Monday, 3 December 2012

When will the new SEN law apply?

Question: Please let me know when the changes in SEN law start to apply.  I was planning to request an assessment for my daughter in May this year, however I delayed it on the suggestion of the local pre-school liaison group. They have now recommended that I take the decision to request assessment after a multidisciplinary team reviews my daughter’s progress at the nursery. If I  request assessment by mid December 2012  or early Jan 2013 would it be considered under the current legislation i.e. the changes would not apply?

IPSEA’s answer: As things currently stand the proposed changes will not be implemented as law until 1 September 2014 at the earliest.

The time table is:

  • December 2012: Education Select Committee complete its pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft legislation and report their findings
  • Early 2013: Children & Families Bill issued including changes to SEN law - start of Parliamentary process
  • During 2013: Consultations on and finalisation of revised SEN Regulations and revised SEN Code of Practice
  • Spring 2014: Children and Families Bill receives Royal Assent and becomes an Act of Parliament
  • September 2014: Children and Families Act enacted and starts to take effect

The transfer arrangements for children in the current system moving into the new system have not yet been confirmed - but if you have not already requested a Statutory Assessment of your child's needs by that date, then providing the new legislation has Royal Assent and is enacted from the 1 September 2014, you will be starting assessment in the new system.

IPSEA would not recommend that any parent waits for the new system to come into force before they request an assessment of their child's needs. If you have evidence that they need more and/or different support than that provided by the pre-school/school they currently or will soon attend, go ahead and ask now.

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