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.
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.
- The Special Education Needs (Personal Budgets) Regulations 2014
- The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014
- The Special Educational Needs and Disability (First-tier Tribunal Recommendations Power) Regulations 2017
The SEN and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 has also been produced as guidance documents for:
- Parents / carers
- Easy-read guide for children and young people
- Health professionals
- Social care professionals
- Schools and alternative provision settings
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:
- Children Act 1989 (s17, 20 and 47 in particular)
- The Care Act 2014 under social care Schedule 2
- Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (s2)
- The Community Care, Services for Carers and Children’s Services (Direct Payments) (England) Regulations 2009
- Working together to safeguard children (Statutory guidance 2015)
Healthcare - the main laws and rules which make up the legal framework for Healthcare are:
- The National Health Service Act 2006
- National Service Framework For Children, Young People, And Maternity Services
- Mental Health Act Code of Practice 2008
- The National Health Service (Direct Payments) Regulations 2013
Disability and Equality - the main laws and rules which make up the legal framework for disability and equality are: