Tag Archives: Legislation

News – January 2016

A stack of newspapersOur monthly round-up of news, legislation and cautions relevant to families who have children with brain conditions.

Mental Health Investment
The Mental Health Services and Schools Link Pilots, in 22 areas of England, are to test proposed improvements to mental health services for children.  (Dept for Education).


SI 2015/2005, The Civil Legal Aid (Merits Criteria and Information about Financial Resources) (Amendment) Regulations 2015
Amendments to the criteria for entitlement to legal aid.  Includes some issues affecting children and families.  Applies to England and Wales.

2015 No. 2041, The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015
From 14 January 2016, requires local authorities in England to arrange their new schemes.  These potentially have an impact on families where there is a child with special educational needs / disability.

2015 No. 428 (C. 56), The Welfare Funds (Scotland) Act 2015 (Commencement) Order 2015
From 1 February 2016 (for some parts) and 1 April 2016 (for the remainder), brings into force regulations and other parts of the Act that are not already in force.  The Act allows for emergency payments to individuals by local authorities, now that the Social Fund is not available.

2015 No. 444, The Victims’ Rights (Scotland) Regulations 2015 came into force in December 2015
An implementation of European Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime.

2016 No. 21, The Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 (Amendment of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995) Order 2016
From 15 January 2016, changes to the regulations about court orders.

2015 No. 1989 (W. 299), The Partnership Arrangements (Wales) Regulations 2015
The regulations set out now local authorities and local health boards are to work in partnership for specified health and social services functions. To do this, they are to form seven regional partnership boards and share information with integrated family support teams.

2015 No. 1988 (W. 298), The Children (Secure Accommodation) (Wales) Regulations 2015
From 6 April 2016, requirements in relation to the placing of children into secure accommodation.

2015 No. 1843 (W. 271), The Care and Support (Charging) (Wales) Regulations 2015
From 6 April 2016, regulations relating to charges that local authorities can make towards care and support services for adults.

2015 No. 2006 (N.I. 1), The Welfare Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 2015
Adjusted rules for various welfare benefits and entitlements.  Partly in force already, partly expected to be in force on dates yet to be determined.  Works in conjunction with the Northern Ireland (Welfare Reform) Act 2015, of last November.

SR 2015/407, The Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015
Further amendments to the Disabled Persons (Badges for Motor Vehicles) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1993.

2015 c. 10, The Children’s Services Co-operation Act (Northern Ireland) 2015
An Act mainly to require co-operation among certain public authorities and others towards the well-being of children and young people, and the adoption of a children and young persons strategy by the Executive.


Newborn babies in cars
A hospital in Oregon watched about 300 parents of newborn babies as they put their baby in the car to go home.  They found that over 90% of parents made serious errors of positioning, and advise that parents learn how to do this beforehand.

Using steam to ease children’s colds
Surgeons have recommended not using this traditional method, after treating a number of children for burns sustained as a result.  They note that it is still sometimes recommended by people that parents would listen to.

News – December 2015

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

New guidelines by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on Children’s attachment: attachment in children and young people who are adopted from care, in care or at high risk of going into care, [NG26] (Applies up to age 18).


2015 No. 1823 (W. 265), The Visits to Children in Detention (Wales) Regulations 2015
From 6 April 2016, the regulations relate to visits by local authorities.

2015 No. 370, The Victim Charter (Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2015) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015
Sets out requirements for the support of victims of crime, from 13 November 2015.

2015 No. 406 (C. 51), The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (Commencement No. 10 and Saving Provision) Order 2015
The Act is a major piece of legislation.  From 5 January 2016, brings into force sections of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”).  It includes, where a child is in secure accommodation, the previous 1995 Act will continue to apply if a decision about detaining them is taken before 1 February 2016.  Provisions about named persons for children and children’s plans start to come into effect from 5 January 2016.  Section 96, relating to assessment of wellbeing, is planned to be completely in force by 5 January 2014, and other sections on kinship care and adoption by 1 April 2016.

News – November 2015

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

Ambitious Colleges
Ambitious About Autism plan to open two more college facilities for young people with autism, from Summer 2016 in Tottenham and from September 2017 in Isleworth, London. (Ambitious College).

