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Queen confirms long-awaited shake-up of SEN

10 May 2012

Yesterday, in a speech to Parliament, the Queen announced details of a new Families and Children Bill. Plans include replacing SEN statements with a single assessment combining education, health and social care into one simple plan for 0-25 year-olds from 2014. Councils and health services will join forces to plan and commission the services that children, young people and families with SEN or disabilities need. The bill will also require local authorities to publish a local offer showing the support available.

Commentators have described the current system as overly-complex, bureaucratic and back-logged causing families to struggle to get the SEN services and support they need. The current SEN code dates back to 2001; an overhaul of the system is long-overdue.

It is essential that plans are thoroughly debated with clear statutory obligations put in place so that schools and academies are clear on what their obligations are. The bill is expected to be published I September 2013. No doubt this will be an ongoing and widely-debated discussion.

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