Video Help: Legal Issues For Parent Carers of Disabled Children

Following on from the Steve Broach video on legalities surrounding short breaks, there are a number of other Steve Broach videos available which address different legal issues for parent carers of disabled children, including one on personal budgets and direct payments (see index on right of page):

CMO Focusing on Children and Young People

The CMOs (Chief Medical Officer) annual report is always about specific areas of concern and this year concentrates for the first time, on children and young people. One of the key finding is:

‘Spending money to help people early isn’t just a good thing to do, it’s sensible too. Sometimes a little help early on can make a huge difference to a person’s life. Children and young people should get help and information as soon as they need it.’

A 2013 timeline for SEN benefits changes can be found here:

Direct Healthcare Payments

On August 1st, new regulations came into force allowing direct healthcare payments.

This supports the Government’s aim to introduce a right to a personal health budget for people who would benefit from them. In October 2012, the Secretary of State for Health announced that, subject to the evaluation, by April 2014 everyone eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC) should have a right to ask for a personal health budget, including a direct payment. It is planned that Clinical Commissioning Groups will be able to offer these on a voluntary basis. This is in addition to the plan to introduce joint ‘Education, Health and Care’ Plans in the Children and Families Bill in September 2014.

The NHS Choices website outlines these changes here .  A dedicated NHS England website explains the requirements for healthcare professionals:

Taking It To The Next Level

Taking it to the Next Level is a 2-year Department for Education funded project which is co-ordinated by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and the charity ‘A National Voice’. Starting in Autumn 2013, they are running a series of nine events across the country for Children in Care Council (CiCC) members to attend with their corporate parents. These events build on guidance published by NCB in the ‘Putting Corporate Parenting into Practice‘ document. The events will provide an opportunity for corporate parents to share ideas with other local authorities on better working practices, see NCB website for details.

New information packs published on the SEND Pathfinder Programme!

The Pathfinder Support Team have published the second set of information packs on the SEND Pathfinder Programme. They have been asked to produce an information pack on pathfinder work every 2 months from now until March 2014.

These information packs seek to provide evidence of good and interesting practice from across the pathfinders, linking this to the legislation within the Children and Families Bill. Each pack is designed for a broad audience, and to share the learning of pathfinders to all those in non-pathfinder areas.

The packs are available at

For more information on the Pathfinders please visit the Mott McDonald website

SEND Pathfinder YouTube Channel

A new SEND Pathfinder YouTube channel has been created. This channel seeks to compile and link to relevant videos from across the SEND reforms and, in particular, the SEND Pathfinder areas. A number of videos referenced in the latest versions of the Information Packs can found via this YouTube channel.

Please find a link to this channel here.

CDC counts down to implementation

On the 23rd September, CDC hosted the ‘Countdown to Change’ event which brought together over 65 delegates from partners responsible for implementing the SEN and disability (SEND) reforms of the Children and Families Bill. At the event they  looked at what is required of each of the delegates as they  ‘Countdown to Change’ one year from the implementation of these reforms.

The day started with a presentation from Stephen Kingdom, Deputy Director of the SEND Division at the Department for Education, who gave an overview of SEND reforms and where the organisations fit in the reform process. This was followed by CDC’s Director Christine Lenehan who gave an overview of CDC’s role as Strategic Reform Partner and on the Countdown to Change process, including the creation of a SEND Support and Advice Group.

For more on the SEN and disability reforms please visit

New resource – Education Health and Care Plan checklist (01/10/13)

In the Children and Families Bill the government states that it intends to replace current Statements of SEN and Learning Difficulty Assessments with Education Health and Care Plans when this Bill becomes law. This plan will be a legal document describing a young person’s needs, the provision to meet those needs and the suitable educational placement.

CDC has created a checklist for Pathfinders and other local authorities to follow when drawing up these plans. Our checklist covers both the legal requirements of the plan and the general principles the local authorities must have regard to when carrying out their duties towards disabled young people, such as ensuring the plan is person centred.

You can download your copy of the checklist from the Children and Families Bill area of CDC website.

SQW launch a survey on readiness for SEND reforms

In September 2014, all local areas in England will be required to implement key reforms, related to the new Children’s and Families Bill.  These changes will have an impact on the nature and way in which services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are delivered.

The government is keen to understand how ready local authority areas, and their partners including providers of support/services, are to implement these changes, including the key challenges faced.  SQW has been commissioned by the Department of Education to explore these issues.  SQW have designed a survey to gain the perspectives of provider organisations working in this field, and would like to hear from as many different respondents as possible.

Providers have unique insight into these reforms, including what may be needed to support local areas in implementing them.  SQW would therefore be really grateful if you could fill out their short survey, available by clicking on the link below.  It should not take more than 10-15 minutes and will be completely anonymous.  You may wish to speak to other colleagues to help fill out the survey.

If you have any questions, get in touch by sending an email to SQW’s Survey Lead, Kerry Daff, at