The new SEND reforms will be implemented from September 2014 and will be the most significant change to supporting children and young people with SEND for over a decade.

What has changed since the 2001 Code of Practice?

  • The Code of Practice (2014) covers the 0-25 age range and includes guidance relating to disabled children and young people as well as those with SEN
  • There is a clearer focus on the participation of children and young people and parents in decision-making at individual and strategic levels
  • There is a stronger focus on high aspirations and on improving outcomes for children and young people
  • It includes guidance on the joint planning and commissioning of services to ensure close co-operation between education, health services and social care
  • It includes guidance on publishing a Local Offer of support for children and young people with SEN and disabilities
  • Social, mental and emotional health replaces behaviour, social and emotional as an area of need
  • There is new guidance for education and training settings on taking a graduated approach to identifying and supporting pupils and students with SEN (to replace School Action and School Action Plus) – Quality first teaching  embedded throughout – SEN support in schools based on 4 types of action – plan, assess, do, review
  • SEN provision is that which goes beyond the differentiated approaches and learning arrangements normally provided as part of high quality personalised teaching uses appropriate evidence – based interventions
  • For children and young people with more complex needs a co-ordinated assessment process and the new 0-25 Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC plan) replace statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs)
  • There is greater focus on support that enables those with SEN to succeed in their education and make a successful transition to adulthood

What does this mean for schools?

  • School action and school action plus are replaced by single category SEN Support
  • Every teacher is responsible and accountable for all pupils in their class wherever or with whoever the pupils are working
  • The SENCO will play  a pivotal role in the strategic development of SEND especially in supporting colleagues to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to support the children and young people they are teaching
  • Statements will be replaced by Education, Health and Care Plans. This will be carried out by Local Authorities from September 2014 to April 2018. Schools will be running with the dual system during this transition period
  • The majority of children identified with SEND in mainstream schools will have their needs met by class/subject teachers
  • All mainstream schools are provided with resources that they can use to support those with additional needs, including children and young people with SEN and disabilities
  • Schools will need to access external support if required to meet the needs of individual children and young people – this may be available from the local authority but it may have to be commissioned from independent providers

What does the SENCO need to be doing to prepare for the changes?

  • Ensure that all members of staff are aware of the changes and what they mean to them
  • Ensure that the governing body, your parents and  children and young people are aware of the changes
  • Develop your school information report for pupils with SEND
  • Decide how you are going to manage SEN Support in your school
  • Review the school’s SEND Policy
  • Review your SEN register and  record keeping systems (IEPs are not mentioned in the new Code of Practice
  • Carry out a professional development audit of your staff and develop a programme of CPD
  • Review all the interventions that you use – Are they successful? How do you know?
  • Work with  school leaders and governing body to review the resources available to support  SEND across the school
  • Seek external support for those pupils whose needs cannot be met by the internal workforce. Develop a clearer understanding of how to commission services to ensure they are value for money and supportive of the individual needs of your pupils

Involving specialists

  • The new Code of Practice is very clear that schools should make every effort to meet the needs of children and young people through quality first teaching and effective support and interventions which are regularly monitored and reviewed to assess their impact on pupil progress.
  • When a pupil continues to make less than expected progress, despite evidence-based support and interventions that are matched to the pupil’s area of need, the school should consider involving specialists, including those secured by the school itself or from outside agencies.
  • Schools may need to seek support from specialists to carry out assessments, provide targeted staff training or to set up targeted programmes to support individual needs.
  • The SENCO and class/subject teachers should work with the specialists to consider a range of evidence based and effective teaching approaches, appropriate equipment, strategies and interventions in order to support the child’s progress. The pupil’s parents should be involved in all of these discussions.

How can Integrated Treatment Services help you?

It is the aim of Integrated Treatment Services to provide an exceptional standard of service to meet the therapy needs of children and adults throughout the UK.

ITS will form a clear therapy pathway to meet your school’s therapy needs under one single referral route.  This will save you save you time and money.  ITS are able to accurately identify your need for support in Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Arts Therapies: Music, Play, Art & Drama Therapy as well as Educational and Clinical Psychology.

Get in touch with us to day to find out more about accessing quality therapy provision for your setting.


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