What the new law would change in North Yorkshire for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The following information has been provided by NYCC as an update to what is happening in relation to the SEND reforms taking place due to the Children and Families Bill. Please read and share as widely as possible

The Children and Families Bill, going through Parliament at the moment, will simplify assessment and planning for children and families with special educational needs (SEN) and for the first time will give the same rights to 16-25 year olds, who have left school, to ask for an assessment of their needs, make choices about which college they want to go to and appeal about the support they receive if it is not what they want.

Change number one 

To get education, health and social care services working together 

* What the law will probably say

There will be a duty on local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Health to commission services and provision together for children and young people with SEN. 

* What we are doing in North Yorkshire

We are working with our colleagues in the four CCGs in North Yorkshire about what this means for health services, and also with the CCG which covers the Craven area.  The first services to be considered for joint commissioning, with the City of York, are likely to be those which meet the needs of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.  We have also begun to plan for a 14-25 integrated Transitions Service with colleagues in Adults’ Social Care (HAS) and in Health.

Change number two 

To make sure children, young people and families know what help they can get when a child or young person has special educational needs 

* What the law will probably say

All local authorities will have to publish a Local Offer describing all the services normally available to children, young people and their families and how you can use them. It will say what help there is for travelling to school or college; for training, for work and for preparing to live independently. 

* What we are doing in North Yorkshire

A working draft is now on a local authority website and a public version will be available on-line by the end of September. After that we will think how else we can make it available to those who do not have internet access. We are trying to develop a young people’s version of the Local Offer linked to the Youth Services website as well as a parents’ and professionals’ version on the County Council website as part

of a much bigger county-wide Community Directory. A group of school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCos), early years’ managers and Special Educational Needs staff in colleges have been involved in writing local offer summary advice for settings, schools and colleges and this information has been shared through special needs networks. Parents and young people have also been closely involved with advising on these developments.

Change number three 

To make sure that different organisations work together to help children and young people with special educational needs 

* What the law will probably say

The new law will expect many organisations to work together to make help and support to families better. These will include other councils, schools the council maintains, academy schools, special schools and colleges, nurseries, other early years settings, further education and sixth form colleges, youth offending teams, hospitals and other parts of the health service.

* What we are doing in North Yorkshire

We have been meeting with people who work in all of these places and organisations to talk with them about what the new law means for the ways that they work with us. The new Education, Health and Care plans will help us to work together to make sure young people can achieve the outcomes we have agreed with them. 

We want to be able to develop services together, agree how we can get better value for money and how we can do a better job of meeting young people’s special needs between us.

Change number four 

To give children and young people and their parents more say about the help they get 

* What the law will probably say

Councils must take notice of what children and young people with special educational needs, and their parents, have to say about what help they are given. Their wishes and their feelings would have to be taken into account too.

* What we are doing in North Yorkshire

The Local Offer is the description of all the Services and provision normally available for people with special needs and disabilities. It will also allow people to comment on the information and how it is presented so we can review and improve it as we go along. Every education, health and care assessment will involve a meeting between the family and the professionals to agree what help will be needed so that the young person makes progress.

Change number five

The Government is suggesting that one overall assessment will look at what special help a child or young person needs with their education, and their health and social care needs, all at the same time

* What the law will probably say

There would be a new type of assessment, looking at the child or young person’s special educational needs, together with their health and social care needs. A young person or their parent could ask the council to do an assessment. Or the child or young person’s school or college could ask the council to do an assessment. The council would then have to decide whether the child or young person needs special help with their education. It would have to ask either the young person, or their parent, what they think. 

* What we are doing in North Yorkshire

Whilst you or anyone who works with your child can ask the local authority to do an assessment, we would like to know some things about your son or daughter before we can make that decision. We will ask one of the professionals, who knows you well, to sit down with you and talk to you about what is going well, what is not going so well, what is important now and in the future and what you want your child to be able to do that he or she cannot do now. 

If you are a child or young person you will have your chance to tell us anything important about yourself that will help us to understand how we can help to make life better for you. 

If the local authority then agrees to go ahead with the assessment, we will use that information to help us decide who else we need to ask for advice and we will not ask you to tell us the same things again.

