A new Children and Families Bill, including measures to improve provisions for children with special educational needs and disabilities, was announced in the Queen’s Speech last Wednesday.
The Department for Education described the Bill as ‘the biggest reform in 30 years’. They stated that the main essentials for children with special educational needs and disabilities were ‘replacing Special Educational Needs (SEN) statements and Learning Disability Assessments (for 16-25 year olds) with a single, simpler 0-25 assessment process and Education, Health and Care Plan from 2014.’
In addition, local authorities and health services will be required to jointly plan and commission services that children, young people and their families require. The Bill will also give parents or young people the right to a personal budget for their own support.
As a result of the Children and Families Bill, the role of the Children’s Commissioner will be strengthened. There will also be measures to allow mothers and fathers to share parental leave, as well as a reform of family law to speed up care proceedings.