Epilepsy Passport
A downloadable template Epilepsy Passport has been developed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. This is a record that families can use for emergency healthcare visits and other situations.

Autism Diagnosis Crisis
The National Autistic Society invites people to join their campaign for earlier diagnosis of autism.

Victims of Crime
A new Code of Practice for Victims of Crime has been published.  It includes various provisions for victims with disabilities, (Ministry of Justice.  Applies to England and Wales).

New NICE guidance: 
Quality standards on Challenging behaviour in learning disabilities; and Bipolar disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia in children and young people, (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence).

A quick guide to immunisations for the parents of premature babies, (NHS). Updated to reflect this year’s changes to the schedule.

“Supporting the Attainment of Disadvantaged Pupils”
A new report by the Dept for Education describing what has worked in selected schools around the country.


2015 asp 11, British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015
Prepares for the preparation and publication of plans in relation to British Sign Language by certain national organisations.

2015 No. 1754, The Universal Credit and Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2015
From dates between November 2015 and April 2016, a number of adjustments to the rules for receiving Universal Credit.

2015 No. 1778 (C. 108), The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (Commencement No. 3 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2015
From 26 October, means that 17-year-olds who are interviewed or detained by police must now be treated as under-17s in some ways (such as forms of assistance, and care from the local authority).

2015 No. 1776, The National Health Service (Exemptions from Charges, Payments and Remission of Charges) (Amendment and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2015
Changes the rules for entitlement to reimbursement of NHS-related costs (optical, travel etc.). Families can still claim under the old rules for charges incurred up to 31 October 2015.


Local area SEND consultation
About inspections of local areas’ effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people who are disabled and have special educational needs. There are separate versions for adults and children to respond to.
Closing date: 4 January 2016 (applies to England. Ofsted, with the Care Quality Commission).

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.


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.

News – August 2015

Stack of newspapers

Our monthly round up of news and legislation of interest to our members.

Children’s Health Services
From October 2015 in England, public health services for children aged 0-5 years are planned to transfer from the NHS to local authorities, including health visitor checks etc. Information relating to the transfer can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transfer-of-0-5-childrens-public-health-commissioning-to-local-authorities (Dept of Health and Public Health England).

Moving from an SEN Statement to an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan
For children in England who are due to be transferring from an existing Statement of SEN to an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan from 1 September 2015 onwards, local authorities have been granted more time to put them in place (from 16 weeks to 20 weeks). A network of central government funded Independent Support (IS) agencies can already assist families with the new plans, giving up to 8 hours of free support. This includes families who are moving to England from other parts of the UK. The agencies are listed at: http://councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/what-we-do/our-networks/independent-support/find-my-independent-support-provider (Council for Disabled Children).

Friends and Family Test
New guidance on access to the Friends and Family Test, a questionnaire given to people receiving health services in England about their experience of the services. It recommends ways to ensure that vulnerable people, including children and those with learning disabilities, can be helped to understand the questions and give their feedback, http://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/fft-guidance-160615.pdf.

Contents of the summer budget 2015
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/summer-budget-2015-key-announcements (H.M. Treasury).


Legislation can be found in full at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/.

2015 No. 1512, The Child Benefit (General) (Amendment) Regulations 2015
From 31 August 2015, to add the “United Youth Pilot” (Northern Ireland) to the list of approved training for Child Benefit purposes, and to remove types of training that are no longer offered.

2015 No. 1510 (L. 19), The Tribunal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2015
From 21 August 2015, to update a variety of rules for first and second tier tribunals, some of which are relevant to children with special needs in different parts of the UK.

2015 No. 286, The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002 Amendment Order 2015
From 16 July 2015, places ILF Scotland (the Scottish Independent Living Fund) among the organisations that can be investigated by the Public Services Ombudsman.

2015 No. 1563, The First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal (Chambers) (Amendment) Order 2015
From 1 October 2015, widens the range of matters that the Tribunals can deal with, including childcare payments appeals.

2015 No. 1562, The Childcare (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2015
Mostly in force from 1 January 2016, and the remaining part from 1 September 2015. The amendments affect the premises where childcare is provided; the certificates of registration for providers; and fees in connection with registration [applies to England].

