What is SEND?

Special Educational Needs and Disability.

Children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children or young people of the same age. Special educational needs and disabilities fall under four broad areas:

Communication and interaction (including Autism)

Cognition and learning

Social, mental and emotional health

Sensory and/or physical

What is an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan?

An EHC Plan is a legal document describing a child/young person’s needs, the provision to meet those needs and the educational placement secured for the child/young person. The EHC plan is person centred, focusing on the needs and aspirations of the child/young person. EHC plans are for children and young people aged 0 – 25 years and aim to prepare all young people for adult life.

What is an Education, Health and Care Assessment?

An assessment may be carried out with your child in order to identify their strengths and needs. Working in this way can help the school develop a plan of support and ensure that your child’s needs are being met in the most suitable way. Assessments can be carried out by school staff or by Local Authority Education staff (e.g. educational psychologists or advisory teachers).

Different types of assessments can target a range of areas (e.g. reading, understanding, language skills, number skills and self-esteem). The results of these types of assessments are used to plan the way ahead for your child. The assessments may be reviewed from time to time to make sure that the plan of support continues to be suitable for your child.

A local authority must conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan.

The EHC needs assessment should follow on from planning already undertaken with parents and young people in conjunction with an early years provider, school, post-16 institution or other provider (Graduated Approach)

You can find out more about EHCPs here

Who will have an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan?

Children and young people will require an EHC needs assessment in order for the Local Authority to decide if it’s necessary for it to make SEN provision within an EHC Plan.

Guidance says that EHC Plans should be issued when the local authority considers the special educational needs of the child cannot be reasonably provided for with resources normally available within the child/young person’s educational setting.

Will there be help for children without an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan?

There is additional help and support for children/young people without an EHC Plan. This is called SEN support. Where a pupil is identified as having SEN, schools should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. This SEN support should take the form of a four-part cycle through which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the pupil’s needs and of what supports the pupil in making good progress and securing good outcomes. This is known as the graduated approach.

SEN Support will be the support available in school for children and young people who have special educational needs but do not have EHC plans.

My child does not have an EHC plan, nor are they identified as SEN support, but I believe they have special educational needs.

If you feel that your child has Special Educational Needs or a Disability and may need additional help, firstly please talk to your health visitor, the Head Teacher or Special Educational Needs Coordinator at your child’s nursery, school or college or your GP.

The school or educational setting is required to inform parents if a child has special educational needs and to inform young people over the age of 16 years. Parents and young people over the age of 16 can also request an Education Health and Care needs assessment. Further information is available here.

The Code of practice guidance clearly identifies how educational settings should use a graduated approach to assess a child/young person for SEND, plan interventions to support their needs, Implement the interventions and then review the interventions to measure the impact/progress. This is known as Assess, Plan, Do, and Review.(APDR)

What is the Local Offer?

The Local Offer is the range of local agencies including education, health and social care the Local Authority has available to support children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities and their families. Each Local Authority has a duty to publish this information on a Local Offer Website so that it is all in one place.

The Local Offer will also include:

·        arrangements for identifying and assessing children and young people’s SEND, including arrangements for requesting an EHC needs assessment.

·        Other education provision (educational provision outside of schools or colleges such as sports or arts provision.

·        Training provision, including Apprenticeships.

·        Arrangements for travel to and from schools, post-16 institutions and early years providers.

·        Support to help children and young people in moving between phases of education (for example from early years to school, from primary to secondary) and to prepare for adulthood.

·        Arrangements for making complaints, for the resolution of disagreements, mediation and parents’ and young people’s right to appeal a decision of the local authority to the tribunal.

The Code of Practice says local authorities must involve children in planning decisions about what services for young people with SEND are needed. This includes planning the content of the Local Offer, deciding how to publish the offer and providing feedback on the services contained in the Local Offer.

Welcome to the Local offer leaflet

What is a personal budget?

A personal budget is the amount of money across one or all areas of education, health and social care to meet the needs of the child or young person as outlined in the Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. The personal budget can be a notional amount of money that is used by the local authority to provide support, either by itself or by another provider.

Families can request a proportion of their personal budget to be issued as a direct payment to enable the family to purchase that support themselves. This would offer more choice and flexibility to meet identified needs.

The personal budget will be outlined in the EHC plan so all involved can see how needs are being met and at what cost. If some of the personal budget is given as a direct payment, a support plan will be developed with the family to outline how they intend to spend the direct payment, on what, how much and to meet which needs within the EHC plan. Direct payments will be monitored regularly as they are now.

What is an Annual Review?

At least once a year your child’s Education, Health and Care plan will be reviewed and a meeting arranged to discuss your child’s progress. This is called an annual review. The purpose of the review is to make sure that at least once a year all the professionals involved, monitor and evaluate the continued effectiveness and relevance of your child’s Special Educational Needs.

Further information can be found here

What is the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice?

The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice is the statutory guidance that all early education settings, schools, Post-16 providers, local authorities and anyone else who helps to identify, assess and provide help for children and young people with special educational needs, has to follow. It is derived from the legislation known as the Children and Families Act 2014.

You can find out more about the Code of Practice here

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