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Role of parents / carers

Young people’s right to make their own decisions

The SEN Code of Practice (2015) states:

After compulsory school age (the end of the academic year in which they turn 16) the right to make requests and decisions under the Children and Families Act 2014 applies to young people directly, rather than to their parents. Parents, or other family members, can continue to support young people in making decisions, or act on their behalf, provided that the young person is happy for them to do so, and it is likely that parents will remain closely involved in the great majority of cases.

This is particularly important for young people under 18 and colleges would normally involve parents or family members where they have concerns about a young person’s behaviour or welfare. They should also continue to involve parents or family members in discussions about the young person’s studies where that is their usual policy. The fact that the Children and Families Act 2014 gives rights directly to young people from the end of compulsory school age does not necessitate any change to a college’s safeguarding or welfare policy. 

There is more information about young people’s rights separate to their parents on the Contact.org website. 

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