The laws relating to Special Educational Needs are found in Part 3 of the Children And Families Act 2014 and Part 4 of the Education Act 1996.
The Children and Families Act 2014 came in to force on 1st September 2014. It replaces the Education Act 1996. The Education Act 1996 continues to apply until April 2018, when all children who have statements of Special Educational Needs are transferred into an Education Health Care Plan.
You can find the legislation using the following links:
For those with an EHC Plan this is the link to the Children and Families Act 2014 Part 3
For those with Statements of SEN this is the link to the Education Act 1996, Part 4
The SEND Code of Practice ("COP") is statutory guidance for organisations that work with and support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. It sets out duties, policies and procedures relating to Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and associated regulations, and it applies to England.
All professionals working with special needs children must have regard to the Code of Practice. This means that whenever they are making decisions they must give consideration to what the Code says. They cannot ignore it. They must fulfil their statutory duties towards children and young people with SEN or disabilities in the light of the guidance set out in it. They must be able to demonstrate in their arrangements for children and young people with SEN or disabilities that they are fulfilling their statutory duty to have regard to the Code. So, where the text uses the word ‘should’ it means that the guidance contained in this Code must be considered and that those who must have regard to it will be expected to explain any departure from it.
The SEND COP 2014 replaced the SEN COP 2001 when the Children and Families Act 2014 was introduced.
The SEND COP 2001 is still valid for those children and young people who have Statements of SEN.
Click here to access the COP 2014
Click here to access the COP 2001
For a Guide for Parents and Carers click here
For access to information about Transport click here