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Special Educational Needs

Question for Department for Education

UIN 200755, tabled on 16 June 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to publish the terms of reference for its review of the resolution of disagreements for people with education, health and care needs under the Children and Families Act 2014.

Answered on

19 June 2014

The Department for Education, in consultation with the Ministry of Justice and others, is in the process of developing proposals for the review of redress and complaint arrangements for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The review will consider:

  1. Whether the amended mediation arrangements set out in the Act provide parents and young people with a way of having their complaints considered in a holistic way and whether they reduce the number of appeals to tribunals.
  2. How successful the new assessment and EHC planning process itself is at resolving disagreements.
  3. If health and social care complaint arrangements are working for parents and young people.
  4. What role the Tribunal might play in hearing appeals and complaints across education, health and social care.

Running parallel to the review will be pilots to test an expansion of the powers of the first tier tribunal to make recommendations about the health and social care elements of EHC Plans. We estimate that the pilots will begin in the spring of 2015 as the first appeals about the new Education, Health and Care Plans begin to be heard and that the pilots will last for two years as they build up the evidence on which to base any recommendations.

The Secretary of State for Education and the Lord Chancellor must lay a report on the outcome of the review before Parliament within three years of any of the provisions of Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 coming into force in September 2014. Interim findings from the pilots could be published before the final report on the review.