News – October 2015

Our monthly roundup of news and legislation relevant to families who have children with neurological conditions.

Summer-born children ‘to get the right to start school later’A stack of newspapers
The Schools Minister, Nick Gibb has written to schools urging them to allow summer-born children (i.e. born after March 31) to start in reception class at age 5 if parents wish, and to stay with the same age-group as this as they move through the school, (England, Dept for Education).  This comes ahead of proposed legislation to the same effect.

NHS Atlas of Variation in Healthcare
The 2015 NHS Atlas of Variation in Healthcare has been published for all the regions of England.  Analysis by local authority area, clinical network or clinical commissioning group (Public Health England).  Also includes a small section on education.

Embracing Progress, online photography competition on a theme of disability
Categories are: Ambition; Independence; People; and Work / Education.  Entry classes are:  age 17 and under; and age 18 and over.  Closing date:  22 November 2015, (Irwin Mitchell Solicitors).

Disability Research Centre
A new Disability Research Centre is to be launched at Goldsmith’s College, London, on 12 November 2015.  It is free to attend the launch but pre-registration is required.

Legislation

The Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland (Practice and Procedure) (No. 2) Amendment Rules 2015 (2015 No. 334)
From 16 November 2015, changes to the rules for appealing against involuntary detention for mental health reasons in hospitals, including non-state hospitals.

The National Health Service (Payments and Remission of Charges) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2015 (2015 No. 333)
From 1 November 2015,changes to the eligibility criteria for help with costs of travel to hospitals and optical charges.

2015 No. 329 (C. 28), The Pensions (2015 Act) (Commencement No. 2) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015
Regulations covering the application of new State Pension rules to Northern Ireland.  Some changes are already in force, others are planned to be by 6 April 2016.  They include a facility to top up the pension by paying Class 3A contributions, which may apply to some carers.  Please see also the note on 2015 No. 1670 (C. 95) for other parts of the UK, reported last month.

2015 No. 1687 (W. 219) (C. 98), The Qualifications Wales Act 2015 (Commencement No. 2 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2015
From 21 September 2015, completes the installation of Qualifications Wales as the regulator for general and vocational qualifications.  More details about changes to the Welsh Baccalaureate, GCSEs, AS and A level qualifications, vocational qualifications and essential skills qualifications:  http://qualificationswales.org/.

2015 No. 333 (C. 29) The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Commencement No. 11) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015
Paves the way for regulations about disability access to taxis, including while remaining in a wheelchair.