Robert Goodwill, Minister of State for Children and Families, has announced plans to launch the single route of redress national trial in March 2018. The national trial will expand the powers of the First-tier Tribunal SEND so that it can make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans alongside the special educational aspects.

The Minister has written to Directors of Children’s Services setting out the next steps for the two-year national trial, including further detail on the support package and induction events for senior managers across SEND, health and social care that will be taking place in January and February. The letter has been copied to people and organisations interested and affected by these changes, including Chief Nurses in Clinical Commissioning Groups via NHS England Regional and Local SEND Leads, parents and young people groups and organisations that represent them, and to a range of voluntary and community sector organisations. A copy of the letter is attached.

The national trial builds on the ambition of the SEND reforms, which puts children and families at the centre of the assessment process. It will enable the Tribunal to take a more holistic view of the child or young person’s needs, encourage joint working, and should bring about positive benefits to families.