Presentation on theme: "The special education needs reforms: A slide pack for school governors"— Presentation transcript:
1 The special education needs reforms: A slide pack for school governors The slides provides high-level information for Governors about the SEND reforms. The notes accompanying each slide provide further information about the topic and references to relevant sections of the Code of Practice.
2 Overview of the reforms: The case for change The current system of SEN support is complicated, picks up issues too late, has too much duplication, and is too focused on inputs rather than outcomes.Too often young people find there is a ‘cliff edge’ of support between children and adults services. Parents find it difficult to navigate the system that is intended to help them, find it adversarial, and complain that they have to tell their stories time and time again.SEN can sometimes be unhelpfully linked with falling behind, and this may have contributed to the growing number of pupils at School Action and Action Plus - Lamb Inquiry 2009.The Achievement for All pilot demonstrated that with the right support children with SEN can be supported to achieve good outcomes.The consultation on the initial Green Paper “Support and Aspiration” (2011) highlighted that the current system is not working for children with SEN. (The Lamb Inquiry (2009) reported that SEN can sometimes be ‘unhelpfully conflated’ with falling behind, and this may have contributed to the growing number of pupils at School Action and Action Plus. At the end of Key Stage 2, August-born pupils are 60 per cent more likely to be identified as having SEN than September-born pupils. This relationship is strongest for those in the current School Action category. It also found that 'there is a risk that the use of the SEN label itself leads to lower expectations or less vigorous intervention. (The results of the independent evaluation of the Achievement for All pilot confirmed that all pupils in the pilot achieved better than SEN pupils nationally overall. The pilot was successful in narrowing the attainment gap between SEN and non-SEN pupils. It is now being rolled out nationally:
3 Overview of the reforms: The vision Children’s SEN are picked up early and support is routinely put in place quickly.Staff have the knowledge, understanding and skills to provide the right support for children and young people who have SEN or are disabled.Parents know what they can reasonably expect their local school, college, LA & local services to provide, without having to fight for it.Aspirations for children and young people are raised through an increased focus on life outcomes, including employment.For more complex needs, an integrated assessment and a single Education, Health and Care (EHC)Plan are in place from birth to 25.There is greater control for parents and young people over the services they and their family use.Following the consultation on the 2011 Green Paper the Government set out its response. This slide explains what the Government wants to achieve with the reforms which forms the components in the Children and Families Act (also see slide 4).Essentially the vision is that:children and young people with SEN and disabilities to achieve well in their early years, at school and college, find employment; lead happy and fulfilled lives; and have choice and control.So how are we going to make it happen?The central pillar is that all professionals surrounding the child across health, education and social care work together with parents to identify a child’s SEN and provide the right support at the right time.But Government is not going to dictate how it is done.Building on best practice, the reforms give schools the freedom to develop what works for them in partnership with their local authority, and crucially in partnership with parents.
4 Overview of the reforms: Children and Families Act Where disagreements happen, they can be resolved early and amicably, with the option of a Tribunal for those that need it.EnablersChildren, young people and parents understand a joined up system, designed around their needs.Joint commissioningBetter disagreement resolution processesLocal offerOutcomesHaving friendsPositive WellbeingEmployment prospects0-25Children and young people with SENDand familiesInformation, advice and supportMaking theirviews heardGood qualificationsComponents of part 3 of the Children and Families Act ( outer circle)LAs and CCGs will work together to commission services jointly to secure a better integrated system for 0-25 year olds, focused on outcomes, working with children, young people, parents and partners across education, health and social care.Together, they will produce a ‘local offer’ of services developed with parents and young people, so that they can understand what is available, and how to complain if they need to. They must consult publicly on this local offer, and publish the results.A streamlined assessment process, co-ordinated across education, health and care, and involving children and young people and their families throughout. A new 0-25 Education, Health and Care plan to replace the current system of Statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments, which reflect the child or young person’s aspirations for the future, as well as their current needs.New statutory protections for young people aged in FE, including right to request particular institution named in their EHC plan and the right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.A new duty on health commissioners to deliver the agreed health elements of EHC plans.A new duty on schools to ensure those with long term health conditions get the support they need.The option of a personal budget for families and young people with a plan, extending choice and control over their support.Support to resolve disputes earlier through access to mediation, while retaining the option to go to TribunalThe requirement for schools apply to all types of schools including Academies (Free Schools)The SEND Code of Practice sets out expectations of how every child with SEND will be helped in education (whether or not they have an EHC plan).Option of a Personal BudgetIntegrated assessment and planningExtending choice and control over their support.Education Health and Care plan is holistic, co-produced and focused on outcomes.
