AFF has commented on your behalf during the consultation for the new Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice. If you have a child with SEN, the reforms – which come into effect in September – will directly affect you.

The new Birth to 25 Education, Health and Care Plan will provide personal budgets and a “local offer” from the Local Authority, making the process simpler. The offer will not just be a directory but will give information about services for youngsters. The Children’s Education Advisory Service is recognised throughout the new code for support to Service families.

Tell us once

The new code’s “tell us once” approach is good news for Service families as you should not need to repeat issues when you see a new professional.

Be aware that the same services may use different terminology across the country.

Although there’s much good news, AFF does have some concerns. There should be more specific wording to support mobile families and the timing of assessments should be in the best interests of the child. We are in favour of a phased approach but it’s vital that Service families have the new help as soon as possible.

Equally, if there’s a posting coming up, you should be able to keep any existing support until moving to the new area.

If you would like to comment on the reforms or tell me about your experiences, email ec@aff.org.uk

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