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Govt response to SEN COP consultation

11 June 2014

Special education needs and disability code of practice - 0 to 25 years: government response.

The Department for Education consulted on a draft new 0 to 25 SEN code of practice. The code is statutory guidance.

You can view our response to the consultation here.

Summary of the Government's response taken from the document:

25. Children and young people clearly want to be involved in making decisions about their individual support, as well as decisions about how support is provided locally. The requirement on local authorities to involve children and young people in discussions and decisions about their individual support, as well as about local provision, is clearly set out as a principle underlying the Code of Practice, and guidance is given throughout the Code on when, and how, local authorities should engage children and young people.

26. Recognising the importance of the transition to adulthood, there is now a separate chapter Preparing for Adulthood from the earliest years, which emphasises the need to start this process as early as possible and that this should be centred around the child’s or young person’s own aspirations, interests and needs.

27. The new Code is clearer about the transfer of decision-making rights in connection with EHC plans from parents to young people at age 16. It is also clear that families will continue to play an important role in supporting young people and in being involved in decisions about their care.

28. We recognise that some young people will be anxious about this change, and that some will continue to want their parents to support them. The Code makes it clear that parents, or other family members or friends, can continue to support young people in making decisions, or act on their behalf, should the young person want this. Local authorities should also ensure young people have access to support from an independent skilled supporter to ensure their views are heard and acknowledged.

29. It was clear from the consultation responses that having clear, accessible and relevant information is vital in supporting children and young people to participate in these discussions. The Code makes it clear that local authorities must ensure that children, young people and parents are provided with the information, advice and support necessary to enable them to participate in discussions. The Code states that this should include accessible information about rights and entitlements, and recognises the need to give children and young people time to prepare for these discussions. It also states that where necessary, young people should be provided with support to participate in these discussions from an advocate such as a professional or family member.

30. In addition, local authorities must ensure that children and young people are provided with information and advice about their SEN or disability, and they must be able to access this information and advice separately from their parents if they wish to do so.

You can view the Government's response and associated documents at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/special-educational-needs-sen-code-of-practice-and-regulations