 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. You can find a summary of the main changes here Read more about the changes 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), s11 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.. See also Jordans family law update"
Ipsea webchat on SEN changes
Briefing on the SEN changes
Briefing on SEN Reforms
Funding home educating families 2014-15
Independent SEN Champions 2014
SEN Tribunal Statistics 3600 SEN appeals, 30% conceded by LAs
Archived page as pdf March 13th 2014 when Children and Families Bill became law.