The Children and Families Act, which became law from September 2014, results in changes to the way you and your child will receive support from your local council, health and social care services and nurseries, schools or colleges:
These are being replaced with a single education, health and care (EHC) plan: this will place much more emphasis on the child or young person’s personal goals and will describe the support a child will receive in order to achieve these. The plan will replace the need for multiple documents from different organisations. It will ensure that all the information about the child or young person is held in the same place so that all of the professionals involved in your child’s support are fully aware of all of their needs and aspirations, and plan together for how to meet them.
What the EHC plan template for Central Bedfordshire will actually look like is being drafted with parents and professionals in the light of the changes outlined in the Children and Families Act: sample documents are at http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/localoffer
All children and young people who currently have a statement of SEN will move across to the EHC plans over the next three years. This will usually be at a time of transition for your child (for example when the child or young person changes school or goes to college), but as a parent/carer you can request an EHC Plan earlier if you wish.
Once your child has an EHC plan, you may choose to apply for a personal budget if you wish. A Personal Budget is designed to give you and your child more control over certain aspects of the support your child needs. A personal budget is a payment that is made to allow you to source and fund some of the services your child needs yourself. The amount you may be given, and how it could be spent, is something that would be agreed with the council. Details of eligibility for personal budgets are available athttp://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/localoffer . A Personal Budget is not compulsory, and parents are able to decide whether they wish to fund some of their child’s support in this way or not.
For children with less complex needs, School Action and School Action Plus (or Early Years Action and Early Years Action Plus in the early years) has been removed from the new SEND Code of Practice.
All children and young people are entitled to good quality teaching, differentiated according to their needs. For children and young people in Central Bedfordshire for whom there is deemed to be an additional need, there will continue to be a graduated response and guidance for all education providers. The new guidance will be called stage 1 and stage 2, with stage 3 being the trigger for a formal request for a statutory EHC Plan through the process of statutory assessment.
The graduated response guidance has been drafted in the light of national guidance. You can see the current Central Bedfordshire guidance with regard to stage 1 and stage 2 interventions at:
or for early years at http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/Images/SEND_EarlyYearsGraduatedApproachOct14_tcm6-58797.pdf
The ‘Local Offer’ provides information for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their parents and carers in one place. The Local Offer for Central Bedfordshire can be found at http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/localoffer