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Assessment and Education, Health and Care Plans

Most children's needs should be met by their ordinary schools. But some children need more help. The Local Authority can provide this help, whichever type of school your child attends.

Education, Health and Care needs assessments and plans

Your child’s school or other setting will often be able to meet the needs of children through SEN support. But sometimes a child or young person needs a more intensive level of specialist help that cannot be met from the resources available to schools and other settings to provide SEN support. In these circumstances, you or your child’s school or other setting could consider asking your local authority for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment for your child. This assessment could lead to your child getting an EHC plan. Some children and young people will have needs that clearly require an EHC needs assessment and plan and once the local authority is aware of them it should start this process without delay.

Requesting an assessment

Schools and parents can request an assessment which may lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC). We would always encourage parents to work in partnership with schools and your SENCO will be able to complete a referral form. However, parents can also make their own referral by writing to us at the address below including details of your child’s needs and any professional reports you may have in support of the referral, for example, a report from an educational psychologist or speech and language therapist. Once we have received a parental referral, we will contact your child’s current school for more information. When a school submits a referral, parents can also submit information using the Our Hopes and Aspirations form to do so.

An EHC plan brings your child’s education, health and social care needs into a single, legal document

Referral information

To inform their decision, Tameside Council will need to take into account a wide range of evidence. Our SENCO guide gives colleagues all the information they need to make a referral.  The referral should pay particular attention to:

  • evidence of the child or young person’s academic attainment (or developmental milestones in younger children) and rate of progress
  • information about the nature, extent and context of the child or young person’s SEN
  • evidence of the action already being taken by the early years provider, school or post-16 institution to meet the child or young person’s SEN
  • evidence that where progress has been made, it has only been as the result of much additional intervention and support over and above that which is usually provided
  • evidence of the child or young person’s physical, emotional and social development and health needs, drawing on relevant evidence from clinicians and other health professionals and what has been done to meet these by other agencies, and
  • where a young person is aged over 18, the local authority must consider whether the young person requires additional time, in comparison to the majority of others of the same age who do not have special educational needs, to complete their education or training. Remaining in formal education or training should help young people to achieve education and training outcomes, building on what they have learned before and preparing them for adult life.

Once a referral has been received, this information will be collected by your Special Educational Needs Caseworker, from the agencies involved with your child.

Panels and meetings

1 Meeting with the child/ young person and family

On receipt of a referral, your Case Worker will meet with the family and child/ young person to explain the process and collect views on anticipated outcomes. The school or early years SENCO may attend this meeting if the family choose to invite them.

2 STAR (Statutory Assessment Review) Panel

This must happen within the first six weeks of the process

After receiving the initial referral information, your allocated caseworker will invite the relevant school representatives and the child/ young person’s parents to a STAR Panel meeting. This meeting will take place at the Birch Lane Centre (Pupil Support Services), usually on a Wednesday morning. We try to keep this meeting as informal as possible and it is a chance for the child/ young person’s needs to be discussed in a holistic manner. The discussion and information will  assist panel members to take a whole person approach when deciding the next course of action.

Members of the STAR Panel include representatives from the SEN Team, members of the Integrated Services for Children with Additional Needs (ISCAN) Team from both health and social care disciplines, a representative from the Pupil Support Services and a representative from our Educational Psychology Service.

Parents and school are informed of the outcome of the meeting. If appropriate, an SEN Caseworker will visit the parents and school to explain the reasons for not continuing with the referral and go through the action plan of support for your child.

3 SAM (Statutory Assessment Meeting) Panel

This must happen after the second six weeks of the process

After all the information has been collected, the case is presented to the SAM panel by school and/or the allocated case worker from the Special Educational Needs Team. The case worker will present the arguments for/ against the identified child/ young person having an Education Health Care Plan, to the panel. After the presentation the panel will ask questions about the case then make a decision to proceed or not.

Members of the SAM Panel include representatives from the SEN Team, members of the Integrated Services for Children with Additional Needs (ISCAN) Team from both health and social care disciplines, Tameside's Designated Medical Officer, a representative from the Pupil Support Services and a representative from our Educational Psychology Service.

Parents and School are informed of the outcome of the meeting. If appropriate, an SEN Caseworker will visit the parents and school to explain the reasons for not continuing with the referral and go through the action plan of support for your child.

4 Agreement

This must happen within the first sixteen weeks of the process

The allocated case worker has completed a draft Education Health Care Plan to be presented to relevant professionals. (attach) This draft EHC Plan will be then posted to the parents and school of the identified child/ young person, who both have 15 days to reply that they agree/ disagree with the plan.

5 Additional meeting

Additional meetings may happen to discuss any queries with the proposed EHC, to help finalise a plan that all parties are happy with and details of the personal budget if one has been requested.

If your child has special educational needs you are also able to contact the Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service – SENDIASS for independent advice and support about the SEN process - 0161 342 3383. If you would like support with the development of your child's Education Health and Care Plan, you can also contact the Independent Supporters Service run by Together Trust on 0161 283 4848 or 07557 801954 and a letter explaining the type of support available can be viewed here(0.14MB)

6 Update

Special Educational Needs and Disability Reforms Update April 2016 word

Contact Information
Contact by Post

Special Educational Needs
Inclusion Team
Shirley House
Oldham Street
Hyde
Tameside
SK14 1LJ

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