The Special Education Needs and Disability reforms introduced in the Children and Families Act come into effect on the 1st September 2014.
These reforms are wide ranging and are designed to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND and to put them and their parents/carers at the heart of decision making and planning.
The new legislation replaces Statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.
The definition of SEN under the new legislation does not change and the threshold for applying for an EHC plan remains the same as that for a Statement. There is now no longer School Action and School Action Plus, these have been replaced by 'SEN support'.
We know that many families will have questions about how the reforms will affect them and we have sent a letter out to all parents/carers to outline the new arrangement.
Parents and pupils requiring more information, should contact the Information Advice and Support Manchester helpline (which replaces Parent Partnership) 0161 209 8356 and Manchester’s Local Offer website: www.manchester.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer
The Department for Education has published guidance and a comprehensive slide pack for school leaders (attached) and has commissioned NASEN to set up a website, the SEN Gateway, to provide information, training materials and advice on the reforms for education settings: www.nasen.org.uk
Manchester has been testing and preparing for these reforms over the past 3 years and we would like to thank the children, young people, parents/carers and staff who have worked with us over this time and whose views and experiences have helped the Department for Education shape the legislation.
As a result of this, we are currently updating our SEN Policy and local offer in line with the new code of practice 2014.
The Pupil Premium
- The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011, and paid to local authorities by means of a specific grant based on January 2011 school census figures for pupils registered as eligible for Free School Meals in reception to Year 11. For looked after children the Pupil Premium was calculated using the Children looked after data returns.
- The Pupil Premium is allocated to children from low-income families who are currently known to be eligible for Free School Meals in both mainstream and non-mainstream settings and children who have been looked after continuously for more than six months.
- Total funding through the Premium increased from £625m in 2011-12 to £1.25bn in 2012-13.
- The level of the premium in 2013-14 is £1300 per pupil for pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) and £1900 for pupils in care who have been continuously looked after for six months.
- The Government believes that the Pupil Premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for free school meals (FSM) and their wealthier peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.
- In most cases the Pupil Premium is allocated to schools and is clearly identifiable. It is for schools to decide how the Pupil Premium, allocated to schools per FSM pupil, is spent, since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility.
- Schools are free to spend the Pupil Premium as they see fit. However they will be held accountable for how they have used the additional funding to support pupils from low-income families. New measures will be included in the performance tables that will capture the achievement of those deprived pupils covered by the Pupil Premium. From September 2012, schools are required to publish online information about how they have used the Premium. This will ensure that parents and others are made fully aware of the attainment of pupils covered by the Premium.