The government have introduced major changes to the provision of support for young people with special educational needs (SEN).  The new arrangements will be phased in from this September.  These include a new Code of Practice for SEN to replace the previous (2001) code.

The main changes from the previous code of practice reflect the changes introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014. These are:

  • 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 and social care
  •  It includes guidance on publishing a Local Offer of support for children and young people with SEN or disabilities
  • 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)
  • 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 a greater focus on support that enables those with SEN to succeed in their education and make a successful transition to adulthood
  • Information is provided on relevant duties under the Equality Act 2010
  • Information is provided on relevant provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005

The new code is in draft form at present.  In terms of help with career planning it has this to say:

Clear, comprehensive and accessible information should be published about the support available to children and young people with SEN and disabled children and young people and the opportunities to participate in strategic decision-making.

Local authorities and CCGs must ensure that they publicise the availability of information and advice and opportunities to participate in strategic decision-making. Early years providers, schools, colleges, and other relevant services should tell parents and young people about the availability of local impartial information, advice and support.

For young people this should include access to information, advice and support on preparing for adulthood, such as advice and support on securing paid employment and/or meaningful occupation, independent living and finding accommodation, health and social care and participating actively in their local communities.