Education Law Solicitors

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HCB SEN Solicitors

SEN Code of Practice in England

Guidance on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 to 25.

In 2014, the Department for Education published the new SEND Code of Practice, replacing the 2001 Code when it came into force in September 2014. It was updated again in January 2015 to also reflect the Children and Families Act (2014). It is officially titled the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years.

The 2001 Code will continue to apply to anyone who has a SEN Statement under Part 4 of the Education Act 1996 and has not been converted to an EHC Plan.

What are the main changes brought in by the Children and Families Act 2014?

The Children and Families Act was introduced with the intention of improving and simplifying the support available for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Provisions are now available for young people aged 0 – 25 years old and introduced the EHCP to replace SEN Statements with the aim of making assistance for families more personalised.

Who is the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice for?

The Code of Practice in England was created to fully outline the responsibilities of the Local Authority, early educational establishments, schools, and academies in partnership with health organisations in accordance with the Children and Families Act (2014). The Code was made for Head Teachers/Principles, school staff, Local Authorities, Governing Bodies, SEN coordinators, heath/social services, and early education providers.

What do parents need to know about the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice?

Whenever any kind of decision is made in regards to children with SEN or Disabilities, consideration must be given to the SEND Code of Practice, which details what legal requirements should be followed, and the statutory guidance that must legally be adhered to.

The duties imposed upon schools by the SEND Code of Practice are as follows:

  1. Schools must be sure to identify and address the special educational needs (SEN) of the pupils under their care.
  2. Schools are expected to use their best endeavours to ensure children with SEN receive adequate support.
  3. Schools are expected to use their best endeavours to ensure children with SEN receive adequate support.
  4. Parents and pupils should be actively involved in all the decision making processes.
  5. A teacher has to be assigned as responsible coordinator for all SEN provisions, other than in academies for 16 to 19 year olds.
  6. Schools are required to inform parents when they are making special educational provision for pupils.
  7. All schools must have a member of the Governing Body or sub-committee allocated to oversee the SEN and disability provision.
  8. All pupils with SEN should engage in the same activities alongside other pupils.
  9. A SEN information report must be prepared.