The Children and Families Act, 10 years on: Stephen Kingdom “The DfE didn’t do enough on implementation”

2024 marks a decade of The Children and Families Act. After two years in the making, the CFA 2014 received Royal Assent.

Three of the four of us SNJ directors were part of Parent Carer Forums at the time in areas that were testing out the reforms, known as “pathfinder areas”. I was in Surrey, Sharon was in Hampshire and Renata was in Hertfordshire. We all worked on the reforms, many meetings with our respective local authorities and with the Department of Education.

Overseeing the reforms for then SEND Minister, Ed Timpson, was Stephen Kingdom, as Deputy Director of SEND at the Department. Stephen was the man tasked with bringing the many elements of the SEND aspects together including bringing parents to the table actively working on the changes.

Some years ago, Stephen “switched sides” from officialdom to become the Campaigns Manager for the Disabled Children’s Partnership, of which SNJ is a member.

Today’s podcast with Sharon and Tania, discusses the preparation of the Act with Stephen, including when and where he thinks things went right and where they have gone wrong.

Also in this series, we’re talking to the recently-retired doyenne of SEND, Philippa Stobbs, Judge Jane McConnell, then head of IPSEA, now President of the Welsh ALN Tribunal, and the SEND Minister who steered the Act through parliament, Ed Timpson.

As well as watching below, you can find the podcast at the following links:

YouTube | Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Amazon Music

If you don’t have time for the whole podcast now, but want to get a flavour, here are two clips:

Also read:

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Tania Tirraoro
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