The Vision of the Children and Families Act 2014


Our vision for children and young people with special needs is the same as for all children and young people – that they achieve well in early years, at school and in college; lead happy and fulfilled lives; and have choice and control. - Department for Education


Implementation day for the Children and Families Act 2014 (most of it anyway) arrived on September 1st and the Minister for Children & Families, Edward Timpson MP chose to visit the Phoenix Centre in Bromley to launch the Act.

Parents Guide to the Code of Practice

The Parents’ Guide to the SEN and disability reforms which has now been published. This is now available to download (click here) and includes, as an annex, a note on transitional arrangements from the old to the new system.

Other guides are available for:

  • Schools and alternative provision settings
  • Further Education providers
  • Social Care professionals
  • Transitional arrangements

The final guidance on transition to the new 0-25 special educational needs and disability system introduced by Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 is now online at:

Some changes have been made to the draft guidance, in particular, to:

  • Requirements on local authorities in 2014/15 to securing Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments for children with statements to those in Year 11 who are transferring to post- 16 institutions (and for children and young people with non-statutory EHC plans who do not have statements)
  • Provide for parents and young people to be invited to a meeting when an EHC needs assessment is being undertaken to consider the transfer of a child or young person from a statement to an EHC plan
  • It also includes guidance for education settings on making the transition from Early Years Action/Early Years Action Plus and School Action/School Action Plus to SEN support for those without statements or Education, Health and Care plans.

Latest published guidance and briefings for the SEND Reforms

Review of EHC plans

DfE have undertaken a review of EHC plans and templates, including the use of outcomes. This short letter sets out some of the key findings, it can be accessed here.

A more detailed overview of EHC planning is provided in a PowerPoint presentation here.

Resources and Letters

A series of brief guides to the Code of Practice aimed at parents, health partners, social care, early years settings, schools and FE colleges is available at with individual links to each guide.

Useful Guides and Resources

Code of Practice – full
Ministers Letters
Parent Guide
Banded Funding Guide
Jargon Buster
CONTACT – Extra Support in Mainstream School Factsheet
Mencap : Changes to the way that children and young people are helped at school or college
Mencap : Overview of the Reforms
Mencap : Rights for Parents and Young People
Mencap: What’s Changed and What’s the Same
Government response to the Education Select Committee’s fifth report of Session 2017-19 on alternative provision