NewsNew data published on 29th March 2018 shows almost 222,000 children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) have had their care reviewed, as part of the government’s introduction of new Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. EHCPs have replaced the old Statements of SEN.

The government has also launched a national trial to give the SEND Tribunal new powers, which give parents and young people new rights to appeal decisions on the social care and health parts of their plan, alongside their existing rights around education.

The SEND Tribunal hears appeals about EHC plans where there are disputes, but until now only had powers to look in to concerns on the education element of the plan, now families concerns about the health or social care elements will also be considered.

At the same time, the Children and Families Minister has also announced sponsors for 14 new special free schools across the country. The new schools will create more than 1,100 school places for children with multiple learning needs, including children with autism and mental health needs. The schools will open under the government’s free schools programme.

The new special free schools will include:

  • Bedford Inclusive Learning and Training Trust will open a 200-place special free school for children aged 3-19 with profound and multiple learning difficulties in Kempston, Bedford;
  • The East Blackburn Learning Community Trust will open a 48-place special school for children aged 10-16 with a wide range of social, emotional and mental health needs in Blackpool, Lancashire;
  • East Cheshire Youth Achievement Free School Trust will open a 40-place special free school for children aged 4-16 with social, emotional and mental health needs in Crewe, Cheshire;
  • Edmonton Academy Trust will open a 70-place special free school for children aged 11-19 with social, emotional, and mental health needs in Enfield;
  • Prospere Learning Trust will open a 100-place special school for children aged 3-11 with profound and multiple learning difficulties and autism spectrum disorder in Blackley, Manchester;
  • Astrum Multi Academy Trust will open a 64-place special free school for children aged 2-7 with speech, language, and communication needs and social, emotional, and mental health needs in Redbridge, Ilford;
  • The Enable Trust will open a 122-place special free school for children aged 2-19 with profound and multiple learning difficulties and severe learning difficulties in Alveston, South Gloucestershire;
  • Orchard Hill College Academy Trust will open a 150-place special free school and nursery for pupils aged 2-19 with autism spectrum disorder in Croydon;
  • Nexus Multi Academy Trust will open a 100-place special free school for children aged 5-19 with complex communication and interaction needs, autism spectrum disorder and other social and mental health needs in Doncaster. It has also been approved to open a 60-place special free school for children with autism spectrum disorder and social, emotional, and mental health needs in Sheffield;
  • Catch22 Multi Academy Trust will open a 125-place special school for children aged 4-16 with autism spectrum disorder and social communication needs in Basingstoke, Hampshire;
  • Samuel Ward Academy Trust will open two new special free schools: one with 60 places for children aged 3-16 with communication and interaction needs and social, emotional and mental health needs in Romford and one with 60 places for children aged 8-16 with autism spectrum disorder and social, emotional and mental health needs in Ipswich; and
  • Barrs Court Academy Trust will open a 50-place special free school for children with severe and complex learning difficulties, including autism spectrum disorder in Hereford.

The full Government announcement can be read here.