Special Educational Needs (SEN)
What you can do to support your child
- If you are worried that your child may have difficulties with their learning you should speak to them about your concerns
- Listen to what your child has to say about the difficulties they are having with learning if they are able to express their thoughts. Your child might find it hard to explain because they may have difficulties talking about or don’t want to speak about the issue
- Speak to your child’s class teacher and the SEN Co-ordinator (SENCo) about your concerns and ask them what they will do to support your child. Your child does not need to have a formal diagnosis of SEN for this.
What happens if my child is not making expected progress with the support the school has put in place?
If despite the support the school puts in place your child is not making expected progress you or the school can apply to your local authority (The Council) for an education, health and care assessment of your child’s needs.
If the council decides your child has SEN which requires more support than the school is able to put in place it may issue your child an Educational, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
Education, Health and Care Assessment
What is an Education, Health and Care Assessment?
An education, health and care needs assessment (EHC needs assessment) is an assessment of your child’s education, health and care needs
How do I get an Education, Health and Care Assessment?
You or the school can apply to the local council where you live for an EHC needs assessment if you think your child has difficulty with their learning which requires education or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children of their age and or ability.
What can I do if the council refuses to carry out an EHC needs assessment?
- You can ask the council to review its decision or try to come to a resolution through mediation
- Challenge the council’s decision in the Special, Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal
What happens if the council decides to carry out an EHC needs assessment?
If the council decides to carry out an EHC assessment, they will ask you to provide information to support your application, for example, medical reports and or they may ask you to agree to their professionals assessing your child’s needs.
Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan)
What is an Education, Health and Care Plan?
The EHCP is to make special educational provision to meet a child’s SEN over and above what a school is capable of providing through SEN support.
Why is it important to have an EHC Plan?
The EHC Plan provides more protection for your child because:
- it gives you a route to challenge the council if it fails to ensure the provision in the EHC Plan is put place and delivered.
- If you are unhappy with what the council says about your child’s needs or the provision needed to meet those needs you can challenge the council’s decision in the SEND tribunal.
- You get to choose the school you want your child to go to and the council has to name your choice of school in the EHC Plan unless they consider it’s not suitable for the child or it would be unreasonable use of resources or would have an adverse impact on the education of the child or those they will go to school with. You could even choose an independent school and the council would still have to consider your choice. The council can only refuse your choice of an independent school if to agree to it would be incompatible with the efficient education or training of others or the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure.