Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can affect a child or young person’s ability to learn. They can affect their:
If you think your child may have special educational needs, contact the SENco-ordinator, or ‘SENCO’ in your child’s school or nursery.
Contact Southwark Children Services if your child isn’t in a school or nursery.
Your child may be eligible for:
If you or your child got support before September 2014 this will continue until your local council changes it to an EHC plan.
Your child will get SEN support at their school or college.
Your child may need an education, health and care (EHC) plan if they need more support than their school provides.
SEN support for children under 5 includes:
Nurseries, playgroups and childminders registered with Ofsted follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. The framework makes sure that there’s support in place for children with SEND.
Talk to a doctor or health adviser if you think your child has SEND but they don’t go to a nursery, playgroup or childminder. They’ll tell you what support options are available.
Talk to the teacher or the SEN co-ordinator (SENCO) if you think your child needs:
Contact the college before your child starts further education to make sure that they can meet your child’s needs.
The college and your local authority will talk to your child about the support they need.
An education, health and care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support.
EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.
You can ask Southwark Council to carry out an assessment if you think your child needs an EHC plan.
The first stage of the EHC plan is requesting for an EHC needs Assessment. This is done by writing a letter to request an assessment. The Information Advice and Support team are able to help you complete the letter if you wish. The letter is sent to Southwark SEN department: Special Educational Needs, Southwark Children’s and Adults’ Services, 4th Floor, PO Box 64529, London, SE1P 5LX or email letter to SEN@southwark.gov.uk
Once the request is made Southwark Council must make a decision and communicate with the parent or the young person within 6 weeks of receiving the initial request. They will decide whether the EHC plan is necessary. The LA must take into consideration the following:
If the Local Authority declines the request for an EHC assessment the parent or young person has the right to appeal. You can also access Southwarks Local Offer to find alternative support.
If an EHC assessment is agreed professionals working with you and your family will submit reports. The professionals could be:
Once the reports are completed by the professionals the information is compiled together and the case goes to a panel meeting where the decision is made whether the child will receive the EHC Plan.
If the decision is agreed the SEND team will meet with parent / young person to co produce a draft Educational Health Care plan and send it to the parent or young person. This will give them an opportunity to make any requests or comments to add to there EHC plan (express school preference). A final EHC plan is produced. Parents / young person has the right to appeal at this stage.
If they decide that EHC plan is not necessary the child, young person, school or post 16 training provider are notified and reasons are given for the decision made. This stage of the process should take a maximum of 16 weeks from the initial request and once again local authority must inform the parent or young person the right to appeal and the time limit to complete it in.
The EHC plan is reviewed every year
A young person can request an assessment themselves if they’re aged 16 to 25.
A request can also be made by anyone else who thinks an assessment may be necessary, including doctors, health visitors, teachers, parents and family friends.
If they decide to carry out an assessment you may be asked for:
The local authority will tell you within 16 weeks whether an EHC plan is going to be made for your child.
You can challenge your local authority about:
If you can’t resolve the problem with your local authority, you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal.
You may be able to get a personal budget for your child if they have an EHC plan or have been told that they need one.
It allows you to have a say in how to spend the money on support for your child.
There are 3 ways you can use your personal budget. You can have:
You can have a combination of all 3 options.
Independent supporters can help you and your child through the new SENassessment process, including:
You can find out how to get local support through:
Your child will move to an education, health and care (EHC) plan by:
This will normally happen at a planned review, or when your child moves school. Your council will tell you which.
Your child will already be getting SEN support if they used to get help through:
If your child has a statement of special educational needs, they’ll have a ‘transition plan’ drawn up in Year 9. This helps to plan for their future after they leave school.
They’ll continue to get support during further education. Your child can also ask for an EHC assessment if they need more help than the school or college can provide.
You can call the Contact a Family helpline for help and advice.
You can also get help from Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA).
IPSEA advice line
Telephone: 0800 018 4016
Monday to Thursday, 10am to 4pm and 7pm to 9pm
Friday, 1pm to 4pm
Nearest tube – Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station – Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle – ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45