Government issues guidance on special educational needs and disability reforms

Department for Education also hands out more money to help councils with overhaul of SEN and disability support for children and young people

The government has issued its statutory guidance on how social services and other children’s services should implement its reforms of special educational needs and disabilities support.

The changes are due to start in September and will see special educational needs (SEN) statements and learning disability assessments for children replaced by education, health and care plans that will cover children and young people from birth to 25.

The code of practice, which now needs approval from Parliament, details how the changes affect both children’s and adults social care as well as other services that work with children and young people.

It underlines how councils must ensure that young people are not left without support after moving from children’s to adult social care and says health and social services should integrate their training if they believe that would promote the wellbeing of children and young people with SEN or disabilities.

The Department for Education has also announced that it is providing local authorities with an additional £45m to support the implementation of the changes.

The reforms are intended to foster more co-operation between councils and health services and include offering personal budgets to the families of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Children’s minister Edward Timpson said: “It’s more important than ever that councils put the pedal to the floor and redouble their efforts to make sure all families can benefit from this comprehensive support from September.

“Over 2,000 families have been testing our reforms, with many saying that the new rules are already giving them a greater say and more control over how and where they access support.

“The additional £45m we’re giving councils today will help ensure a smooth transition for everyone.”

The changes were introduced in the Children and Families Act.

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