Change number six

The idea is for a child or young person to have one plan for meeting their education, health and social care needs, which can run from birth to 25 if it needs to 

* What the law will probably say 

To replace the ‘Statement’ of special educational needs or the ‘Learning Difficulty Assessment’ that children and young people get now, there will be a new plan for how the child or young person can get the help they need with their education, health and social care. This would be called an ‘Education, Health and Care Plan’ (EHC Plan). You will be asked what you want to achieve. As well as saying what help the child or young person needs with their education, the plan would say what they should be able to achieve if they get that help.

* What we are doing in North Yorkshire

We have agreed how we want to change assessments and planning to include educational, health and social care needs. We are trying to cut down the number of times you have to tell us the same information and we have agreed that the plan will be drafted at a meeting between the family and those professionals who have given us their advice. The EHC plan will focus on outcomes for young people – what do you want your child to be able to do that he or she cannot do now? We will then talk about what support your child will need to achieve those agreed outcomes and then we will decide together which services or what provision would be best able to give that support.

Change number seven

To make sure children, young people and their parents can choose some of the help they need 

* What the law will probably say

Under the new law, a young person who has an EHC plan, or their parent, could ask the local council to give them their own ‘personal budget’. This is the amount of money the council has to pay for the help they need with their education, health and social care. The young person or their parent could ask for some or all of this money as a ‘direct payment’ to spend on the help they need. Or they could agree how the council will spend it on helping them.

* What we are doing in North Yorkshire

If we agree to do an assessment and to write an Education, Health and Care Plan, then we will ask you if you want to have a ‘personal budget’. We will work out the cost of all of the services and provision agreed in the Plan and that total is the young person’s personal budget. 

We will talk to you as parents or if you are a young adult, about whether you want us to: 

1. look after the money and make the provision as agreed in the Plan; 

2. give some or all of it to a third party, perhaps a voluntary agency, to manage it for you; 

3. give you some or all of it as a ‘direct payment’ for you to buy your own support, in which case we will pay the money into your account and ask you from time to time how you have spent it and how it is helping you to achieve the outcomes we agreed together.

Change number eight

To help sort things out if a child or young person or their parent needs to appeal about the help they get 

* What the law will probably say

At the moment parents can appeal about the help their child or young person is getting. Under the new law, young adults will be able to appeal themselves about the help they are getting, whether they are still in school or attending a college. If a young person or their parent wants to make an appeal, you will be told about how a

‘mediator’ can help you and the local authority to make the right decision without taking sides.

* What we are doing in North Yorkshire

We are considering how best to provide advice and guidance, dispute resolution and mediation.  This might involve changes to the Parent Partnership Service.  We are talking to other Local Authorities nearby about a joint mediation service that is not a direct part of any Local Authority so they can remain neutral when listening and helping us all to reach sensible agreements. 

How families and young people have been involved in these proposals

* We will think carefully about how we can promote the involvement of children and young people, parents and carers in these developments.  We would like participation to be meaningful and at all stages of the process.

* We have been working with the parent and carer forum, NYPACT, and with the Flying High Group of young disabled adults to agree what the Local Offer should look like, what questions it should answer and where the information should be published.  We have had some very helpful feedback from both groups that has led us to make changes to improve them.

* At their suggestion, the Flying High Group is going to help us produce a DVD about different professional roles to clarify the services they may come into contact with and how they can help.

* We talked through how we propose to conduct an EHC assessment and plan with a group of parents and carers, listened to their suggestions and made some changes to the format and to the forms as a result.

* We are still talking within the Local Authority about how we can make this work so families and young adults can have a single payment from all of the organisations rather than face three or four different accounting systems. When we are clearer how this can be done then we will let you know.


This is the first of what we expect to be a regular update of progress and preparation for the changes in the law. 

Local, regional and national workshops and conferences:

September 5th: training for local authority staff on how to manage a meeting to convert a Statement to an EHC Plan at annual reviews

September 11th: training for special school and enhanced mainstream school staff in North Yorkshire on how to convert a Statement to an EHC Plan at annual reviews. The conversion process will then start during this autumn term

September 12th: national workshop for parents and carers about personal budgets in Birmingham, run by In-Control, who are helping us in North Yorkshire. Travel expenses for at least two adults will be paid by LA for this event. 

September 18th: regional conference for parents and carers in Sheffield on changes in the law for SEN – details for both these events are on NYPACT website.

NB October 17th: some of you will have pencilled in the date for a day conference at the Pavilions in Harrogate but this has been postponed until January 2014 – further details soon.

October 23rd: regional workshop on: Working with Families and The Local Offer, at St Mary’s Conference Centre, Sheffield. There will be one place for a parent/carer.

