To read on Contact a Family website:
The SEN process
Information for England
On 1 September 2014 the government changed the way children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) are supported.
The changes were introduced through a new law, the Children and Families Act 2014, which applies to England only. Use the links below to find out more information:
- Changing from the old system to the new
How local authorities are moving people to the new system
- SEN support
Replaces early years/school action/action plus in mainstream schools
- Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments
These replace statutory assessments
- Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans
These replace statements of special educational needs
- Education beyond 16
EHC plans replace Learning Difficulty Assessments (S139a)
- The local offer
Our downloadable factsheet about the local offer of EHC services
- Jargon buster
Help with some of the new terminology
The SEND code of practice
The law is supported by a new SEND code of practice, which gives guidance to schools, colleges, local authorities and others on how they must carry out their duties under the new law. The code says that children and parents must be involved in any decision about their support.
You might find it useful to look at parts of the code of practice yourself: download the SEND code of practice.
We have made a series of factsheets to help families understand recent changes to the special education system in England.
- Introduction to the Children and Families Act 2014
- Extra support in mainstream school – SEN support
- Education, Health and Care needs assessments
- Education, Health and Care plans
- Preparing for adulthood
- The local offer explained
- Changing from the old system to the new – how will it happen?
The Department for Education has produced a guide to the new SEN system for parents and carers.
Information for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
Although this information applies to England only, we also support Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Give our helpline a call on 0808 808 3555 for information and advice on any aspect of raising a disabled child, or call your local contact. Find out our details in the In your area section.
Call our helpline
Any questions about support at school? How to get an EHC plan? What kind of school is best for my child? Call our freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555 and talk to one of our education advisers.