Acts and regulations

These create duties and obligations which Parliament puts on local authorities, schools and other bodies.

If they do not comply with the Acts and Regulations this is unlawful and they can be ordered by the Court of Tribunal to do something differently or make their decision again.

Guidance

The government also produces guidance, codes and advice which sets out what local authorities, schools etc. are supposed to do to meet their obligations in practice.

Some guidance is known as statutory guidance. This guidance must be followed unless there is a very good reason not to – in practice it is very difficult to demonstrate why this should not be followed.

If local authorities and other bodies do not meet their duties in the way set out in statutory guidance, they can be ordered by the Court of Tribunal to do something differently or make their decision again.

When courts and certain tribunals make decisions, this is called case law.  Case law interprets the laws laid down by Parliament.  These decisions can be binding.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) Legal Framework

The laws and rules which make up the legal framework for SEN.

Acts

Regulations

Statutory Guidance

The SEN and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 has also been produced as guidance documents for:

The following must have regard to the SEND Code of Practice 0-25

  • Local authorities (education, social care, relevant housing, employment and other services)
  • Early years providers, schools, academies/free schools, FE colleges, sixth form colleges, independent special schools and specialist providers, pupil referral units and alternative provision providers
  • NHS England, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), NHS trusts, NHS foundation trusts, local health boards, youth offending teams and relevant youth custodial establishments
  • First-tier SEND tribunal

This specific SEN Legal framework also sits alongside existing laws related to Education, Health and Social Care.

Social Care - the main laws and rules which make up the legal framework for Social Care are:

Healthcare - the main laws and rules which make up the legal framework for Healthcare are:

Disability and Equality - the main laws and rules which make up the legal framework for disability and equality are:

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