SEND reforms news
The National Network of Parent Carer forums has made us aware of three important things which the Department for Education has published today:
1. A letter from Edward Timpson, Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families, to Directors of Children Services (DCSs) in England about the transition of existing statements of special educational needs (SEN) to education, health and care (EHC) plans. The link is given below.
2. A research report providing results from a 2016 survey of over 13,000 parents and young people who received an EHC plan in 2015, showing their views of the process and their EHC plan. This gives overall information and also information by Local Authority area. The link is given below.
3. An independent review of SEND disagreement resolution arrangements conducted by the Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR) and the government response to the review. There are important recommendations in this document about the extension of the Tribunal Pilot (to health and care) nationally and considerations for national planning in 2018. The link is also below.
This sets out the importance of local authorities meeting the statutory deadline of 31 March 2018 for completing the transfer of all statements of SEN to EHC plans. It also explains that, from April, we will be collecting data monthly from each local authority about the progress they are making, and that the Department is offering support to help them to meet the deadline.
This report provides results from a survey of over 13,000 parents and young people who received an EHC plan in 2015. The questionnaire, sent in 2016, asked respondents for their views on different aspects of the EHC needs assessment process and the impact of their EHC plan. The report provides results for different groups at the national level and robust local results are available for around two thirds of local authorities. The report conveys positive messages overall and also indicates the parts of the EHC process that local areas may wish to develop further in terms of service users’ satisfaction.
Following a commitment by the Secretary of State for Education and the Lord Chancellor in the Children and Families Act 2014, the Department commissioned CEDAR, at the University of Warwick, to carry out an independent review of the whole system of disagreement resolution, evaluating its effectiveness for parents, carers and young people. At the same time, government piloted a single route of redress, giving the First-tier Tribunal SEND extended powers to make non-binding recommendations on health and social care aspects of EHC plans. The government report sets out the key findings of the review and describes the steps the government intends to take to respond to the issues raised.