Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can affect a child or young personâ€™s ability to learn. They can affect their:
If you think your child may have special educational needs, contact theÂ SENco-ordinator, or â€˜SENCOâ€™ in your childâ€™s school or nursery.
Contact Southwark Children ServicesÂ if your child isnâ€™t in a school or nursery.
Your child may be eligible for:
If you or your child gotÂ support before September 2014Â this will continue until your local council changes it to anÂ EHCÂ plan.
Your child will getÂ SENÂ support at their school or college.
Your child may need anÂ education, health and care (EHC) planÂ if they need more support than their school provides.
SENÂ support for children under 5 includes:
Nurseries, playgroups and childminders registered with Ofsted follow theÂ Early Years Foundation StageÂ (EYFS) framework. The framework makes sure that thereâ€™s support in place for children withÂ SEND.
Talk to a doctor or health adviser if you think your child hasÂ SENDÂ but they donâ€™t go to a nursery, playgroup or childminder. Theyâ€™ll tell you what support options are available.
Talk to the teacher or theÂ SENÂ 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 childâ€™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.
EHCÂ plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.
You can ask Southwark CouncilÂ to carry out an assessment if you think your child needs anÂ EHCÂ 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.Â 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:Â Special Educational Needs, Southwark Childrenâ€™s and Adultsâ€™ Services, 4th Floor, PO Box 64529, London, SE1P 5LX or email letter toÂ 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. TheÂ LA must take into consideration the following:
If the Local Authority declines the request for an EHC assessment the parentÂ or young person has theÂ right to appeal.Â You can also access Southwarks Local Offer to find alternative support.
IfÂ an EHC assessment is agreedÂ professionals working with you and your family will submit reports.Â 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 (expressÂ school preference).Â A final EHC plan is produced.Â Parents /Â 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 theyâ€™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 anÂ EHCÂ plan is going to be made for your child.
You can challenge your local authority about:
If you canâ€™t resolve the problem with your local authority, you canÂ 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 anÂ EHCÂ 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 newÂ SENassessment process, including:
You can find out how to get local support through:
Your child will move to anÂ education, health and care (EHC)Â 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 gettingÂ SENÂ support if they used to get help through:
If your child has a statement of special educational needs, theyâ€™ll have a â€˜transition planâ€™ drawn up in Year 9. This helps to plan for their future after they leave school.
Theyâ€™ll continue to get support during further education. Your child can also ask for anÂ EHCÂ 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 fromÂ Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA).
IPSEAÂ 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