Charities say the changes to the Special Needs Education System are beng implemented too quickly

Special Educational Needs, UK – From September special needs statements will be replaced by education, health and care plans (EHC) which aim to give holistic support.

Mark Lever of the National Autistic Society told the BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast that he was concerned how families would challenge decisions about support for their children.

“Too many families of children with autism will continue to battle for support on multiple fronts,”

The learning disability charity Mencap also voiced concerns about the time frame. Dan Scorer, Mencap’s head of policy and public affairs said:

“The finer details of the changes are yet to be published which means that professionals who work with children and young people with SEN have just a few months’ notice of their new obligations before they are expected to meet them,”

The government says the intention is to give children and young people with special educational needs and their parents “greater control and choice over the services they receive so their needs are properly met”.

The new system will bring together health and care needs alongside educational needs, with A single budget for each family.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said:

“We know the majority of local authorities are confident they will be ready to make the new system available to new entrants from 1 September and the changes will take place gradually, allowing the new arrangements to develop locally.”

The original article on the BBC Website can be read here

Speaking exclusively to Autism Daily Newscast Ana Kennedy OBE had this response about the proposed SEN changes:

“The changes in the way support will be given to children with SEN and young disabled adults are unquestionably wide-ranging. My concern is that the pace of change will mean that a whole new framework will be introduced this year despite many parents and even Local Authorities not being prepared.

“It is likely that this will lead to a period of “feeling your way in the dark” which simply cannot be good for the children and young adults the changes are designed to support. My advice to the Government would be to delay the introduction of the changes until they are both finalised and it is clear they can be introduced without any child or young adult being put at risk.”