5 Overview of the reforms: A new 0-25 Code of Practice The new Code of Practice is a single piece of statutory guidance to replace the current Code of Practice, the Learning Difficulties Assessment guidance and the DfE’s Inclusive Schooling guidance.It includes information on the provisions set out in part three of the Children and Families Act and other non-legislative requirements.SEN support which provides practical advice on how to carry out statutory duties to assess, plan, do, review and improve outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs. This replaces School Action/ School Action Plus categories.A clear focus at every level and every stage on a person-centred approach and the involvement of families and young people.A focus on outcomes to be achieved, rather than simply units of provision.Preparing for Adulthood: Emphasis on transition to post 16 provision and preparing children and young people with SEN particularly those 14 and over (year 9) for adult life.The following institutions must have regard to the Code: Schools, Academies, Colleges, Early years settings, Local authorities, Pupil Referral Units, ISPs (pre and post-16), Health Bodies – including the NHS Commissioning Board; clinical commissioning groups; NHS trusts; NHS foundation trusts and Local Health Boards.Schools need to be driving the culture change of a joined up service to ensure children and young people get the help they need at the right time and they and their families are involved in decisions about their support.The move away from School Action and School Action Plus to school support and from statements to EHC plans is all part of the drive to move the focus away from categories of needs and descriptions of support to an on-going cycle of assessing, planning, implementing and reviewing a child’s support. Known as the graduated approach, this enables schools to continually reflect on a child’s progress towards specific outcomes.The process of engaging young people and parents at every level – from strategic service commissioning through to individual plans is vital. Parents understand it’s hard, but need to know they’ve been listened to, understand the rationale behind decisions and what is intended to be achieved as a result.It is crucial that there is a shared understanding by what is meant by outcomes (chapter 9 , para 9.64 of the Code describes some outcomes to be sought for the child) . They are not descriptions of a service being provided but will set out what needs to be achieved in order to enable the child or young person to progress successfully to the next phase or stage.The focus on preparation for adulthood isn’t just something for FE. It needs to start early – it’s the final end point of the outcomes set out within the child’s support plan or EHC plan and reviewed and refreshed as the child progresses.
6 Reform in practice: Legal duties The main legal duties on schools will not change, but the way they will be met may change. Schools must continue to:meet their Equality Act duties for pupils with disabilities;use their best endeavours to meet pupils’ SEN;inform parents when pupils receive support for special educational needs and involve them in reviews of progress;admit a young person, where the school is named in an EHC plan;co-operate with the local authority in developing the local offer; andhave regard to the new 0-25 SEND Code of Practice. New duties require schools to:produce and publish online a School SEN Information Report;appoint a suitably qualified or experienced member of staff as SENCO (National Award); andmake arrangements to support pupils with medical condition - schools must have regard to statutory guidance supporting pupils at school with medical conditions.The new Code of Practice applies to all state funded schools, early years settings, schools and further education.So what are the ‘must dos’ for schools? The main legal duties don’t change for them.Everything starts with the equalities duties for disabled children. All schools have duties under the Equality Act 2010 towards individual disabled children and young people. They must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services for disabled children, to prevent them being put at a substantial disadvantage. These duties are anticipatory – they require thought to be given in advance to what disabled children and young people might require and what adjustments might need to be made to prevent that disadvantage. Schools also have wider duties to prevent discrimination, to promote equality of opportunity and to foster good relations. Code of Practice, section 6.9These duties should create a level playing field in terms of access and schools have to make the necessary reasonable adjustments.Then if the child is not progressing or needs additional support , they would then be identified as having a SEN and assessed and reviewed for SEN support or an ECHP plan.The duty on schools to co-operate with the local authority in developing the local offer is new.It is aligned to the requirement on schools to publish SEN information, which gives details about their individual approach to identifying and supporting children with SEN (and all the other requirements in the Regulations and set out in the Code).The duty on schools to engage with the LA on the local offer should be a useful and positive process in which all the services the school may need to support their pupils are set out and how to access them. Code of Practice, section 4.15.
