Key points for SEN SupportSo, remember, SEN Support is for pupils with special educational needs who don’t have an Education, Health & Care Plan. The Code of Practice (2015) is guidance which schools must follow. It makes these points about pupils who are vulnerable and who may have special educational needs but do not have an EHCP:
Schools should regularly and carefully review and, where necessary, improve teachers’ understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable pupils and their knowledge of SEN (Section 6.37).
For higher levels of need, schools should have arrangements in place to draw on more specialised assessments from external agencies and professionals (6.38).
Schools should hold an early discussion with the pupil and parents. They should record and copy to parents the outcomes which are agreed together with the next steps to help achieve these outcomes. At this point schools should also tell children, parents and young people where to find the local authority’s Information, Advice and Support Service (6.39).
Schools should make it clear to parents whether the support their child needs can be provided from the school’s ‘core’ (standard) offer or whether something different or additional is required (6.40).
A clear date for reviewing progress should be agreed and the parent, pupil and teaching staff should each be clear about their role. If it is decided that a pupil does have SEN, this should be recorded and the pupil’s parents must be formally informed that special educational provision is being made (6.43).
Schools should then Assess the pupil’s needs, Plan appropriate support, Do what has been planned and Review the pupil’s progress in response to support (6.44).
The school should obtain a wide range of evidence including the views and experience of parents, the pupil’s own views and, if relevant, advice from external support services. Schools should take seriously any concerns raised by a parent (6.45).
The assessment (and not just the support) should be reviewed regularly (6.46).
Where outside professionals in education, health or care are not already working with school staff the SENCO should contact them only if the parents agree (6.47).
Where it is decided to provide a pupil with SEN support, the parents must be formally notified and the teacher and the SENCO should agree in consultation with the parent and the pupil the adjustments, interventions and support to be put in place, as well as the expected impact on progress, development or behaviour, along with a clear date for review (6.48).
All teachers and support staff who work with the pupil should be made aware of their needs, the outcomes sought, the support provided and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required. This should also be recorded on the school’s information system (6.49).
It is not true that:
An Education, Health & Care assessment cannot be requested until the Educational Psychologist has seen the pupil;
The school can only make a certain number of EHC requests each year;
The school must spend £6000 on support for a pupil before they can request an EHC assessment.
None of these excuses, often made by schools and LAs, have any basis in law. If in doubt, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org