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Students from Pens Meadow post 16 department

SEN Reform: A new approach to special educational needs and disability (SEND)

Many parents and carers will be aware that the government has introduced some significant changes to the way all local authorities and health services, across the country, work with children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND).

The reasons for this are provided by the Department of Education which says:

 ‘Our proposed reforms respond to the frustrations of children and young people and the professionals who work with them. We want to put in place a radically different system to support better life outcomes for young people; give parents confidence by giving them more control; and transfer power to professionals on the front line and to local communities'.

Support and Aspiration (DfE, 2011, pg.4, paragraph 4)

These proposals have been built into The Children and Families Act 2014 which became law in March 2014 and, as a result, all local authorities have a new set of statutory guideline to work to in the form of the Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0-25 (2015).

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Dudley’s Local Offer

From September 2014, all local authorities must provide up to date information about the range of services available, in their area, in particular education, health and social care, for children and young people from 0-25, who have a special educational needs and/or a disability.

The Local Offer includes services for those children and young people who have the most complex learning needs and have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

It also provides information about the services for those children and young people who have less complex learning needs and who may be placed at Special Educational Needs Support (SENS) which replaces school action and school action plus from September 2014.

A wide range of information is to be included for example:

  • the range of education, health and care provision available.

  • what is ‘ordinarily available’ to parents in their local mainstream educational provision. 

  • the arrangements for identifying and assessing children and young people’s SEND.

  • other types of educational provision (e.g. sports or arts provision).

  • training provision (e.g. apprenticeships) particularly for older students

  • travel arrangements to and from educational provision.

  • types of support available to help young people to prepare for adulthood.

  • support groups, forums, childcare and leisure providers.

  • complaints procedures and dispute resolution

The Local Offer website will be launched in September 2014 and will grow as more information is added and feedback is received from users.



Dudley SENDIASS (formerly Dudley Parent Partnership Service) provides impartial information, advice and support to young people and parents, covering special educational needs (SEN), disability, health and social care

Helpline number:01384 817373
Address: Saltwells Education Centre, Bowling Green Road Netherton, Dudley DY2 9LY


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