Hampshire News - Hampshire gets Ready for Changes to Special Educational Needs and Disability Support

New, Government led changes to special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision, placing greater emphasis on improving the outcomes for children and young people, will come into effect on 1 September 2014.

Hampshire County Council has been working in partnership with the Hampshire Parent/Carer Network, health, schools, and other partners, to prepare for the changes to be introduced in Hampshire as a result of the Children and Families Act 2014.

From September, Hampshire County Council and the five health Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs – GP led commissioners of health services for local communities) will work jointly to commission services that will support pupils in school and ensure that the particular needs of children and young people with special educational needs are met.

Councillor Keith Mans, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “There has been a long period of development of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Reforms – since March 2011 – and we have been working with the South East 7 group of local authorities, health services and key local interested groups and service providers to help inform the emerging Government agenda on special educational needs and disabilities. This places us in a strong position to implement the legislative changes that are currently being finalised.

“We are extremely grateful to have had the involvement of the Hampshire Parent Carer Network, throughout this journey. This has meant that we have ensured that parents and carers’ views are fully considered in the development of the revised way of working.”

For parents and carers, the changes will mean the introduction of a new special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practice that will lead to:

  • A new, ‘Hampshire Local Offer’ information website that will provide details of all the , education, health,  social care, leisure services and support that is available locally for children and young people with special educational needs or disability;
  • The gradual replacement of special educational needs statements and post-16 section 139a Moving on Plans (learning difficulty assessments) with new, joined up education, health and care plans for children and young people, from birth to 25 years;
  • the use, by schools of a single category system for tracking the progress of children who need extra, specialist interventions –  ‘SEN Support’ will replace  chool Action and School Action Plus and will focus on analysing the impact that the specialist support has on the outcomes for a child or young person.

One of the overall aims of the new legislative requirements is ensuring that children and young people achieve the outcomes they need to prepare them for adulthood – to live independently and gain employment.

More information about the changes is available online at hants.gov.uk/sendreform or call  0845 603 5620 (local rates apply).

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