SEND Reforms

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.

Read Press Release here

BPV representatives and parents had the opportunity to talk with the Minister, Councillors and Senior Officers across Education, Health and Care. An extra big thank you to Ed Luff, 7 who has autism, who did a fantastic job presenting the flowers to the Minister. It was a moment to remember for all the right reasons!

Watch Edward Timpson meets Edward Luff

BPV know for many of us this date isn’t the start of something new rather it reflects the changes and reforms we have been working towards for several years both in Bromley and nationally. However, the date is significant as the local authority and health partners have legal obligations and duties to change the way that they work.

We know that there has been a mixed range of information and feedback from individuals and groups about the reforms and whether they think they will improve things or not for our children. The NNPCF (of which BPV is a member) have forwarded forums a position statement (click here to read), that puts forward the views of the Steering Group.

BPV have worked hard with the LB Bromley (and more recently our partners in Health and the voluntary sector) over the last two years to make sure that the voices of parent carers have influenced the Act and the Code of Practice and how they will be implemented in Bromley. It may not say exactly what we wanted, but we do believe that we have been able to be part of and influence the process.

We are on a journey, building on all we have learned so far, and we know it is going to take some years to embed the culture change and principles that we want to see improve working with families and to provide better outcomes for our children and young people.

We want to encourage you to keep working with your schools and the professionals involved your with son or daughter to make sure that parent carers and children and young people remain are at the heart of the reforms.

Bromley Parent Voice have co-produced a guide for Parents and Carers in Bromley to the changes to the SEND System set out in the Children and Families Act 2014. This can be downloaded by clicking here.

Letter to parent carers from Edward Timpson, MP

The Minister, Edward Timpson, has written an open letter to parents. He has also written letters to teachers, local authorities and college providers. You can find copies of all of these by clicking here.

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.

Independent Support

We are pleased to confirm that the consortium consisting of Bromley Mencap, Burgess Autistic Trust, BPV and Experts by Experience have now recruited our Senior Independent Support worker who will be based at Bromley Mencap and the Independent Support worker who will be based at Burgess Autistic Trust.

The consortium is now looking to recruit 10 VIPS (Voluntary Independent Parent Supporters). Click here for further details.


Useful Guides and Resources

Code of Practice – full
Ministers Letters
Parent Guide

A New Approach to Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Birth to 25
Banded Funding Guide
Bromley’s Transition Plan

Handling Meetings
Jargon Buster
Outcomes – Thinking about Outcomes
Contact a Family – 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