7 Reforms in practice: The role of the governing body Responsible for ensuring that the SEN and Disability reforms are implemented in its school - the head teacher is responsible for day to day delivery of the reforms.Must ensure the school has suitable arrangement for consulting with parentsResponsible for ensuring the school publish information on its websites about the implementation of the governing body’s policy for pupils with SEN.Responsible for ensuring the school is fulfilling its legal duties in ensuring there is a qualified teacher designated as SENCO.Must ensure the school is cooperating with the local authority including in developing the local offer and when the school is being named in an EHC plan.Must ensure that arrangements are in place in the school to support pupils with medical conditions.Must ensure the school publish information about the arrangements for the admission of disabled children, the steps taken to prevent disabled children being treated less favourably than others, the facilities provided to assist access of disabled children, and their accessibility plans.Governors understanding and involvement in the implementation of the reforms will help ensure schools are meeting the spirit of the Code and fulfilling their best endeavours duties.It is good practice to appoint a member of the Governor team as SEND lead but the responsibility for delivering the reform is a collective one.As a group they should ensure all aspect of the responsibilities for the school in the reforms is being delivered by the school.In overseeing implementation of the reforms, the governing body should consider their strategic approach to meeting SEN in the context of the total resources available, including any resources targeted at particular groups, such as the pupil premium. (Code of Practice, section 6.97)
8 Reform in practice: SEN Support - the role of the class/subject teacher ReviewAssessEngage parentExternal supportWider support/specialist expertiseeEngage parentEngage parentThis diagram illustrates the key role for teachers in the reforms. The child at the centre and the classroom and subject teachers at the heart of the new SEN support system, driving the movement around the four stages (assessing need, planning support, do or implementing the support , reviewing the impact of support) of action, with the support guidance of the SENCO , specialist and engaging parents in the process.The classroom teacher should:Focus on outcomes for the child: Be clear about the outcome wanted from any SEN support.Be responsible for meeting special educational needs: Use the SENCO strategically to support the quality of teaching, evaluate the quality of support and contribute to school improvement.Have high aspirations for every pupils: Set clear progress targets for pupils and be clear about how the full range of resources are going to help reach them.Involve parents and pupils in planning and reviewing progress: Seek their views and provide regular updates on progress.(Chapter 6, Paragraph 6.44 of the Code of Practice)SENCOcClass/subject teacherChild or young Persons with SENClass/subject teacherSENCOWider support/specialist expertisePlanDoEngage parent
9 Reform in practice: Transferring to the new system. All newly identified SEN pupils not on EHC plans should be recorded under ‘SEN support’ from September 2014.Schools should review the provision for those currently on SA/SA Plus and transfer where appropriate to SEN support by the end of spring 2015.Children and young people who are newly assessed for statements must be assessed under the new EHC plan arrangement and should be recorded under the school census from September 2014.Children and young people with existing statements transfer to the new system by April 2018.The department expects that schools will review their current cohort of pupils in the ‘SA’ or ‘SA+’ categories from September as they normally do (ie at least termly or as new pupils enter the school). Any newly identified or reviewed pupils must be recorded under the SEN support category, rather than as ‘SA’ or ‘SA+’The department expects the conversion to be completed by the January census for most pupils on the assumption that most schools conduct reviews of SEN pupils within a term. However it is recognised that this may not be the case for all schools and a transitional period to the end of the spring 2015 term is provided to allow all conversions to be completed.Schools must continue to meet obligations for student who are currently on statements.During the transitional period schools will be able to record pupils as having either ‘S’ (statement) or ‘E’(EHC plan). Schools may have some pupils with statements and some who have already moved to EHC plans but no individual pupil can have both.Code of Practice, section 6.83
