Under the Children and Families Act 2014, which applies to all mainstream schools including maintained schools, academies and free schools, the participation of children, their parents and young people in decision-making is a key principle of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system. They must be closely involved throughout the process of identifying needs and arranging support. This must continue through into adulthood, with support and planning to help young people realise their ambitions.

Another key feature is the emphasis on different services working together for joint outcomes. Local authorities must ensure that SEND provision is integrated with health and social care provision in order to promote the wellbeing of children.

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