Key changes

What are the key changes?

Through the Children and Families Act 2014, the Government wants to improve the lives and outcomes for all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). They particularly want to improve the way children and their families are supported.

The Act intends to give families more choice and to put in place user friendly services for children and young people with SEND from birth to 25. These changes focus on the children and young people’s needs and ambitions. 

The key changes are:
  • introducing a joined up assessment process for children and young people with SEND
  • replacing statements of special educational needs with Education Health and Care (EHC) plans
  • publishing a 'Local Offer' which describes the services, resources and support in education, health and care that is available inside and outside of the local area to families and young people
  • introducing the option of personalised budgets to give families greater choice
  • identifying all the paths that young people can follow as they prepare to live and work as independently as possible in adulthood
  • ensuring local authorities and health authorities work together
  • duties for local authorities and health services apply to disabled children as well as children with SEN
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