10 Reform in practice: School funding Schools need to engage with their LA as part of the schools forum on how money is distributed and the process for seeking high needs top up funding.Funding for schools is provided by central government to local authorities through the Dedicated Schools Grant. LAs distribute this to schools by using a local funding formula.School have an amount identified within the overall budget called the notional SEN budget which is not ring fenced and it is for school to meet the first £6000 of any support within its overall budget.For each pupil whose high level needs cost more than £6,000 per year, the local authority can provide high needs top-up funding.Schools can buy in specialist support to meet children’s SEN.Funding for schools is provided by central government to LAs through the Dedicated Schools Grant. LAs distribute this to schools by using a local funding formula.(Code of Practice -Chapter 6 section 6.95)Schools can buy in specialist support to meet children’s SEN, for example:Achievement for All (London Leadership Strategy (Autism Education Trust (Dyslexia SPLD Trust (National Sensory Impairment Partnership ( support for children with sensory impairmentI CAN –( experts in helping children develop the speech, language and communication skills
11 Reform in practice: Personal budgets A personal budget is an amount of money identified to deliver parts of the provision set out in an EHC plan.Families can request a personal budget as part of the planning process (in drawing up Plan or at Annual Review).Schools will have a role in providing support information to parents and young people who have opted for personal budgets.Can include funding from education, health and social care – in education, funding for personal budgets will be for more specialist or individualised provision (funded through the high needs block) rather than services the school is expected to provide as part of the local offer.A local authority must secure a school’s agreement where any provision, bought by the parent/young person using a direct payment, will be provided on the school’s premises.Governors should ensure the school cooperate with the LA in the use of personal budgets.As part of their local offer, local authorities should set out a co-produced local policy for personal budgets that includes a description of the services across education, health and social care that currently lend themselves to the use of personal budgets, how that funding will be made available, and clear and simple statements of eligibility criteria and the decision making processes that underpin them.Personal budgets will only ever be for agreed provision in the EHC plan – if the LA does not agree with how the parent proposes to use the budget they will not include it in the plan - parents cannot simply use to spend as they wish, other than any flexibility of use written into the plan.They do not include funding for the school place, and will not include targeted support managed by the school or other learning provider to offer additional learning support to individuals, classes or groups of pupils and students – the support that the school is expected to provide as part of the local offer. However, schools should be encouraged to personalise the support they provide and they can choose to contribute their own funding to a personal budget.A personal budget can be delivered in one of four ways:Direct payments. Money is transferred directly into the individual’s bank account, which has been opened for the purpose, to meet the identified outcomes. Where a parent proposes to use a direct payment for provision to be delivered on the school premises, the LA must secure that settings prior agreement – this will be done when the LA consults the school about naming it on the EHC plan.A (notional) arrangement whereby the LA or school holds the funds and commissions the support as agreed with parent in the EHC plan. In this circumstance the individual does not receive the money directly but are allocated a budget and participate fully in the planning and decision making around how the money is spent.Actual budget held by a third party. Where a direct payment are paid to, and managed, by an individual or organisation on behalf of the child’s parent or young personOR any combination of the above(Code of Practice, section 3.38 & 3.39.)There are some really powerful examples of use of personal budgets in schools – including where families have combined social care and education funding to employ personal assistants (note PA not learning support) that has given continuity of care between home and school – providing benefits for mum/young person and the school. Other examples include support to help learning outside of school such as provision over school holidays that has stopped regression in attainment that previously occurred over the summer.Is it up to the LA to determine who gets a personal budget? Parents and young people have the right to request a personal budget when they have been assessed as needing an EHC plan or during a review of an existing plan. Local authorities must consider each request for a personal budget on its own individual merits and where they are unable to prepare a budget they will need to set out their reasons in writing. The LA must also develop a local policy on personal budgets with families, including the support and information families will get about accessing and managing a personal budget. Personal budgets do not always have to be taken as a direct payment.