News – July 2015

A stack of newspapersNHS Choice Framework 2015-16
Sets out the health service choices currently available to patients in England (including GP, specialist, hospital, maternity, personal health budgets, going to other countries.  Dept. of Health).

Tax-free childcare: 10 things parents should know
(Updated version July 2015.  HM Treasury and others.) From Autumn 2015 (phased dates), the narrower UK system of employer-supported childcare will only be available for those who are already part of such a scheme (the “Childcare Voucher Scheme”).  More details here and at Turn2Us. The new scheme also extends to self-employed parents. It requires prior self-assessment tax registration with HMRC.

DLA during hospital stays
A Supreme Court ruling has held that cessation of DLA payments, when a boy was in hospital for more than 84 days, was against his human rights. There is a follow-up petition at http://campaign.cafamily.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1918&ea.campaign.id=36939&ea.tracking.id=CaFWeb which could help to change this situation for others as well (Contact a Family).

Guidance on the Integrated Review
The Integrated Review at Age Two, due to start by September 2015 in England, is designed to bring together the current Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Progress Check at age two with the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) 2 – 2 ½ year health and development review, into an integrated process between early education and health practitioners.  One of the aims is to identify and support any developmental needs early. (Foundation Years).

Supported Internships
Advice on supported internships for young people with learning difficulties (England), (Dept for Education).


2015 No. 268, The Provision of Early Learning and Childcare (Specified Children) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2015
From 1 August 2015, amendments to the Provision of Early Learning and Childcare (Specified Children) (Scotland) Order 2014.  The effect of these is to entitle a wider range of pre-school children to an amount of early learning and childcare from the education authority.

2015 No. 269, The Education (School Lunches) (Scotland) Regulations 2015
From 1 August 2015, Broadens the categories of school / pre-school pupil entitled to free lunches.

2015 No. 1367 (W. 135), The Care and Support (Population Assessments) (Wales) Regulations 2015
From 6 April 2016, the regulations require local population assessment reports to be sent to Welsh Ministers, with details set out in section 14(1) of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014. These include numbers of people needing care and support, such as parents of children with disabilities.

2015 No. 1411, The Social Fund (Budgeting Loans) (Applications and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2015
From 22 July 2015, adjustments to the method of applying for budgeting loans in the UK under the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992.

2015 No. 1438 (C. 81), The Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015 (Commencement No. 1 and Transitory Provision) Regulations 2015
Already in force since 25 June, these regulations aim to strengthen and increase the consistency and sharing of information about individuals, and to reduce avoidable harm (in England).  Other regulations connected with the Act are expected to follow.

2015 No. 1418 (W. 142), The Cancellation of Student Loans for Living Costs Liability (Wales) Regulations 2015
From 1 August 2015, these regulations govern the student loan liability of students who receive loans for living costs from the Welsh Ministers in respect of the academic year 2015/2016.

New Legislation – May 2015

All legislation can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/.

SI 2015/381, The Education Act 2002 (Commencement No. 15) (Wales) Order 2015.
From 27 February 2015, gives powers to facilitate innovative educational projects in Wales.

2015 No. 213, The Time Off to Attend Adoption Appointments (Prospective Adopters) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015.
From 5 April 2015, extends rights to time off for foster parents.

2015 No. 195, The Civil Legal Services (General) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015.
From 1 April 2015, amends the qualifications for receiving, or no longer receiving these services.

2015 No. 197, The Civil Legal Services (Appeal) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015.
From 1 April, provides for appeals to be made to a panel, e.g. about a decision not to fund civil legal services for an individual. (2015 No. 198, The Civil Legal Services (Costs) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 and 2015 No. 199, The Civil Legal Services (Cost Protection) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 set out how costing decisions are made.)

2015 No. 179 (C. 29), The Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002 (Commencement No. 4) Order 2015.
Provides for all of section 5 of the Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002 to come into effect, partly from 11 May and the rest from 24 June 2015. This affects placements of people from within Scotland who need residential care and/or nursing provision outside of Scotland.

2015 No. 225, The Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (Codes of Practice) Order 2015.
From 1 June 2015, new codes include management of situations encountered by young people, e.g. being taken into detention and questioned.

