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The SEND Reforms and the Youth Justice System

Telford and Wrekin’s role

The Children and Families Act (C&F Act) 2014 transforms the system for disabled children and young people and those with SEN. Part 3 of the C&F Act places significant responsibilities on local authorities and other services in relation to children and young people with special educational needs (SEND) who are detained in youth custody. These young people are some of our most vulnerable learners.
The DfE funded a project to help secure better outcomes for children and young people with SEND in the Youth Justice System (YJS). Telford and Wrekin are working with other professionals across a number of agencies to work towards that shared goal. The prevalence of CYP with SEND in the youth justice system appears to be greater than statistics may indicate. Possible reasons are thought to include:
  • Exclusion for poor behaviour (primary and secondary)
  • Persistent absence from school (and moving schools) making “graduated response” and building a case for/identifying SEN extremely difficult
  • ‘Camouflaged’ SEN Some young people have developed a set of sophisticated (and at times, not so sophisticated!) ways of hiding learning needs
  • Inappropriate home education agreements

The SEND Bubble

The SEND Bubble is an on-line learning platform to enable settings to offer free training to every professional involved in the YJS. It provides access to a bank of resources available via an organisationally shared log-on delivered by a series of Modules. Each module contains stand alone Module Units focused on related topics. The focus is centred on achieving better outcomes for young people in the YJS who have SEND.
For more information on the SEND Reforms and the YJS and/or The Send Bubble, contact Joy Simpson on 01952 383538 or email