SEND reforms and the New ‘EHC’ (Education, Health and Care) Plans

The Government is changing the system for Special Educational Needs (SEN) with the Children and Families Bill.

These reforms are well described in the Preparing For Adulthood website.

According to the DH and DfE consultation published in October 2013:

The key features being proposed are:

  • From 1 September 2014, no new assessments for statements or LDAs will be offered by local authorities. New requests for an assessment of special educational needs after this point will be considered under the new legislation.
  • Transfer of all children and young people with existing statements to EHC plans is completed within three years; and young people with existing LDAs (Learning Difficulty Assessments) is completed within two years.
  • Local authorities must consult young people with SEN and parents of children with SEN to determine the best point within each year for them to transfer to the new system. They must have regard to the principles set out in the revised 0-25 SEN Code of Practice when writing EHC plans.
  • Local authorities must consult representative groups of children and young people with SEN and their parents to agree how transition of statements to EHC plans over the proposed three year period will be phased. This could either be at the beginning of a new Key Stage, at the beginning of a new educational stage (i.e. primary, secondary or further education), or earlier at the local authorities discretion.

Increasing options and improving provision for children with Special Educational Needs

The latest information on the Special Educational Needs and Disability reforms is available on the government website.

The Preparing for Adulthood programme (PfA) is funded by the Department for Education as part of the delivery support for the SEN and disability reforms.

Good news

From April 2014, it is expected that GPs will be offered an incentive to provide annual health checks from the age of 14. Whilst it is not compulsory for GPs to offer this service, Oxleas' LD services, working with Local Authority and paediatric health service colleagues, will be supporting practices to appropriately register their younger learning disabled patients and offer comprehensive health checks. Families will be encouraged to engage with this offer wherever possible.  For more information on health checks you can visit our LD Health Checks page.

Further information

Contact Mark Bradley (Clinical Lead for Transition) for any further information relating to health services and transition for young people with learning disabilities at mbradley1@nhs.net or by phone on 020 8269 3349.