News – March 2015

A stack of newspapersNHS Specialised Services
New guidance has been published in England on developing a more collaborative approach to providing specialised services, across geographical and service boundaries. These include some services related to neurological conditions. The process is called “co-commissioning” or “collaborative commissioning”. More details: http://www.actionduchenne.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Specialised-services-collaborative-commissioning-guidance-NHS-ENGLAND.pdf and http://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/spec-services/key-docs/ (NHS England). The principles for investing in specialised services by the NHS are currently under consultation, https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/investing-in-specialised-commissioning/supporting_documents/invspecservconslt.pdf.

New welfare benefit rates from April 2015 to April 2016
The page also links to information about allowances, tax and National Insurance. At the time of writing these are “proposed” rates, and if there are any changes by April these should be updated on the Dept for Work and Pensions and HMRC websites that are also linked there. (Disability Rights UK)

Benefits in Scotland
Over the year, Scotland may see welfare benefit changes that diverge from the rest of the UK. (Scottish Office).

Take part in research: Life Study
“Life Study” is inviting participation by pregnant mothers and parents of babies up to the age of six months. The study will track the wellbeing of a very large number of parents and their babies from around the country as they grow up. (University College London).

Public Health Services
From 1 October 2015, it is planned that local authorities in England will take over (from the NHS) planning and paying for public health services for babies and children up to 5 years old. (Public Health England).

Epilepsy medication
Sodium valproate and related medicines for girls and women with epilepsy: new guidelines, (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency).

New NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines: 
NG7, maintaining a healthy weight; NG6, health risks associated with cold homes;
NG5, the safe and effective use of medicines;
CG28, depression in children and young people;
NG1, Gastro-Oesophagal Reflux Disease in children and young people.

Disability Scooters
Disability mobility scooter users aged 14 or over, in England or Scotland, can now carry with them a greater weight of up to 200Kg on their scooter.  This is designed to allow for carriage of medical equipment as well as other items.  More details:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mobility-scooters-and-powered-wheelchairs-on-the-road-some-guidance-for-users (Dept for Transport). Guidance has also been updated, for users of scooters and powered wheelchairs on the road, at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mobility-scooters-and-powered-wheelchairs-on-the-road-some-guidance-for-users.


2015 No. 574, The Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Seat Belts) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2015
From 1st April 2015, amends the list of seat belts / child restraint systems that may be used in motor vehicles, to correspond with an EC / UN Directive.

2015 No. 393, The Rail Vehicle Accessibility (Non-Interoperable Rail System) (London Underground Northern Line 95TS Vehicles) Exemption Order 2015
From 27th March 2015, some vehicles and stations on the Northern Line will not have to abide by disability provisions that will apply elsewhere.

2015 No. 130, The Health Services (Cross-Border Health Care) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015
From 27 March 2015, makes the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety  the contact point for information about prescriptions intended to be used elsewhere in the EU, and sets out what information must be included.

Care legislation

2015 No. 305, The Care and Support (Children’s Carers) Regulations 2015
Regulations in connection with section 62(1) of the Care Act 2014, applying to local authorities meeting carers’ support needs, in force immediately after that section of the Act.

2015 No. 548 (L. 6), Court of Protection (Amendment) Rules 2015
Changes to the procedures for making decisions relating to mental capacity.  Some rules begin on 6 April 2015, and others on 1 July 2015 (Applies to England and Wales).

2015 No. 527, The Young Carers (Needs Assessments) Regulations 2015
From 1 April 2015, sets out how local authorities in England must recognise and assess the needs of young carers in their areas.

2015 No. 643, The Care Act 2014 (Consequential Amendments) (Secondary Legislation) Order 2015
Separates the law for carers between England and Wales.  2015 No. 642, The Care and Support (Isles of Scilly) Order 2015 places the Isles of Scilly with England.

Education legislation

2015 No. 54 (W. 5), The Education (Student Support) (Wales) Regulations 2015
Details of government financial support available for students ordinarily resident in Wales taking various higher education courses starting on or after 1 September 2015.

2015 No. 359, The Special Educational Needs and Disability (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (from 23 March 2015) and 2015 No. 358, The Special Educational Needs and Disability (First-tier Tribunal Recommendation Power) (Pilot) Regulations 2015 (from 1 April 2015)
Various amendments to the administration of EHC Plans (in all areas of England) and to Tribunal regulations (in certain pilot areas).

