Our specialist member group, the Council for Disabled Children, has been Strategic Reform Partner to the Department for Education since 2013 and we are continuing to build on this work this year.
We were commissioned to support government in the implementation of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) aspects of the Children and Families Act 2014. The new legislation in this area is the biggest reform to SEND provision in 15 years. Most notably it places new responsibilities on service providers to involve children, young people and their families in decisions relating to the care and services they receive.
As Strategic Reform Partner we provide expert advice to the Department for Education on how to achieve the effective implementation of the reforms in frontline practice. Working with our extensive networks in health, social care and education we gather feedback from practitioners on the ground and propose solutions to issues arising.
Our role this year focuses on several key elements:
Working with the Sector
As the umbrella body for the disabled children's sector CDC support practitioners to understand the changes and share best practice. They do this in part through their member base as well as through our wider sector networks which include local authorities, public health bodies and professional bodies.
Part of our role includes providing policy and practice advice to government on the SEN and disability reforms and highlighting issues relating to implementation.
We are continuing to develop information on the reforms that will support, advice and guide professionals across health, education and social care. We also work with children, young people and parent carers to create resources and toolkits that help explain how the changes affect them.
Supporting Social Care
This year we are increasing our focus on social care to help practitioners understand the changes and support them as they develop and share good practice. We also support policy development and implementation through the provision of expert advisors to government officials and frontline practitioners.
Representing in Europe
We also act as the national coordinator for England to the European Agency for Special Educational Needs and Inclusion. This role means we represent the English perspective in Europe and collect and disseminate evidence of emerging practice in support of SEN and Disability elsewhere in Europe.
To find out more about our work in this area or to access any of the training or resources that we’ve produced please visit the Council for Disabled Children’s website.