The majority of children’s special educational needs (SEN) can be met directly by schools and settings. The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice is clear that where a pupil is identified as having SEN, schools should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. SEN Support should take the form of a four-part cycle through which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the pupil’s needs and of what supports the pupil making good progress and securing good outcomes. Schools and settings need to inform parents/carers that they are taking this approach and should involve them and specialist external services and organisations during this process.
In a small number of cases, a child with complex needs may require additional support, where it can be demonstrated that progress has not been made despite SEN support being provided using the graduated approach. Children and young people identified as having complex SEN may at that point be referred for an EHC Plan needs assessment by a relevant professional, for example; a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), teacher, educational psychologist, health worker. Parents and carers can also ask the local authority to carry out an EHC Plan assessment and have a legal right to do so. Requesting a needs assessment does not guarantee that a needs assessment will go ahead or that an Education, Health and Care Plan will be provided. It should be noted that the local authority will investigate whether a graduated approach at SEN support has already been undertaken before deciding if a needs assessment is necessary.
For more information, read Gateshead Council’s SEND Support and Guidance document:
This guidance document has been produced by a range of education, health and social care practitioners for use by Gateshead’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCO’s), Head Teachers and staff providing support to children and young people in mainstream settings and schools with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
It also provides information about the specialist services available to help schools and settings to support and meet the needs of children and young people with SEND.