Guidance on the single route of redress national trial, which begins on 3 April 2018, has now been published on GOV.UK.
The two year national trial extends the powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND) to make non-binding recommendations on the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care plans, in addition to the educational aspects.
The guidance is for local authority SEND and social care teams, health commissioners, parents and young people and can be used by organisations supporting families. It sets out the extended powers and duties in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (First-tier Tribunal Recommendations Power) Regulations 2017, and explains how the appeal process will work, what happens if recommendations are not followed and the support available for commissioners and families.
A toolkit has also been published that offers some practical materials to help local areas prepare, including template Local Offer and decision letter wording, a one-page summary and slides from the recent regional induction events. Further information will be added in due course, including details on how to claim expenses, FAQs and a webinar covering content from the induction events.
This forms part of a wider package of support for the trial, including a helpdesk, newsletter, further training and webinars and advice from our SEND advisers and NHS England SEND Local leads.
Dame Christine Lenehan, Director of the Council for Disabled Children, said:
'The Council for Disabled Children welcomes the SEND National Trial. We have long believed that a single EHC plan will be most effective combined with a single route of redress. We see the Trial as being a real opportunity to develop a baseline for clear and effective inter-agency responsibilities and this alongside the promotion of some excellent joint commissioning models, in partnership with families, as a powerful way of embedding the cultural change which will make the reforms a success.'
If you have any questions relating to your participation in the trial, how the trial will operate or the information in the guidance or toolkit, please get in touch with the trial helpdesk at Mott MacDonald (the trial facilitators) at: SENDdeliverysupport@mottmac.com, 0207 651 0308.