Every state school gets a budget to support children with SEN. It’s up to the school how they spend it. Look at the SEN offer on the school’s website to find out more.
The school should talk with you if they notice that your child is not making expected progress. If they do not, talk about this with your child’s school or nursery.
Your school must get your permission to give your child SEN support. This is sometimes called going on the 'SEN register'.
SEN support plans should have 4 stages: assessment, planning, doing and reviewing.
Evaluating your child’s needs and the support required. Teachers and other professionals will work with you and your child to look at the support they need.
You and your child agree on what the school will do.
The school will support your child, as agreed in the plan.
The school will review how your child is progressing. You and your child can say how things are going and if your child is getting the support they need.
Education and health care (EHC) plan
If your child did not start school with an EHC plan, they will probably need to have SEN support for at least 2 terms before you can ask for an EHC needs assessment. This is called a 'graduated approach'.
An EHC plan, sometimes also called an EHCP, is a legal document. It covers:
your child's needs
the benefit or difference the support should make to your child (outcomes)
the support that your local authority must provide (provision)
EHC plans are there to support children who have needs that SEN support cannot meet.
Being able to show how SEN support did not meet the needs of your child is often an important part of showing why your child should have an EHC needs assessment.
Example: Your child needs help with speech and language
The school writes a SEN plan with you. The plan includes regular support from a teaching assistant in a group. The assistant is guided by a speech and language therapist. The plan includes the difference that the support should make (outcomes).
The school has tried to support your child but your child is not making the progress described in the plan. Your child needs specific help that the school cannot provide through SEN support.
After reviewing the SEN plan, your school agrees that your child is not making expected progress. The school applies for an EHC needs assessment. This leads to an EHC plan.
The EHC plan includes funding for a speech and language therapist. Each week they will spend:
1 hour giving 'direct' support to your child
1 hour giving 'indirect' support to your child’s teacher
Your local authority does EHC needs assessments.
It is easier to get an EHC needs assessment if your school agrees. But if the school does not agree, you can still ask your local authority for an assessment.
Information on why the SEN support has not been enough to help your child to make progress is an important part of getting an EHC needs assessment. This can be from anyone involved in the process. Some local authorities prefer a report by an educational psychologist but this is not essential.