12 Reform in practice: The Local Offer The duty on schools to co-operate with the local authority in developing the local offer is aligned to the requirement on schools to publish SEN information, which gives details about their individual approach to identifying and supporting children with SEN (and all the other requirements in the regulations and set out in the Code of Practice).The local offer should be useful for schools. It must include information on services across education, health and social care and from birth to 25; how to access specialist support; how decisions are made including eligibility criteria for accessing services where appropriate; and how to complain or appeal.Many LAs are already working with their parent carer forums and other organisations, including young people, to ‘co-produce’ their local offer.Regulations and the SEN Code of Practice outline who local authorities must consult in developing and reviewing their local offer and how they should do this.The duty on schools to engage with the LA on the local offer should be a useful and positive process in which all the services the school may need to support their pupils are set out along with how to access them.The local offer will be clear about who is responsible for providing services, arrangements for accessing them and what to do if things go wrong or parents and young people are unhappy about the support they are getting.A local authority must publish its local offer by placing it on their website; and publish its arrangements for enabling people without access to the internet; and different groups, including people with special educational needs or a disability, to obtain a copy of the offer.(Code of Practice, section 4.15).
13 Readiness: Checklist for Governors from September Has the governing body:Reviewed the school’s SEN Policy with head teacher.Ensure SEN information report is in place and published on the school’s website from September.Ensured the school is engaging with the LA in the development of the local offer and their process for transferring from statements to EHC plans.Considered how the SENCO fits into strategic management of the school.Staff trained and ready to deliver the changes.Ensured the head teacher has:Reviewed pupils currently on SA/SA+ and is engaging the child and parent in decision making.Reviewed how the schools support pupils with their transition to post-16 education and preparing for adult life.has arrangements in place to support pupils with medical conditions.The new reforms for SEN will be effective from 1 September Nobody is expecting instant overnight transformation on the 1st September and some of the changes are being phased in over time. But there are some things which need to be done for September.School leaders and governors should explore what the reforms mean for their school so that the SEN policy can be reviewed and refreshed in a co-production partnership with parents, carers, families and children and young people from September.Schools should explore how they will inform parents about the reforms, reassure them that their child will get the support they need and engage them in their child’s review.One of the central pillars of the reforms is that classroom teachers play a pivotal role in reviewing a child SEN support so all schools should be looking at the training needs of all their staff to support the reforms.All schools are required to publish an SEN information report which must include information for identifying, assessing and making provision for pupils with SEN and admission of disabled pupils. The requirements are set out at Also, see nasen Helpsheet: SEN Information Publication Requirements for Schools, September 2014.Schools must also cooperate with local authorities in the development and review of the Local Offer. And at the same time, school leaders should be engaging with their local authority in relation to the process for transferring from statements to EHC plans, delegated funding, joint commissioning, Education, Health and Care Plans and implications of personal budgets.The SENCO must be a qualified teacher working at the schools and where a newly appointed SENCO has not been the SENCO for a total period of more than 12 months, they must achieve a National Award in SEN coordination within three years of appointment.The reforms place a duty on schools to make arrangements to support pupils with medical condition and schools must have regard to statutory guidance supporting pupils at school with medical conditions.