2015 No. 505, The Children and Families Act 2014 (Transitional and Saving Provisions) (Amendment) Order 2015
From 1 April 2015, sets out how Education, Health and Care Plans must replace Statements of SEN for eligible young people with a home LEA in England who are in detention, upon their release.

Financial legislation

2015 No. 345, The Universal Credit (Surpluses and Self-employed Losses) (Digital Service) Amendment Regulations 2015. 
From 6 April 2016, changes to some of the ways in which Universal Credit is calculated.

2015 No. 338, The Child Support (Miscellaneous and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2015
Amends ways in which under- or over- payments are corrected, and other matters.  Comes into force from 23 March 2015 onwards in conjunction with Section 1 of the Childcare Payments Act 2014.

2015 No. 522, The Childcare Payments Regulations 2015
From 1 June 2015, arrangements for the financial administration of childcare payments by and for families, including which types of childcare providers come under the scheme.

2015 No. 437, The Employment and Support Allowance (Repeat Assessments and Pending Appeal Awards) (Amendment) Regulations 2015
From 30 March 2015, sets out circumstances under which an ESA claimant can be treated as having limited capability for work until an assessment has been done, and related matters.

2015 No. 417, The National Health Service (Charges, Payments and Remission of Charges) (Uprating, Miscellaneous Amendments andTransitional Provision) Regulations 2015
From 1 April 2015, allows some people to be reimbursed for travel expenses to some types of NHS appointment without having to make a claim, and to be exempt from some dental and ophthalmic charges (applies to England).

2015 No. 537, The Childcare Payments Act 2014 (Amendment) Regulations 2015
From 1 June 2015, an increase in the maximum for disabled children (under the Childcare Payments Act 2014 (c. 28), involving a scheme for supporting childcare through “top-up payments” to parents and others in order to enable them to work).

2015 No. 578, The Employment Allowance (Care and Support Workers) Regulations 2015
From 6 April 2015, ensures that under the National Insurance Contributions Act 2014, families employing carers in respect of disability etc. will be able to pay £2,000 a year less for the workers’ NI (“employment allowance relief”).  More details:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-insurance-contributions-employment-allowance-extension-to-personal-carers

2015 No. 669, The Tax Credits (Claims and Notifications) (Amendment) Regulations 2015
From 6 April 2015, alterations to the backdating provisions for claiming Tax Credits.

2015 No. 138, The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Extended Period of Sickness) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015
From 30 March 2015, allows continuity for certain JSA claimants in periods of sickness of more than 2 weeks but less than 13 weeks in a 12-month period.

News – July 2014

Stack of newspapers

Stack of newspapers

A round up of recent news, guidance and legislation.

Teenagers with complex health needs lack support as they approach adulthood
The Care Quality Commission have reviewed the way teenagers with complex health needs are supported in their transition to adult health services, and aim to improve the process. They invite service users to share their experiences.

Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention
Delivering Better Oral Health is an evidence based toolkit to support dental teams in improving their patient’s oral and general health. (Public Health England).

Update to charging arrangements for adult social care services
Updated guidance for local authorities on charging for adult social care services, (Department of Health, England).

Learner Travel (Wales) Measure 2008
New guidance on school travel for Wales, (Welsh Government).

New NICE guidance: MTG18
The MAGEC system for spinal lengthening in children with scoliosis.

Standards for school food in England
Departmental advice on the standards for planning and providing food in schools.

National plans or strategies for rare diseases
The EU (European Union) publish updates on member countries’ national plans or strategies for rare diseases. The most recent one was launched in Dublin, Ireland on 3 July.

New legislation

2014 No. 192, The Registration of Social Workers and Social Service Workers in Care Services (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2014, from 30 June 2014. Extends registration requirements to certain supervisors in care at home services and housing support services.

2014 No. 1661 (C. 69), The Welfare Reform Act 2012 (Commencement No. 9, 11, 13, 14, 16 and 17 and Transitional and Transitory Provisions (Amendment)) Order 2014, from 30 June onwards. Brings into force more of the provisions for Universal Credit and other benefits. Also amends a number of conditions relating to claiming benefits such as ESA and JSA.


