SEND reforms to officially commence on 1st September

With the SEND reforms introduced by the Children and Families Act officially becoming law from Monday, the Department for Education has published a guide for local authorities on their responsibilities in regards to the transition to the new system. The guidance re-states the requirements for local authorities to transfer children and young people to the new SEN and disability system over a period from September 2014 to March 2014.

The guidance is surprisingly prescriptive compared to previous guidelines for local authorities, suggesting that the Department is concerned that some local authorities do not have adequate transition arrangements in place. The Department has previously insisted that it is for local authorities to determine when children and young people will be transferred to the new SEN and disability system, in consultation with young people with SEN, the parents of children with SEN, as well as organisations such as schools, colleges, and health organisations.

However this document sets out strong parameters for which groups of children and young people should be transferred when, which should ensure some order and consistency in the implementation of the new system.