Special education needs reforms - a slide pack for school

The special education needs
A slide pack for school governors
Overview of the reforms: The case
for change
The current system of SEN support is complicated, picks up issues too late,
has too much duplication, and is too focused on inputs rather than outcomes.
Too often young people find there is a ‘cliff edge’ of support between children
and adults services.
Parents find it difficult to navigate the system that is intended to help them, find
it adversarial, and complain that they have to tell their stories time and time
SEN can sometimes be unhelpfully linked with falling behind, and this may
have contributed to the growing number of pupils at School Action and Action
Plus - Lamb Inquiry 2009.
The Achievement for All pilot demonstrated that with the right support children
with SEN can be supported to achieve good outcomes.
Overview of the reforms: The vision
Children’s SEN are picked up early and support is routinely put in place
Staff have the knowledge, understanding and skills to provide the right
support for children and young people who have SEN or are disabled.
Parents know what they can reasonably expect their local school,
college, LA & local services to provide, without having to fight for it.
Aspirations for children and young people are raised through an
increased focus on life outcomes, including employment.
For more complex needs, an integrated assessment and a single
Education, Health and Care (EHC)Plan are in place from birth to 25.
There is greater control for parents and young people over the services
they and their family use.
Overview of the reforms: Children
and Families Act
happen, they can
be resolved early
and amicably, with
the option of a
Tribunal for those
that need it.
Joint commissioning
Having friends
views heard
Option of a Personal
Children and
young people with
and families
Making their
Extending choice and
control over their
Local offer
Children, young
people and parents
understand a joined up
system, designed
around their needs.
advice and
Integrated assessment and
Education Health and
Care plan is holistic,
co-produced and
focused on outcomes.
Overview of the reforms: A new 025 Code of Practice
The new Code of Practice is a single piece of statutory guidance to replace
the current Code of Practice, the Learning Difficulties Assessment guidance
and the DfE’s Inclusive Schooling guidance.
It includes information on the provisions set out in part three of the Children
and Families Act and other non-legislative requirements.
SEN support which provides practical advice on how to carry out statutory
duties to assess, plan, do, review and improve outcomes for children and
young people with special educational needs. This replaces School Action/
School Action Plus categories.
A clear focus at every level and every stage on a person-centred approach
and the involvement of families and young people.
A focus on outcomes to be achieved, rather than simply units of provision.
Preparing for Adulthood: Emphasis on transition to post 16 provision and
preparing children and young people with SEN particularly those 14 and
over (year 9) for adult life.
Reform in practice: Legal duties
The main legal duties on schools will not change, but the way they will be met may
change. Schools must continue to:
• meet their Equality Act duties for pupils with disabilities;
• use their best endeavours to meet pupils’ SEN;
• inform parents when pupils receive support for special educational needs and
involve them in reviews of progress;
• admit a young person, where the school is named in an EHC plan;
• co-operate with the local authority in developing the local offer; and
• have regard to the new 0-25 SEND Code of Practice.
New duties require schools to:
• produce and publish online a School SEN Information Report;
• appoint a suitably qualified or experienced member of staff as SENCO (National
Award); and
• make arrangements to support pupils with medical condition - schools must have
regard to statutory guidance supporting pupils at school with medical conditions.
Reforms in practice: The role of the
governing body
Responsible for ensuring that the SEN and Disability reforms are implemented in
its school - the head teacher is responsible for day to day delivery of the reforms.
Must ensure the school has suitable arrangement for consulting with parents
Responsible for ensuring the school publish information on its websites about the
implementation of the governing body’s policy for pupils with SEN.
Responsible for ensuring the school is fulfilling its legal duties in ensuring there is
a qualified teacher designated as SENCO.
Must ensure the school is cooperating with the local authority including in
developing the local offer and when the school is being named in an EHC plan.
Must ensure that arrangements are in place in the school to support pupils with
medical conditions.
Must ensure the school publish information about the arrangements for the
admission of disabled children, the steps taken to prevent disabled children being
treated less favourably than others, the facilities provided to assist access of
disabled children, and their accessibility plans.
Reform in practice: SEN Support the role of the class/subject teacher
Engage parent
Child or
with SEN
Engage parent
Engage parent
Engage parent
Reform in practice: Transferring to
the new system.
• All newly identified SEN pupils not on EHC plans should be
recorded under ‘SEN support’ from September 2014.
• Schools should review the provision for those currently on
SA/SA Plus and transfer where appropriate to SEN support by
the end of spring 2015.
• Children and young people who are newly assessed for
statements must be assessed under the new EHC plan
arrangement and should be recorded under the school census
from September 2014.
• Children and young people with existing statements transfer to
the new system by April 2018.
Reform in practice: School funding
Schools need to engage with their LA as part of the schools forum on how
money is distributed and the process for seeking high needs top up funding.
• Funding for schools is provided by central government to local
authorities through the Dedicated Schools Grant. LAs distribute this
to schools by using a local funding formula.
• School have an amount identified within the overall budget called
the notional SEN budget which is not ring fenced and it is for school
to meet the first £6000 of any support within its overall budget.
• For each pupil whose high level needs cost more than £6,000 per
year, the local authority can provide high needs top-up funding.
• Schools can buy in specialist support to meet children’s SEN.
Reform in practice: Personal budgets
A personal budget is an amount of money identified to deliver parts of the
provision set out in an EHC plan.
Families can request a personal budget as part of the planning process (in
drawing up Plan or at Annual Review).
Schools will have a role in providing support information to parents and
young people who have opted for personal budgets.
Can include funding from education, health and social care – in education,
funding for personal budgets will be for more specialist or individualised
provision (funded through the high needs block) rather than services the
school is expected to provide as part of the local offer.
A local authority must secure a school’s agreement where any provision,
bought by the parent/young person using a direct payment, will be
provided on the school’s premises.
Reform in practice: The Local Offer
The duty on schools to co-operate with the local authority in developing the
local offer is aligned to the requirement on schools to publish SEN
information, which gives details about their individual approach to identifying
and supporting children with SEN (and all the other requirements in the
regulations and set out in the Code of Practice).
The local offer should be useful for schools. It must include information on
services across education, health and social care and from birth to 25; how
to access specialist support; how decisions are made including eligibility
criteria for accessing services where appropriate; and how to complain or
Many LAs are already working with their parent carer forums and other
organisations, including young people, to ‘co-produce’ their local offer.
Regulations and the SEN Code of Practice outline who local authorities
must consult in developing and reviewing their local offer and how they
should do this.
Readiness: Checklist for Governors
from September
Has the governing body:
 Reviewed the school’s SEN Policy with head teacher.
 Ensure SEN information report is in place and published on the school’s website
from September.
 Ensured the school is engaging with the LA in the development of the local offer
and their process for transferring from statements to EHC plans.
 Considered how the SENCO fits into strategic management of the school.
 Staff trained and ready to deliver the changes.
Ensured the head teacher has:
 Reviewed pupils currently on SA/SA+ and is engaging the child and parent in
decision making.
 Reviewed how the schools support pupils with their transition to post-16 education
and preparing for adult life.
 has arrangements in place to support pupils with medical conditions.