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This section is primarily a resource designed to train other professionals about the 2014 special educational needs/disability framework.


It consists of three sub-sections.


The first two are short, each comprising a brief introductory slide followed by two resource slides with links. They focus on:

  1. Transfer between the 2001 and 2014 systems;
  2. An overview of the 2014 system.

The longer third section is a brief introduction to transition planning.

Initiating an EHC Needs Assessment

Once a child has been brought to the attention of the local authority as potentially having a special educational need, the local authority must decide whether to carry out a statutory needs assessment for an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan, and it must inform stakeholders, including the relevant health service, of its decision.


EHC Plans are legal documents that set out the education, health and social care support required by a child/young person with special educational needs/disabilities when their needs cannot be met by resources available to mainstream education providers. They focus on the outcomes the child/young person wants to achieve and set out how services will work together to support these outcomes, including details of any Personal Budget that is to deliver some or all of this provision.


Information on the number and content of EHC Plans should also be used to inform the review of joint commissioning arrangements by providing clear information about provision and outcomes relating to children/young people with special educational needs in each area.


(Riley, 2014)

Provision mapping and EHC Needs Assessments

For most pupils, schools can afford the resources to enable their progress from the notional special educational needs budget. However, pupils with the most complex needs will need additional resourcing from the local authority's Higher Needs Block budget.


A 'provision map' is a multi-tasking resource with a range of applications, one of which is to provide the 'SEN support' data needed for a child's/young person's Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment.

Early years, schools and post-16 settings should particularly record:

  • Teaching strategies and approaches;
  • Details of additional or different provision made under 'SEN support' during the pupil's time in the setting;
  • Accurate evidence of its provision and impact, including the child's/young person's progress, expected outcomes from the support and planned next steps;
  • The involvement of specialists;
  • Evidence of regular discussions of the above with parents/carers and the child/young person, and that it has been shared with them in an accessible,
    written form.

(0-25 SEND Code of Practice, sections 6.73-6.75)

Transition to the 2014 SEND framework

September 2014 to March 2018 is the transition period between the old (2001) and new (2014) special educational needs/disability frameworks. It is covered by the statutory guidance, Transition to the New 0 to 25 Special Educational Needs and Disability System (Department for Education, 2014). By April 2018, all special educational provision will be made under the 2014 framework.


If children/young people have Statements of Special Educational Needs (2001 special educational needs framework), their special educational needs provision will be regulated by earlier statutes until their statutory 'transfer review'/Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment. If the child's/young person's needs have not changed, they are likely (although not certain) to receive an EHC Plan as the threshold criteria have not changed.


Local authorities must publish details of transitional arrangements (including timelines) on their websites, and schools must similarly share information about their own in-school, as well as the local authority's, arrangements with parents of children/young people with Statements of Special Educational Needs.

Principles of transition planning support

The key messages from the Preparing for Adulthood Programme (Department for Education, 2011) are that supporting a young person with special educational needs/disabilities with an Education, Health and Care Plan into further education, training and adulthood should involve:

  • Person-centred transition planning;
  • Involvement and consultation of parents and carers;
  • Partnership working across agencies;
  • Provision of accessible and clear information;
  • Working towards positive outcomes;
  • Early assessment and transition planning;
  • Relevant information sharing;
  • Quality and monitoring;
  • Safeguarding.
Transition planning - principles

With high aspirations, and the right support, the vast majority of children and young people can go on to achieve successful long-term outcomes in adult life. Local authorities, education providers and their partners should work together to help children and young people to realise their ambitions in relation to:

  • Higher education and/or employment – including exploring different employment options, such as support for becoming self-employed and help from supported employment agencies;
  • Independent living – enabling people to have choice and control over their lives and the support they receive, their accommodation and living arrangements, including supported living;
  • Participating in society – including having friends and supportive relationships, and participating in, and contributing to, the local community;
  • Being as healthy as possible in adult life.

(0-25 SEND Code of Practice, 2015, section 1.39)


Click here for an information sheet overviewing transition planning.

Preparing early for transition

In order to achieve these outcomes, it is important that from the earliest years:

  • Young people and their families are well supported and placed at the centre of all planning;
  • Young people are encouraged to develop the skills and understanding they need to make informed choices;
  • The transition process is coordinated, systematic and consistent;
  • Post-16 services and opportunities are commissioned effectively, based on early identification of likely need for support.

(Herefordshire Council/NHS Herefordshire, 2014)


To read further, click here.
Read: Chapter 8 of the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice (2015).

From EHC Plan to adulthood

Where a child/young person has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, the review in Year 9 marks the beginning of an extended review process that continues through their remaining years in education up to the age of 25 years.


The new single system of EHC Plan support for children with complex needs from 0-25 years (as well as transitioning arrangements in the Care Act 2014) should mean an end to the funding and support discontinuities after compulsory schooling. Further education colleges and settings (although not higher education settings) now have similar duties to schools to support students with special educational needs/disabilities.

This information is based on: 'Information for parents: preparing for adulthood' (Contact a Family/NNPCF, 2014).


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