Children and young people with special educational needs in Kirklees will benefit from major reforms thanks to a new law which came into effect this month.
The new Children and Families Act will offer simpler, improved and consistent help for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
It will extend provision from birth up to 25 years of age, rather than up to 18, giving families greater choice in decisions and ensuring needs are properly met.
One in five children in England has SEN or a disability across a range of needs.
The new system will extend rights and protection to young people from birth up to age 25 by introducing a new Education, Health and Care Plan that replaces the Statement of Special Educational Needs. Professionals will also provide more tailored support to families, giving them the help and assistance they need.
- SEN statements and learning disability assessments will be replaced with a new birth up to 25 Education, Health and Care Plan -
- Better co-operation between councils and health services will be required to make sure services for children and young people with SEN and disabilities are jointly planned and commissioned.
- Parents and young people with education, health and care plans may be offered a personal budget - putting families firmly in charge.
The changes will be phased in from this month, ensuring all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families can benefit from the improved arrangements as soon as possible, while at the same time ensuring that the best possible service is maintained during the transition.
Clr Jean Calvert, Cabinet member for children’s services said: “This exciting new way of working will give parents and children more say over the support received than ever before. The council is committed to working with families to ensure the changes brought about by the act are implemented quickly and for the maximum benefit of the children involved.
“The changes will support our ongoing work to ensure that all children get the best possible start in life regardless of educational needs or disability.”
A council spokesman said: “With regards to special educational needs and disabilities - we have an established process for allocating high needs funding to our schools, and are currently developing the funding process for allocating high needs funding to post 16 providers, this will be in place by September 2015. The processes by which we fund children and young people both pre and post 16 will be consistent with each other”.