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Some children and young people need more help to learn new things when they are at school or college. If someone needs additional support, they are said to have Special Educational Needs or SEN for short. Sometimes they have a disability too (SEND).

The way that children and young people with SEN get this support is changing. This is because the government thinks we should do more to give children and young people the support they need. They also think that families should be supported to make sure their child gets the help they need.

The government is changing the law to try and make sure that this happens. This is called the Children and Families Act 2014.


Children, young people and parents can have their say

The government wants children, young people and parents to have more chance to say what they think about their support. This means that children, young people and their parents should be asked about what support they need and to say what they want to happen.

If a young person is over the age of 16, they will be asked if they want to make the decision before their parents are asked. This could be a decision about what school or college they want to go to, for example.

Most of the time young people will choose to involve their parents, but they will have the final decision.

There will be more information available

To help children, young people and parents say what support they want, they will be given information about their rights and what support they can get to help them. This could be someone like an advocate. An advocate is someone who can help people to say what they want if they find it difficult to do so.

They will also be given information about what support they can get in their local area. Your local area is the area you live in. This information will be called a local offer.

There will be a different way of supporting children and young people

Children and young people with SEN are likely to need some additional support to help them learn. Some will need more support than others.

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Some children and young people with SEN may have a statement and in the future this will be an Education, Health and Care Plan, or EHC Plan for short. If they need it, the EHC Plan will help children and young people to get support across all parts of their life, including health needs.

Health needs could be things like if someone needs help with their breathing or to move around.

Children and young people who do not need an EHC Plan, but have additional needs, will still get support from their school or college.   The school or college will decide how they can help these children and young people. They may develop an Early Help Record and Plan to document and evaluate the support in place.

Sometimes schools and colleges might decide to get help from someone who works outside of the school, like an Educational Psychologist or Speech and Language Therapist.

Education, Health and Care Plans POET Survey

The Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET) has been introduced to measure the impact of education, health and care plans for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. If you have a child or are a young person who has an Education, Health and Care Plan, and you would like to complete the survey, please refer to one of the following documents:



There will be new ways to say if you don’t agree with a decision

When a young person does not agree with a decision about things like the support they are given or what school or college they should go to, they can say so. Parents can also do this.Agree Disagree 2

There are 2 things that young people and parents can do if they don’t agree with a decision. One is for the young person or a parent to try to talk to the people who made the decision to see if they can find a way to agree about a decision. This is called mediation. Most decisions can be resolved this way. If it is not possible to agree on the best course of action, parents and young people can ask someone else to look at whether the decision is the right one. This could be done by a Judge in a Court, for example. If it is not the right decision, sometimes the decision can be changed.





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