SEN Law and Practice
The Children and Families Act
The Children and Families Act came into effect in September 2014, replacing statements with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP's).
This document, prepared in 2014 by Eleanor Wright, Co-ordinator and Solicitor at SOS!SEN, details the main changes from the previous system.
The Code of Practice contains law as well as guidance regarding SEND and additional support. This is a good starting point and the document can be downloaded from the government website.
On this page you can also find other SEND guides for parents and carers, and information on how the system is implemented.
It is important to remember that the old legislation under the 1996 Education Act and Code of Practice remain highly relevant until transitional arrangements are completed in April 2018 for the replacement of statements with EHCPs.
SOS!SEN operates a free, friendly, confidential telephone helpline and advice centres for those seeking information and advice on special educational needs.
We have a number of guides covering topics such as assessments, EHCPs and appeals, written by Eleanor Wright and available to purchase via the SOS!SEN office - email firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE NOTE: The helpline, advice centres and workshops operate during term time only.
Need help? Call our Term-Time Helpline and speak to an adviser
Call 0208 538 3731
We offer advice on:
- getting the right educational help for your child
- liaising with the school or local authority
- interpreting official letters
- requesting an EHC Needs assessment for your child
- finding independent expert professional advice
- appealing to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal
Walk-in Advice Centres
Come and talk to one of our experienced volunteers. We run free monthly sessions in Thornton Heath, Aldershot, Hampton Court (opposite Hampton Court train station), central London near Waterloo station, Manchester, High Wycombe, Oxford, Worcester Park and Kent.
SOS!SEN runs regular “hands-on” training sessions such as how to appeal an EHC Plan and how to prepare for a Tribunal hearing. It also runs larger workshops on special SEN topics.
For more information and booking forms for all workshops, see our Workshops and Events pages.
Download our free advice sheets .
We cover topics such as:
- Finding the Right School
- Statutory Assessments
- EHC Plans
- Tribunal Appeals
- Judicial reviews
- Legal Aid
Useful tips for parents
See also our useful tips for parents .
These give invaluable advice and information to empower parents and carers to navigate the SEND process.
“I first heard of SOS!SEN when searching for some advice & help to assist securing some extra support in school for my eight year old severely dyslexic son, whom was floundering & suffering extreme anxiety.
I will never forget making that initial call to SOS!SEN, finally I could speak to somebody who listened to me & understood what we were going through & offered sound advice on the initial steps I needed to take. SOS!SEN are a fantastic organisation, they helped me to navigate myself through the minefield of difficult processes & procedures.
They gave excellent support & advice & I attended many workshops which were invaluable to assist me in appealing my son's statement & going on to go through the Tribunal process.”
-Ms B from Hampshire’