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SEN reforms – right direction, wrong speed?

29 April 2014

Two charities, involved in disability issues, have warned that the Special Educational Needs (SEN) reforms are being implemented too quickly. The reforms, under the Children and Families Act 2014, are due to be implemented from September 2014 onwards with a new legal framework providing support to children with SEN or disabilities from birth to 25. Whilst the legal framework is in place, detailed guidance on the operation of that framework has not yet been finalised. The new SEN Code of Practice is still out for consultation and a final version will not be published until the summer which the charities believe leaves little time for the relevant agencies to adapt their working practices.

The reforms are the biggest for 30 years and are welcomed by the charities. However, their concerns have substance – the reforms will not succeed purely due to a new legal framework being implemented. It will require a change in culture embracing the new ways of working between the various agencies to ensure that the reforms meet their objective – to improve outcomes for children with SEN.

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