Nadhim Zahawi announces 14 new special free schools and discusses the end of the transition period

As we approach the end of the transition period from Statements to Education, Health and Care Plans, under the 2015 SEND Code of Practice, the Children and Families Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, looks at where we are with transfers, and makes an announcement of over 1,000 new special free school places across the country.

New data published today (29th March) shows that almost 222,000 children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have had their education and care reviewed since 2014.

Nadhim Zahawi said: "We want every child to have the support they need to unlock their potential, whatever their background and no matter what challenges they face. Our new Education, Health and Care Plans are putting the views of young people with SEND and their families at the heart of the process so they can help shape the support they receive. It's been a huge task to transfer every young person to one of these plans but local authorities have risen to the challenge with almost 222,000 cases reviewed and I congratulate them for it. We are now working with councils to make sure they carry out the remaining reviews and the new EHC plans are of the highest quality. To complement this work we are also opening new special free schools across the country that will provide tailored support for over a thousand children to ensure they have access to the excellent education that every child deserves."

By 1st March, 94% of Statements had been transferred to EHC plans; any Statements remaining after the 31st March deadline will still be valid. Local authorities have been provided with additional funding to support them in this process.

The new special free schools focus mainly on children and young people with social, emotioanl and mental health needs, speech, language and communication needs, and autism spectrum disorders; some cater for pupils with profound and multiple and complex needs. You can find the list of the new schools here.

The government has also launched a national trial to give the SEND Tribunal new powers, giving parents and young people new rights to approve decisions on social care and health as well as the education parts of their plan. This means that there would be a single route of redress, and should support inter-agency working and joint commissioning.




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