Thursday 9.30am: Children with special educational needs in Peterborough have been given a boost following extra Government funding.
The Department for Education has announced it will invest a further £31.7 million in 2015-16 to help local authorities in England continue to meet the costs of implementing the children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) reforms, including £359,333 in Cambridgeshire.
Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson, said: “Our reforms put children and parents right at the heart of the system. We’re on the beginning of a journey to provide simpler, improved and consistent help.
“Local councils have made a strong start in implementing these life changing reforms, but we want to give them more help to take delivery to the next level.
“The timescale has always been for them to bring children into the new system over the next three years – this extra money will help them to do that.”
In England one in five children has SEND, ranging from dyslexia to a physical impairment. The government’s reforms will enable them and their parents to have a role in shaping the support they receive.
The code of practice requires local authorities, health bodies, schools, maintained early education settings and colleges to carry out statutory duties for children and young people with SEND.
The reforms extend provision from birth to 25 years of age. This will give families greater choice in decisions and ensure needs are properly met.
The new system extends rights and protections to young people by introducing a new Education, Health and Care plan. Professionals will also provide more tailored support to families, giving them the help and assistance they need.
The Department for Education has also worked with Mencap to publish today for the first time easy read guides for young people with SEND and their parents that explain the reforms to the system.
Dean Meuleman, who works for Mencap and has a learning difficulty, said:
“Easy read is one way of making information easier to understand and use. It uses simple words, short sentences, bullet points and pictures. All these things help people with a learning disability understand important information. It can make a real difference to people’s lives.
“The changes to the law on SEND will affect parents and young people with a learning disability. They have a right to understand these changes and how they will impact them directly.
“I hope that these new easy read guides will help people with a learning disability to make the best choices and decisions for themselves.”