16-25s To Decide Special Needs Fate Without Parental Support


Over 50 000 young adults with Special Educational Needs could lose out on local authority support, as a result of new rules which came into force on 1st September.

According to leading education, health and social care lawyers, the new Children and Families Act includes a change meaning that young people have the sole right to be consulted on their educational needs once they reach school leaving age, cutting parents out of the loop completely.

With the new Children and Families Act coming into force, parents of children with Special Educational Needs and young people aged 16-25 with SEN face a raft of new rules.To ensure they receive the very best SEN support, Simpson Millar’s team of experts have been brushing up on the new regime...

The new system will phase out the current use of Statements, instead using new Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). However this will be both difficult and confusing for parents, children and young adults.

“Under the new act, the young person has the sole right to be consulted on their educational needs once they reach compulsory school leaving age. The local authority has no obligation to discuss educational needs with parents, and this is a major cause of concern for me.”

“If parents are not aware of what is being suggested to their child, I fear this could go terribly wrong, and many young people will lose out on the support which they are entitled to.”

“I have raised three teenagers two of whom had some element of special needs, and I can honestly say that neither of them would have been keen to engage with the system. Young people with SEN are going to need a lot of support from their parents if they are going to go onto further education. I fear that many young people will be abandoned by local authorities as they attempt to make financial cut backs.”

The new act brings further complications for those children and young people who already have a Statement in place.

“Under the new act, all statements need to be transferred to EHCPs by April 2018. This will be particularly problematic, as for the next three and a half years both the Education Act and new Children and Families Act are going to be running alongside each other.”

“This is a big task for Local Authorities and I fear they do not have the funds in place to do it”

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