Independent Supporters

The Children and Families Act 2014 is now in place (September 1st 2014) and brings significant changes to systems and processes in education, health and social care for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities and for children and young people who are fostered or otherwise Looked After by the local authority.  It also contains changes to family justice systems and sets up the role of the Children’s Commissioner to promote the welfare and interest of all children.

Changes to Statements

Education, Health and Care Plans will now replace Statements of Special Educational Need (this will happen according to a timetable over 3 years to September 2017).  EHC Plans encompass a child’s/young person’s educational, health and care needs and provision for those needs, and can remain in place until the young person is 25 years old if there is still an educational need and provision (excluding university – higher - education).  In addition, young people currently with a Learning Difficulty Assessment (139A LDA) may have that transferred into an EHC Plan (this will happen over the next 2 years). 

Timetable for change

Each local authority has a timetable based upon a national framework to transfer Statements and LDAs to EHC Plans.  The timetable takes into account different levels of urgency based upon the child’s/young person’s educational stage (eg 2014-15 Year 6 children who will be moving up to secondary school in September 2015 will be a priority in order to enable a smooth transition to the new school), but is also flexible enough to allow for individual cases to be dealt with outside their scheduled time if circumstances require that.  Until a child’s/young person’s Statement/LDA is transferred to an EHC Plan, they are covered by the 1996 Education Act as they were before; so, for example, reviews of the statement must still take place, and parents will have the same rights of appeal as previously.

Independent Supporters

In order to support this transfer to EHC Plans, and to provide support for parents or young people with new EHC needs assessments (ie first time assessments for children/young people who have not previously had a statement or LDA), a national Independent Support programme has been set up.  In every local authority area, there will be a team of Independent Supporters able to provide information, advice and support for families around the transfer and EHCP processes.  In Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, Independent Supporters form a team sitting across Futures and the Parent Partnership Service.

Download the Independent Supporters leaflet.

Complete our form to request an Independent Supporter here.

For further information about the Independent Supporter Programme in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire please :
Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone 0115 9482888

Special edition Council for Disabled Children Digest.
The Autumn edition focusing entirely on the SEND reforms and packed full of links to resources, fact sheets, best practice and events.

Guidance for parents/carers on Independent Support (the national picture)

Independent Support programme – Nottingham and Nottinghamshire leaflet (the local picture)

Factsheets on Independent Support :