SEND code gains parliamentary approval

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New statutory guidance on how early years providers should support children with special educational needs and disabilities has been approved by Parliament.

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The new reforms come into force in September

The 0-25 Code of Practice, for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, will come into force on 1 September, replacing the current code.

The new statutory guidance - the Code of Practice - applies to early education providers, school staff, headteachers, governing bodies, SEN co-ordinators, health and social services staff and local authorities.

It provides statutory guidance on duties, policies and procedures relating to part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and associated regulations, which comes into effect in September.

It replaces the 2001 document and includes for the first time a dedicated chapter for early years providers explaining what they must do to meet their duties to identify and support all children with SEN, whether or not they have an EHC plan.

4Children chief executive Anne Longfield said, ‘We welcome this landmark moment to support families with children who have special educational needs and disabilities.

‘The early years have a critical role to play in improving life-long outcomes for children with SEN which is why extending the SEN system from children aged between two and 16 to birth and 25 is a very positive step which will enable signs of SEN to be picked up and appropriate support provided at the earliest opportunity. 

‘We are working closely with the early years sector and the Department for Education to ensure that the reforms, when they take effect from September, enable children with SEN to get the right support to make the very best start.’

  • Download the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 here