Parents are to be given new rights to buy help for children with special needs
Parents are to be given new rights to buy help for children with special needs under the biggest shake-up of the system for 30 years, it has been confirmed.
Under the plans, families will be given legal powers to control budgets for youngsters who need support.
Ministers are pressing ahead with the proposals in a bid to make it easier for parents to get their child help, without being passed between agencies.
The reforms will also see education, health and social services forced by law to work together to provide support for children with special educational needs (SEN).
The proposals were first laid out in a Green Paper in March last year, amid concerns that the current system for SEN children is too complex, and often leaves parents fighting for help.
In some cases, disabled children have had to undergo operations to correct growth problems caused by a system that has left them waiting months for a new wheelchair.
At the launch of the Green Paper, Christine Lenehan, director of the Council for Disabled Children, also suggested that some youngsters have been left in pain because their wheelchair is too small for them.
And in many cases, children have been forced to undergo dozens of assessments to establish their needs.
In their formal response to the Green Paper, ministers confirmed that SEN statements (which set out a child's needs and requirements) and learning difficulty statements (which are usually for older children) will be axed and replaced with a birth to 25 assessment and care plan.
Parents with children who hold these care plans will be given the legal right to a personal budget to pay for help and support.
https://www.education.gov.uk/(Department for Education)