Still time to have your say on Derbyshire special needs changes

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There’s still time for families whose children have special educational needs and disabilities to have a say in how major reforms in Derbyshire will affect them.

When the Children and Families Bill becomes law in September it will change the way children with special educational needs and disabilities are assessed and supported.

Derbyshire County Council has launched a consultation asking families and professionals working with them for their views on the proposals which will introduce education, health and care (EHC) plans for children and young people with the most complex special educational needs and extend rights and protections to 0 to five-year-olds and 16 to 25-year-olds who are in further education or training.

It will also introduce a “local offer” to make information about a wide range of support, including schools, health services, groups and activities, available to families.

The consultation runs until midnight on Friday 23rd May.

Currently, children and young people are assessed and given a statement of educational needs. Under the new law this will be replaced by an EHC plan – where organisations work jointly to provide co-ordinated support.

There will also be new duties on all organisations to work more closely together to make sure children and young people get the support they need to help them fulfil their potential.

Coun Kevin Gillott, the county council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in our consultation so far but we are keen to hear from more Derbyshire families who will be affected by these changes.

“This is the biggest shake-up of the special educational needs system for 30 years and means changes to the way we work with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

“We want children and young people to be at the heart of all the services we provide but we’re facing huge budget pressures so we need to deliver services that people need in the most cost-effective way possible.”