The Children and Families Act 2014
The Children and Families Act (2014) introduced changes to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system:
- A new Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to replace the statement of special educational needs
- School action and school action plus to be replaced by a new school based category, 'SEN support'
- A new SEN Code of Practice
- Personal budgets for those with an education, health and care plan
- Mediation for parents going to Tribunal
- Individual Action Plans will no longer be used
What does this mean for young people and their families?
- Putting the child or young person and their family at the centre of the process
- Children’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) are picked up early and support is put in place quickly
- Greater control for parents and young people over the services they use
- Parents know what they can expect their pre-school, school, college, local authority, health services and local services to provide
- Practitioners have the knowledge, understanding and skills to provide support for children and young people who have SEN, or are disabled
- Children and young people are encouraged to have raised hopes about what they can achieve in learning and for life
- For more complex needs, practitioners will work together with families. This can lead to a single Education, Health and Care Plan that can be in place from birth to 25
The Care Act 2014
The Care Act 2014 introduced reforms to put people and their carers in control of their care and support. The Act ensures:
- New rights to carers
- A national eligibility criteria framework and assessments for care and support services
- Prevention services
- Better planning of transition between children's and adult's services
- Easier to move between areas (continuation of services)
- Universal deferred payments
- Universal information and advice (including signposting to independent financial advice)
- Safer services (statutory Safeguarding Board)
- Market development and failure - What support and care services people need and how they need them provided
- Partnership working
Under the Act, anyone who might need care and support is entitled to a needs assessment, which the council must carryout. Carers who also appear to have needs are entitled to a carer's assessment.
The websites below provide further information on the Care Act and how it ensures the well being of people in need of care and support services:
Mental Capacity Act 2005
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 protects vulnerable people over the age of 16 around decision making. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice states the 5 statutory principles are:
- A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that they lack capacity.
- A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help him to do so have been taken without success.
- A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because he makes an unwise decision.
- A decision made on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done, or made, in his best interests.
- Before a decision is made, regard must be had to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of the person’s rights and freedom of action.
The websites below provide further guidance and information on the Mental Capacity Act:
On the 16 May 2019 the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act was approved as an Act of Parliament (law). The Act introduces the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), which is a new model to safeguard and protect individuals.
For further information on how the Act and LPS will affect disabled children, young people and their families visit the Council for Disabled Children website. An easy read guide on the Mental Capacity Amendment Bill can also be view.
Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Equality Act 2010
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 states that education providers are not allowed to discriminate against disabled children or students by treating them less favourably without justification.
They must make reasonable adjustments so that disabled pupils are not put at a substantial disadvantage.
Schools are required to produce accessibility plans and provide information in their annual reports regarding arrangements for disabled pupils.
Visit the UK Governments legislation website to find out more.
The Equality Act 2010 protects people form discrimination in the workplace and in wider society.
Read the UK Government easy read guide on The Equality Act (PDF document).
Autism Act 2009
The Autism Act 2009 did two key things:
- Put a duty on the Government to produce and regularly review an autism strategy to meet the needs of autistic adults in England.
- Put a duty on the Government to produce statutory guidance for local authorities to implement the strategy locally.