Support the #Respect4SocialWork campaign today and celebrate the social work profession.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

SEN shake-up receives positive feedback

SEN shake-up receives positive feedback

Parents of children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) are largely positive about changes being introduced by the government to give them more choice over the services they use, a report has found.

Under the Children and Families Act 2014, from 1 September, children and young people with SEN, and their families, will be offered personal budgets to carry out their education, health and care (EHC) plans, which will replace statements of SEN.

There are four different ways that parents will be able to access personal budgets, including direct payments, which allow them to buy in and manage services for their children.

An evaluation of the SEN Pathfinder Programme, conducted by OPM, found that in many cases having a choice was not deemed necessary because families were already happy with their services or were happy to accept the advice of their child’s school.

The report said parents wanted to be kept informed with progress in terms of trying to gain new services or support.

"Even if services were not being delivered, parents were more content when they knew that actions were under way; that someone was accountable and that there was a defined timescale in place," it added.

The report said it was common for parents to derive reassurance from having a plan in place and seeing their child or young person thrive.

"In some cases, parents also gained confidence in their own ability to support their child and felt that the process had helped them to have a more accurate understanding and clearer expectations around their child’s progress," the report said.

"In some cases, having choice was not deemed necessary because families were already happy with their services or were happy to accept the advice of their child’s school."

However, the report did say that despite the changes, parents remain anxious about the impact of local fundung cuts and ongoing austerity on services.

“It’s great news that families who’ve tested our reforms ahead of September are now saying they have more control over how and where they access support for their children," children's minister Edward Timpson said.

“For far too long, too many families have had to fight for the support they need. The new system will put children and young people first.

“It’s vital that children and young people with SEN can have their say on important decisions affecting their future."

The report concludes that while parents enjoyed their freedom to commission services, they must be provided with ample information about the availability of local services.

It states: “Direct payments were only useful in circumstances when the family had sufficient availability of care locally and knowledge of care options.

“For example, one family living in a rural area was unable to recruit a carer and would have welcomed more support and guidance around this.”

However, the report acknowledges that the introduction of a “local offer” with all details about the support available to children and young people with SEN and disabilities, which all authorities will be required to publish from September, should clarify the availability of services.

Story courtesy of CYP

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Unaccompanied children included in Homes for Ukraine scheme


Applications for unaccompanied children from Ukraine are starting to be processed under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, the government has announced.

The Homes for Ukraine scheme will allow children and minors under the age of 18 who have already applied through the Homes for Ukraine Scheme to come to the UK without a parent or [...]

Read Full Story

Ofsted consults on introducing a judgement in inspections on progress for care leavers


Ofsted has launched a consultation on proposals to include a new judgement on the experiences and progress of care leavers in the local authority children’s services (ILACS) inspection framework.

The inspectorate proposes to:

•             Introduce a separate new judgement within ILACS: “The experience and progress of care leavers.”

•             Review and update the existing evaluation criteria to [...]

Read Full Story

Draft Mental Health Bill published to support people experiencing a mental health crisis


The government has announced £150m investment to improve mental health services for those experiencing a mental health crisis outside of A&E.

The funding over the next three years will bolster NHS mental health services, better support people in crisis outside of A&E and enhance patient safety in mental health units, acting on recommendations from Professor [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
WP Quality Assured

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram