Children and young people with special educational needs in Herefordshire will see changes to the way they and their families work with professionals.
From yesterday (1 September 2014), new legislation came into effect for children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN).
Parliament has changed the system so that it puts children and families at the centre of assessment processes and makes sure that their voices are heard alongside those of professionals working with the family. Herefordshire Council staff have been working with groups of parents and young people to develop the county’s approach and give everyone the best start in implementing the new system.
From this week, Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC) will be introduced for children and young people from birth to 25 with special educational needs. EHC Plans will replace Statements of SEN and Post-16 Learning Difficulty Assessments over the next two to three years.
There is also a ‘local offer’ of information about SEN and disability being developed, which aims to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for family members and those working with families to find the information they need. The council is asking for feedback about its ‘local offer’ and EHC Plans from service users, which will guide future improvements to the system. To find out more, visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/local-offer (each web page contains a feedback button).
Councillor Jeremy Millar, Cabinet member for young people and children’s wellbeing, said: “These reforms should place children and young people at the heart of decisions that affect their futures and as such I welcome the changes. I am pleased with the progress the council has made working with parents and carers, but we need to do more to work with social care, health services and other partners to provide a more co-ordinated experience for children and families. Herefordshire Council will continue to develop its approach with parents and carers, schools and other organisations.”