In September 2014 the government made changes to the law for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The new law has resulted in changes to the way you and your child receive support from the Local Authority, health and social care services and your child’s nursery, school or college.

What will this mean to you?

The changes provide greater focus on personal goals, increased family involvement and improved rights and protections for young people in further education and training.

It is important that you don't panic! Much of the new law is still the same – some is even better.

If your child has special educational needs (SEN) under the old system, they will still have SEN under the new system.

If your child has a statement of SEN they must be transferred to an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan unless their needs have changed and they no longer need a statement.

The Children and Families Act 2014 states that each Local Authority must have an Information, Advice and Support service that will be able to support you. Plymouth Information, Advice and Support for SEND provides the service in Plymouth.

Frequently Asked Questions

The new Code of Practice came into effect on 1 September 2014. All schools including academies and free schools now have to follow the new Code. 

The current Code will continue to apply to children who still have Statements and will cease to apply once the transition to an EHC plan commences.


Since 1 September 2014, EHCP have had the same legal status as statements. EHCPs can be provided from birth. They can continue up to age 25 if a young person continues in education, training or an apprenticeship.

Statements ceased at the end of their statutory schooling in summer 2014. Young people and their parents can request an assessment for an EHCP. Requests can be made for/by young people up to the age of 25 but this will need re-assessment through the revised statutory process. This would only be agreed where the young person is continuing in an educational provision, in training or an apprenticeship.

Changes have already been made to SEN funding by the DfE (2013). These changes mean that more funding goes directly to schools.

For children and young people with SEN, schools in Plymouth are expected to provide up to £10,000 of funding (Element 1 & 2), to meet the special educational needs of a child within the school.

Children and young people who require a higher level of funding could have a proposal for statutory assessment which might result in the issues of an EHCP. Once a child has an EHCP, additional funding (Element 3) may be provided to the school to supplement the £10,000 (Element 1 & 2).

To obtain additional funding, schools will be expected to provide evidence of how they have provided appropriate support that is ,additional to and different from, what would normally be expected for pupils. Plymouth City Council will determine the appropriate level of additional funding based on clear criteria.

Requests for Statutory Assessment that were processed prior to 1 September 2014 but not completed before this date were issued as Statements of Statutory Assessment and will be converted to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) by April 2018. Since the 1 September 2014 only assessments for Education, Health and Care plans have been undertaken.

Since September 2014 there has been transitional period (up to 3 years) during which statements can be transferred into an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). A statement will remain valid until an EHCP has been developed or is agreed to be no longer necessary.