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Information for parents on Educational Health Care Plans

 

Assessment of Children & Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disability

The law regarding assessment and provision for children and young people with SEND changed in September 2014.

The new law means that parents, carers and young people have more opportunities to express their own views and make some choices about what happens.

An EHC Plan replaces a Statement of SEN and Learning Disability Assessments (LDAs) as of September 2014. An EHC plan brings your child’s education, health and social care needs into a single, legal document.

If you have any questions, contact the SEN Team on 0161 342 4433
 

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Children and young people with SEN all have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children and young people of the same age. These children and young people may need extra or different help from that given to others.

If your child’s first language is not English, does that mean they have a learning difficulty? The law says that children and young people do not have learning difficulties just because their first language is not English, although, of course, some of these children and young people may have learning difficulties as well.

Many children and young people will have SEN of some kind at some time during their education. Early year’s providers (for example, nurseries or child minder’s), mainstream schools, colleges and other organisations can help most children and young people succeed with some changes to their practice or additional support. But some children and young people will need extra help for some or all of their time in education and training.

Where to go for help if you think your child has a special educational need or a disability

Children and young people with SEN or disabilities will usually be able to get help from their early education setting, school, or college, sometimes with the help of outside specialists. This is often where SEN are first identified. If they do identify that your child has SEN, your school or other setting must contact you (or, if your son or daughter is over 16, they might contact them directly) and should discuss with you what support to offer your child. The setting must tell you if they are making special educational provision for your child.

If you think your child has SEN, you should talk to your child’s early education setting, school, college or other provider. They will discuss any concerns you have, tell you what they think and explain to you what will happen next.

Alternatively you can contact the Special Education Team and speak to one of the SEN Caseworkers on 0161 342 4433.

The Local Offer

The local offer sets out in one place information about provision in our area for children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities. It provides clear, comprehensive information about provision and how to access it and it also is a mechanism for you to feedback where you think we are missing information.

Every local authority must identify education, health and social care services in their local area provided for children, young people and families who have SEN or disabilities and include them in an information directory called the Local Offer. This will also help local authorities as they can use it to see where the gaps in provision are. The Local Offer includes information about services provided outside your local area that local people are likely to use.

Local services should reflect what local people need. We have asked children, parents and young people what they think the Local Offer should include, and how they think people should be able to access it. We will publish feedback about our Local Offer and say clearly what they will do about the comments they receive.

The local offer also includes contributions from local schools, colleges, health services and other service providers.

SEN support

Any support your child gets from their school or other setting should meet their needs.

If your child has SEN, they will be able to access help – called SEN support – from their early year’s settings, such as nurseries or child minders, schools and further education institutions such as colleges and 16-19 academies.

SEN support replaces school action/school action plus (in schools) and early years action/early years action plus (in early years settings).

Children and young people with more complex needs might instead need an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. EHC plans replace statements of SEN and Learning Disability Assessments (LDAs).

SEN support is part of what is known as the ‘graduated approach’ and in general should work as follows:

You may be contacted – for example in schools, this will be by your child’s teacher or SENCO – if your early years setting, school or college think your child needs SEN support.

You can also approach your child’s school or other setting if you think your child might have SEN. You will be involved and your views will be needed throughout the process, and you will be kept up to date with the progress made.

Young people aged 16 to 25 will be fully involved in designing their own SEN support and provision.

Education, Health and Care needs assessments and plans

Personal Budgets

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.

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, and 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 child’s case will be presented at a STAR panel meeting. This meeting will take place at the Birch Lane Centre (Pupil Support Services), usually on a Wednesday morning. This will be a chance for the child/ young person’s needs to be discussed in a holistic manner and will assist panel members to take a whole person approach when deciding the next course of action.
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.

This meeting will take place at the Birch Lane Centre (Pupil Support Services), usually on a Wednesday morning. This will be a chance for the child/ young person’s needs to be discussed in a holistic manner and will assist panel members to take a whole person approach when deciding the next course of action.

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 within 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.

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 Meeting

This must happen within the first sixteen weeks of the process

The allocated case worker has completed a Proposed Education Health Care Plan to be presented to relevant professionals. This Proposed 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.

 

Tameside Special Educational Needs Team

Our team are here and happy to help. 

The SEN Team can be contacted on 0161 342 4433

E-mail: senteam@tameside.gov.uk

 

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