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New SEND guidance for CCGs released


14 March 2016

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A guide has been released by the government to help clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), local authorities and health professionals understand their statutory duties in relation to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms in the Children and Families Act 2014.

SEND can affect a child or young person’s ability to learn, as well as their behaviour or ability to socialise, ability to understand things, concentration levels, eg because they have ADHD, and physical ability.

A guide has been released by the government to help clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), local authorities and health professionals understand their statutory duties in relation to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms in the Children and Families Act 2014.

SEND can affect a child or young person’s ability to learn, as well as their behaviour or ability to socialise, ability to understand things, concentration levels, eg because they have ADHD, and physical ability.

Health professionals will need to work with the SEN co-ordinator (SENCO) and/or class teacher to consider appropriate equipment, strategies and interventions in order to support the child’s progress and build self-esteem and confidence, the guidance said.

While CCGs and local authorities have “considerable freedom” in how they work together to deliver integrated support, their EHC (Education Health and Care) plansmust include procedures for ensuring that disputes between local authorities and CCGs are resolved.

“Local authorities must provide parents, children and young people with information, advice and support in relation to special educational needs and disability. Advice should be free, accurate, confidential and accessible. It should be impartial and provided at arm’s length from the local authority and CCGs,” the guidance stated.

Parents and young people with EHC plans can also request a personal budget, which can include funding from education, health and social care. Decisions in relation to the health element of personal health budgets will remain the responsibility of the CCG or other health commissioning bodies, and where they decline a request for a direct payment, they must set out the reasons in writing and provide the opportunity for a formal review.

The overall joint commissioning arrangements should take into account the availability of other information services in their area (including SEND information and advice services and services such as youth services, Local Healthwatch, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and the Family Information Service) and how services will work together.

Where the child or young person moves between local authority areas and this results in a new CCG becoming responsible for the child or young person, the old CCG must notify the new CCG within 15 working days.

See the full report here.

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