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Understanding the new SEN legal system - training

(8 Posts)
bochead Sun 16-Mar-14 14:59:23

Just come across this from ambitious about autism. I'm not sure if I can go as it's t'other end of the country for me.

If anyone can and does go - I don't suppose they'd be so kind as to post some key points on here for the rest of us could they?

Nennypops Sun 16-Mar-14 16:41:16

There's going to be an awful lot of information about this around between now and September. I heard that SOS SEN was planning to put on free seminars around the country, and I suspect that other charities will be doing the same; also there will be information on their websites.

As I understand it, the headline points are:

1. EHC Plans instead of statements but only the education parts can be appealed and in practice those are the only parts that can be enforced. Education, health and care provision must be specific and detailed. Health authorities can withdraw/change the health element and there is not right to challenge that. No defined format for EHC Plans.

2. School Action Plus and School Action go, to be replaced by one pre-statementing stage.

3. EHC Plans can continue to 25 if the young person needs to stay in education, but that does not apply with universities. Young people can ask for assessment in their own right.

4. Availability of personal budgets for education, health and care provision.

5. The law will apply to academies and free schools (currently they are not directly bound by SEN law but by the terms of their funding agreements).

6. It would be possible for children to be placed in special academies without EHC Plans.

7. Plan to trial the right of appeal for young people over 16.

8. Compulsory referral to mediation advisers before you can start tribunal appeals. If you choose mediation, this can cover health and care as well as education, and health representatives must attend.

9. Local authorities to produce a 'local offer' setting out how education, health and care support will be provided in the area. However, there is no right to enforce what is in the local offer.

10. Assessment period to take 20 weeks instead of 26.

11. 3 year transition period.

bochead Sun 16-Mar-14 18:04:29

This one is being run by a coupla extremely well respected legal bods.

I'm not so sure LA run info sessions will have quite the level of relevant detail for parents - we need to know the law not local policies iykwim wink

Key question for many of us will be:-

1. How does my child qualify for a EHC?
2. How do I get my hands on a personal budget so that it can be spent on direct help for my child rather than tea and biscuits for the VIP's?
3. How do I avoid my child being placed in a "special academy" as these are going to be dumping grounds for those kids other local schools do not want, with no legal protections or even requirement for qualified teachers. The sink estates of the state school system if you like.

Nennypops Sun 16-Mar-14 21:55:16

Tbh, I've heard JF speak at a dyslexia event, clear he isn't.

My thoughts on 1 and 3 at least:

1. Same as now.
3. Insist on statutory assessment, go through the tribunal if necessary.

We won't really know about 2 till the code of practice is finalised.

Icimoi Mon 17-Mar-14 10:43:54

Isn't May a bit early for this if the Code of Practice and Regulations aren't coming out till June?

Flappingandflying Tue 18-Mar-14 17:25:18

It got royal charter last week. LEA s will have to publish local offers by September and schools say what they offer. However, logistically, statements will be satements for some time yet and I think EHCs will only be issued in the first instance for profound needs which have all three inputs, health, ss and nhs. The rest of us will bumble along with what we've got.

Nennypops Tue 18-Mar-14 18:42:04

After 1st September we go completely over to the EHCP process for all new assessments and older children and young adults should be prioritised. The whole process is supposed to be completed within 3 years, though there's a lot of scepticism about whether that would be possible realistically.

Tambaboy Wed 19-Mar-14 12:52:34

bochead I'm thinking about attending this seminar but it's on half term week and we haven't decided what are we doing yet, but If I go I don't mind posting the key points.

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