As part of our work with Special Educational Consortium (SEC), the NAS has successfully persuaded the Government to revise an amendment to the Education Bill relating to direct payments. Initially, we were worried that the amendment would mean that if families accepted a direct payment, the local authority would no longer be obliged to follow their statutory duties and provide the services outlined in the child’s statement.
The NAS and SEC had strong objections to this, and we put pressure on the Department for Education to address our concerns. Thanks to our campaigning, revisions to the amendment mean that local authorities will not be allowed to neglect their statutory duties. The revisions also mean that families will have to give their written consent before they begin receiving direct payments – this is intended to make sure that people are made aware of their right to a full range of support.
This is a major improvement in the progress of the Bill, as it helps to ensure that children with SEN get the full range of support that they’re entitled to instead of their families being left with a direct payment only.