Children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (SEND)
In September 2014 the Children and Families Act became law; this was the biggest educational reform in a generation for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The new system introduced Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans for children and young people with SEND, these replace statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs). EHC plans detail the education, health and social care support that is to be provided to a child or young person who has SEN or a disability. These are drawn up by the local authority after a needs assessment of the child or young person has determined that a plan is required, and after consultation with relevant partner agencies.
Statutory guidance for organisations that work with and provide support to children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities defines these children as:
• A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
• A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she: has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions .
At January 2015, 8,140 (14.9%) children and young people with SEN went to school in Wakefield; this is lower than the national (15.4%) and regional averages (15.1%). The largest single primary type of need for children and young people with SEN was a moderate learning difficulty, followed by a social, emotional or mental health difficulties; this is similar to the national picture.