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Assessment of SEN

Your child may need an Education, Health and Care needs assessment if the extra support they are receiving is not helping or they have severe or complex needs. If the assessment is agreed, your child will be issued with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Who can ask for an assessment?

You or your child's nursery, school or college can ask us to carry out an assessment.  Other professionals involved with your child may also request an assessment – this should be done with your knowledge and agreement.

We'll let you know within 6 weeks whether we think your child needs one.

What if my child is younger than 2 years old?

It is not always appropriate to carry out an Education Health and Care needs assessment for children who are younger than two years old. However, we will consider the most appropriate ways forward and discuss these with parents/carers and professionals as needed. If we do decide not to assess your child’s needs, we'll tell you why and how you can appeal.

SEN Panel

Education, Health and Care needs assessment requests are sent to the SEN Service and are considered by the SEN Panel.  The Terms of Reference and Attendee Advice documents give clear information regarding when the panels are held, who attends and what decisions the panel is required to make.

What happens if we agree your child needs should be assessed? 

We'll work with our partners in Education, Health and Social Care to complete an assessment within 20 weeks.

We'll give you a named EHC Coordinator who will arrange a meeting with you.

As part of the assessment, the SEN Service will also contact:

  • teachers or staff at your child's nursery, school or college
  • an educational psychologist
  • specialist teachers from the specialist teaching and learning service if they are already involved
  • a paediatrician (or your child’s GP if your child is over 18)
  • a speech and language therapist, an occupational therapist or a physical therapist, if already involved
  • Family Services (or Adult Social Care if your child is over 18 years old)
  • anyone else we need advice from, or that you think we should seek information from

This information will help us see how your child’s needs affect his/her access to learning across a range of areas. 

Involving you and your child

You and your child should be at the centre of the assessment process. We'll make sure you have time to prepare for meetings and give you time to share your views. You can come to any examinations or assessments your child needs.

What happens after the assessment?

If we decide not to issue an Education, Health and Care Plan

We'll tell you within 16 weeks of starting the EHC needs assessment if we decide not to issue a plan for your child. We'll invite you to a meeting to discuss the decision and possible ways forward. This is called a Next Steps meeting. Even if your child doesn’t need an EHC plan there will still be support available through the Local Offer.

If you disagree with our decision, you have two months to appeal to a tribunal. We will explain how you can appeal. As part of this process you will also be given information about mediation where an independent third party will seek to informally resolve disagreements.

If we agree to issue an Education, Health and Care Plan

If the Education Health and Care needs assessment shows that the special educational needs provision required is over and above what is available through the Local Offer, then the Local Authority will issue an EHCP.

Last Updated 13/08/2019

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