I'm imagining a champagne cork or two is being popped in the Department for Education SEND Division today - the new SEND Code of Practice has been approved, in time for implementation on September 1st 2014.
Although this is the vital finish line of the main legislative process that had to be crossed before summer to ensure a September commencement for all the plans, for everyone else, it is just the start. Ed Timpson, the SEN Minister said in our exclusive video that the DfE will be watching implementation across England's local authorities closely, especially for evidence that the spirit as well as the practicalities of the new system are being applied. This includes the co-production - working with families - aspect which I suspect is going to be one of the hardest parts to get right, especially for LAs that are used to doing things a certain way because that's the way they've always done it (no matter how poorly it works).
But you have to do something different to get something different. For those professionals looking just to replace one set of terms with another and carry on as usual, you need to stop, take a deep breath and throw out your guidebook to "same old same old". It won't be needed anymore.
Here is an infographic that we have worked on with the DfE (Andrew from the DfE constructed it) that gives a snapshot of the reforms. You'll, of course, need to click the image to see it in all its large glory. Please share widely as now is the time you can have an impact too by sharing with other SEN parents where they can find accurate sources of information.
There are still many details to be ironed out and questions to be answered, but for today, we should just pause and take stock because from now on the SEN system is irreversibly changed and it's up to us all to make it work for the benefit of our sons and daughters who live with special educational needs and disabilities.
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