A note about the Welfare Reform Act
Regulations and statutory arrangements related to this Act are gradually coming into place, some of them at different speeds around the country. If you need to check what the benefits situation is in your own region and under your circumstances, it is complex to trace where things are up to.

Rather than updating the information here with every piece of supplementary legislation relating to this Act in every location (since the Act was passed in 2012, over 200 further pieces of legislation have affected it), local welfare rights services can provide useful information on the practical outcome of the legislation. An example is Newcastle’s website, which keeps track of changes that may affect entitlements.

It is also possible to check what currently applies to you using the Turn2Us website, or finding information about benefits at Direct.gov, and/or if necessary, phoning a charity with a specialist welfare helpline (e.g. the Contact a Family personalised benefits service) or attending a Citizens Advice or similar office locally.

Those who do not check now and again may find they have lost out on some benefits, or might be overpaid due to changes they were unaware of, causing difficulties when money is requested back from them (for example, this is happening to some people over Tax Credits at the moment).

Note: from this summer, couples in some parts of the UK can make a joint claim online for Universal Credit. “Your claim journey” is a general guide to claiming Universal Credit.

2014 No. 1562, The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Community Care) Regulations 2014 (England and Wales). From 7 July 2014, makes Community Care matters eligible for Legal Aid, where they are connected with clinical commissioning groups.

2014 No. 170, The Pharmaceutical Services (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014. Widens the range of people able to prescribe drugs and appliances to a: “doctor, a dentist, a chiropodist or podiatrist independent prescriber, an independent nurse prescriber, an optometrist independent prescriber, a pharmacist independent prescriber, a physiotherapist independent prescriber or a supplementary prescriber”, and defines who those are. From 18 July 2014.

2014 No. 1563, The Adoption Support Services (Amendment) Regulations 2014; 2014 No. 1556, The Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2014; and 2014 No. 1492, The Adoption and Children Act Register Regulations 2014, all from 25 July 2014, put in place various regulations about adoption in England, registers and the provision of local information.

2014 No. 180, The Bus and Coach Passengers Rights and Obligations (Designation and Enforcement) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014, from 25 July 2014. These regulations concern the rights of passengers under (EU) No. 181/2011(c), 16 February 2011. They designate the Dept of the Environment as the regulator, and set exemption periods for transport providers and the training of drivers in relation to passengers with disabilities, lasting until 28 February 2017 and 28 February 2018.

2014 No. 165 (C. 12), The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (Commencement No. 2, Transitional and Transitory Provisions) Order 2014. Brings into force various sections of the Act from 1 August 2014, relating to proposals for school closures.

2014 No. 196, The Provision of Early Learning and Childcare (Specified Children) (Scotland) Order 2014, partly in force from 1 August 2014 and partly from 31 October 2014. Obliges education authorities to make a mandatory amount of early learning and childcare available for each eligible pre-school child in their areas. For most children, this applies from the first term after their 3rd birthday, though those who are 3 before the beginning of September 2014 can start at the beginning of the Autumn term. Some become eligible in the term following their 2nd birthday, in a similar way. Some children may cease to be eligible if their parents choose to defer their start date at school.

2014 No. 1652, The Special Educational Needs (Personal Budgets) Regulations 2014, from 1 September 2014. Sets out terms and conditions for receiving Personal Budgets and Direct Payments for children with an EHC (Education, Health and Care) Plan under Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 (England). The Explanatory Notes athttp://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1652/note/made provide a useful summary.

2014 No. 1603, The Requirements for School Food Regulations 2014. New nutritional standards for food and drink provided at maintained schools and pupil referral units in England, from 1 January 2015.

2014 No. 1705, The Local Authority (Duty to Secure Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, from 1 September 2014 (England). Adjustments to the previous legislation to take account of the Children and Families Act 2014.

2014 No. 1714 (C.73), The Care Act 2013 (Commencement No.1) Order 2014 (England). Begins to bring into force provisions of the Care Act, on 7 July, 15 July and 1 October. More Commencement Orders will follow.

2014 No. 1766, The Further and Higher Education (Student Support)(Amendment) Regulations 2014, from 1 August 2014 (England). Adjusts which courses are eligible for further education loans and the income regulations in connection with these, as well as how many times students may remain eligible to repeat if they have not completed a course.