The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced significant reforms to the support provided by councils and other agencies to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).
- The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced significant reforms to the support provided by councils and other agencies to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). A key part of the reform was the introduction of Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). These bring together education, health and social care to provide ‘wrap-around’ support for children and young people with SEND.
- The LGA was clear at the time that reforms set out in the Act were significantly underfunded. We are concerned that the progress that has been made could be put at risk as funding levels have not kept pace with rising demand.
- Despite the financial challenges, councils have performed strongly in implementing the reforms set out in the Act. By the end of March 2018, councils will have undertaken reviews for 94 per cent of children and young people that were transferring from SEND statements on to EHCPs, despite the complex, multi-agency approach needed to transfer them.
- We are pleased that the Government has recognised that this has been a significant achievement for councils and we welcomed the additional funding that was allocated to support the EHCP transfer process (£40 million in April 2017, followed by £29 million in November 2017). We are now calling on the Department for Education (DfE) to make this funding available in future financial years to allow councils to continue to provide vital support for children with SEND.
- Additional funding is needed to help councils and schools respond to the significant increase in requests for support from the families of children with SEND. In the three-year period 2014-17 the number of children and young people with statements or EHCPs increased by 21.1 per cent from 237,111 to 287,290. This compares with a 3.5 per cent increase in the previous three-year period 2011-14. The increase between 2016 and 2017 was 12.1 per cent.
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LGA: Education, Health and Care Plans June 2018