The Children and Families Bill, which will introduce a number of changes to the way disabled children and young people and those with SEN receive support, has received Royal Assent.
After more than 2 years of consultation, debates and local authority ‘pathfinder’ testing, the Children and Families Bill received Royal Assent on 13 March.
The Act includes a move from Statements of SEN to Education, Health and Care plans (EHC Plans)
Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) says: “As a result of the work undertaken by the Every Disabled Child Matters Campaign, together with the Special Educational Consortium and parents, the Act now:
• should create a more joined-up system of support across education, health and social care, including enhanced rights to receive health and social care support
• includes disabled children and young people within its remit
• establishes an inquiry into how redress in the system can be improved
• puts participation at the heart of decision-making”
But EDCM also said:
‘This is only the start of a long process of the cultural change that is so urgently needed. EDCM will monitor how well the new system is delivering for all disabled children, young people and their families and those with SEN, especially the majority of children without an EHC Plan. We will campaign both nationally and locally to ensure that disabled children, young people and those with SEN actually get what has been promised to them.’