Parents urged to have their say on special needs reforms

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Families with children with special educational needs and disabilities can have a say in how major reforms will affect them as part of a consultation launched by Derbyshire County Council.

When the Children and Families Bill becomes law in September, it will change the way children with special educational needs and disabilities are assessed and supported.

Now people are being encouraged to give their views.

The new law will see the introduction of education, health and care plans for children and young people with the most complex special educational needs, extend the rights and protections of those people and introduce a “local offer” to make information about a wide range of support, including schools, health services, groups and activities, available to families.

CounKevin Gillott, the county council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “This is the biggest shake-up of the special educational needs system for 30 years.

“A new law is being introduced which means we’re taking the opportunity to review the way we work with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

“Children and young people have to be at the heart of all the services we provide. We know life can be complicated so we want to make it as easy as possible for them to find the support and information they need.

“We’re facing huge budget pressures and we need to make the best use of our money and deliver services that people want and need in the most cost-effective way possible.”

People can take part in an online questionnaire at or ring the county council’s contact centre Call Derbyshire on 01626 533365, where an operator will fill it in for them.

Leaflets are also being distributed to children’s centres, libraries, sixth forms and colleges encouraging people to take part.

The consultation runs until midnight on Friday 23rd May.