It is expected that a revised draft of the SEN Code of Practice and the Regulations will be published in October for consultation through to December. This will be made available widely and will be the subject of discussion and scrutiny with all relevant partners.

Other links:

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/childrenandfamilies.html The complete Children and Families Bill

http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/c/children%20and%20families%20bill%20factsheet.pdf Children and Families Bill short factsheet

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-young-persons-guide-to-the-children-and-families-bill Young person’s guide to the Children and Families Bill

http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/s/sen%20code%20of%20practice%20indicative%20draft%20for%20committee.pdf The indicative Code of Practice from March 2013 for the Government Committee looking at how the Bill would work in practice; a newer version is due this autumn

www.councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk Government’s voluntary sector delivery partner for these changes; all info directly from the Minister comes via the Council for Disabled Children

http://www.sendpathfinder.co.uk/infopacks/ Information packs re various aspects of the reforms with examples of practice in Pathfinder areas

http://www.ncb.org.uk/earlysupport what Early Support is, the underlying principles and information for families

http://www.transitioninfonetwork.org.uk/resources.aspx information about the transition process in England for disabled young people in transition to adulthood – joint site run by National Children’s Bureau and Council for Disabled Children

http://www.preparingforadulthood.org.uk/ information about preparing for adulthood from one of the support partners for the Pathfinder programme, including examples of good practice in employment, independent living, making friends and being involved in the community.


Education Heath and Care Plans – NYCC FAQ’s

In 2014, the law will change for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families due to the Children and Families Bill that is going through Parliament now.

The three main strands of the Children and Families Bill will be to:

1)      replace statements of special educational need, and learning difficulties assessments (for school leavers) with a single Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, from 0-25 years

2)      offer the option of a personal budget to any young adult or family with an EHC Plan. This is the total package of support from education, health and social care services either managed by the local authority on behalf of a family or given as a direct payment for families to make their own provision

3)      publish a Local Offer, describing the services and provision ordinarily available to children and young people with SEND, and how to access them.

North Yorkshire County Council have produced responses to the questions that have been raised regarding the development of Education Heath and Care Plans – some of these questions were raised at both the NYPACT conference held earlier this year and also the discussion group held inJune (a summary of this can be found in the minutes section of this blog)

To read the questions and answers regarding the development of Education Heath and Care Plans please click the link below

EHC Plan QAs – PARENTS 23 08 13 v3

What is North Yorkshire PACT?

We are a collective voice for parents of children with disabilities and additional needs. We are a growing voluntary organisation run by a management committee of volunteer parent carers and supported by a part time paid member of staff based at North Yorkshire & York Forum.
As parents and carers we encourage you to participate and have your views and opinions listened to so that they can directly influence the services that are available for our children and for families across North Yorkshire.
We work alongside all the parent support groups in North Yorkshire to help keep parents and carers informed of both local and national news and events which affect us all.

The draft SEN code of practice has been published for consultation.

The government is planning big changes to the way support is given to children with special educational needs (SEN) in England. The changes are in the children and families bill, which is going through the final stages of parliamentary process at the moment.

The draft SEN code of practice has been published for consultation.
Have your say and help influence how services and support in your area are provided. The consultation closes on 9 December 2013. Please follow this link for information and ways to consult.



Post 16 home to school and college transport

[posted on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council]

North Yorkshire County Council is committed to savings of £92m by the end of March 2015. Following recent announcements by the government over future funding it now needs to find a further estimated £77m between 2015 and 2019. The council proposes to make a £400k reduction in the budget for post 16 home to school and college transport as part of this savings target.

To this end the Executive Members for the Children and Young People’s Service have decided on an open and wide consultation including with parents, schools, and colleges on a proposal to achieve the first £200k of the savings target. It is proposed that this would be achieved by increasing the charge for post 16 transport from the current charge of £360 per annum to £480 per annum. The new higher charge would apply to those starting a course at a college or school sixth form from September 2014. Young people part way through a course would continue to pay the existing rate.  

It is proposed that in some circumstances free transport would apply to vulnerable young people including: students with special needs; looked after children; young people who are living on their own and young carers. It is also proposed that the charge will be reduced by 50% for students whose families are on low income and students who are young parents on low income, and who could provide evidence of a means tested benefit.  

