Statements of Special Educations Needs (SEN)
On 1st September 2014, the Children and Families Act 2014 was implemented. However for the 270,000 children who still have Statements, a period of transition is ongoing which will last until the end of March 2018, during which they will transfer to an EHC plan.
Unless transition is taking place, this means that the law as it was before the Children and Families Act 2014 will still apply. This is:
- The Education Act 1996, Parts IV and Schedule 27;
- The Education (Special Educational Needs) (England) (Consolidation) Regulations 2001;
- The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2001; and
- The statutory guidance “Inclusive Schooling for children with special educational needs”.
We call this for convenience “EA 1996 legislation” or “old system”.
They will still be relevant for:
- The LA duty to arrange provision. The Local Authority still must maintain the Statement and must ensure that the special educational provision it specifies is received by the child i.e. therapies, individual support, specialist teaching.
- Annual Review. The Statement must still be reviewed at least annually. The process for the LA doing this will still follow the old system unless the LA has given notice that the review will be used to transition to an EHC Plan
- Amendments to Statements. Where the LA decides to amend a Statement following Annual Review or at any other time, such amendment will take place under the old system.
- Re-assessment. Parents of children with Statements will still be able to ask for a re-assessment of their child under the EA 1996 legislation during the transition period. An LA may in that case agree to conduct an EHC needs assessment under the Children and Families Act 2014 but this will only happen if the LA agrees. It is still therefore possible that re-assessments will take place under the old system;
- Naming a School. Where parents or the LA want to change the school named in a Statement, before the transition to an EHC plan, the EA 1996 legislation will apply;
- Appeal Rights. If a Statements is amended or fails to be amended an appeal to the SEND Tribunal against the LA’s decision can still be made under the EA 1996 legislation. These are similar but not exactly the same as the rights under the Children and Families Act 2014.
For more information and advice about this please contact us on 0300 303 2677 or visit www.ipsea.org.uk