Special educational needs and disabilities support is preparing for the biggest transformation in over 30 years.

The new reforms will give young people, parents and carers a greater say over their personalised education, care and health needs. Also put in place will be a new birth-to-25 system for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The biggest change will see the current Statement of Special Educational Needs being replaced by an Education, Health and Care Plan and the assessments for the new plans will be completed within 20 weeks - this replaces the previous timeframe of 26 weeks.

The new system starts from September 2014 and Torbay Council have received £280,000, part of the £45 million pot made available nationally by the Government, to help them meet their statutory requirements.

A new code of practice will also be implemented which sets out in one place the legal requirements that councils, schools and other organisations that support children and young people with SEND must follow.

Ken Pritchard, Executive lead for Children, Schools and Families, said: “Torbay has just under 900 children and young people with Special Educational Needs and we have been preparing for these changes, working with professionals, young people, parents and carers to meet their needs for over a year.

“This funding is a real boost to help us deliver these changes and I would like to reassure everyone that children with special educational needs will continue to have their needs met. We will continue to work closely with all schools within Torbay to ensure that this is the case.”

Existing Statements of Special Educational Needs will be converted to Education, Health and Care Plans over a 4 year period. These will take place at key points when a young person is preparing to transition between stages of education.

The council will also publish a Local Offer as part of the Torbay Directory to provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about what services in Torbay are available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or a disability.

To find out more about the new SEND reforms, how it will work in Torbay and to see the new SEN code visit: www.torbay.gov.uk/sendreforms.






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