It may be necessary to further increase the charge from September 2015 to achieve the remaining £200k saving but the council would try to avoid this by working with schools and colleges to further develop local post 16 transport arrangements. We will be starting discussions with schools and colleges later in the year to explore options.

The full consultation document can be found by following the link below. We would welcome your comments by the closing date of Friday 6th December 2013. www.northyorks.gov.uk/26571 

Changes to the funding for Special Educational Needs from April 2014

We would like to inform you of a meeting taking place in Ripon on the 2nd October 6:30 until 8:30 with NYCC – this has been organised between Ripon Acorns and Nypact

The purpose of the meetings is to discuss with parents the ways in which the local authority proposes to manage with schools, colleges and settings the changes to the funding for special educational needs from April 2014.These changes are required by the Government as part of School Funding Reform.These are not consultation meetings, as such, but an opportunity to talk to Andrew Terry (Assistant Director) and Judith Walls (Finance Manager) about issues which parents and carers may want to know more about as the changes are introduced. This will help the local authority, and schools and colleges to maintain the confidence of parents of children with SEN during a period of change.

The meeting will take place at:

Room 5

Holy Trinity Arches



Annual General Meeting 2013

North Yorkshire PACT Parent Forum would like to invite you to attend the 2013 Annual General Meeting on Wed 25th September at Ripon Racecourse, Boroughbridge Road, Ripon, HG4 1UG. The meeting will take place between 09:30 and 14:00

As a small voluntary group managed entirely by parent carers we value your support and input and we hope you can attend the AGM to help us celebrate the previous year’s challenges and achievements. We are keen to have more parents involved.

 We have a speaker booked through ‘In Control’ who will talk about Personalisation and Personal Budgets for children and young people and we have a representative from the Local Authority providing an update on where they stand with regards to the SEND reforms under the  Children and Families Bill.To book a place at the AGM or for further information please contact me on 01845 526909 or email nypact@hotmail.com We look forward to seeing you at the AGM

Making difficult decisions in adult social care: consultation on eligibility and charging for adult social care

North Yorkshire County Council is consulting on making savings from the adult social care budget.  The consultation runs from 2 September 2013 to 25 November 2013.

The budget for public services is being reduced as a result of government funding cuts.  The council needs to make millions of pounds in savings and decisions on where to make these savings are difficult.  We have worked hard to protect the budget for adult social care but it is the largest part of the council’s budget, and we will need to consider ways of finding savings from this budget along with other council services.

For further information please attend your nearest consultation event or you can complete the NYCC Adult Social Care questionnaire

You can also email:  hasconsultation@northyorks.gov.uk or call the Council’s customer contact centre on 0845 8 72 73 74.


We came across this information and thought we would share. Anyone can apply but it would be great if we could have some NYPACT reps on there too. Send us an email if you’re interested.

Volunteering positions now open for Application!!!

Would you like to help influence Health and Social Care Services in North Yorkshire?

Health watch is now recruiting for “HEALTHWATCHERS” (Healthwatch North Yorkshire Volunteers), as application forms and role descriptions are now available to request. This is a great opportunity for you to help inform and shape the commissioning and delivery of Health and Social Care services in North Yorkshire. There are 5 different volunteering roles available, and training will be provided for each. You can apply for one or more roles depending on your availability and knowledge/experience:

  • Community Engagement  – support engagement activities in your local community
  • Consultation & Intelligence Gathering – organise engagement activities and gather evidence from your local community and/or be a Healthwatch representative on local groups and at local meetings
  • Research & Information Sharing – research and share information about local services, community groups and activities using social media and other means.
  • Readers Panel – help summarise, comment on and explain national and local Health and Social Care documents and policies for local communities.
  • Enter & View – visit Health and Social Care services to collect the views of service users, carers and relatives at the point of service delivery.

Healthwatch is the new consumer champion for Health and Social Care; we enable all members of the public to share their views and experiences about the quality of services, and this will in turn bring the voice and influence of local people to the development and delivery of local services.

There are no specific qualifications required for these roles, just bags of enthusiasm and some experience or knowledge relevant to the role(s) you are applying for. Please feel free contact us for more information or request an application pack on
01904 621631 or email healthwatchny@nbforum.org.uk or visit our website: www.healthwatchnorthyorkshire.org.uk to download a pack.

Applications must be received by 5.00pm on Friday 20th September 2013 and interviews will be held w/c 30th September 2013 within each district.

All successful applicants will be required to undertake new training and induction, even if they were previously involved as LINk members.