WHAT IS SEND?
Children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) all have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children and young people of the same age. These children and young people may need extra or different help to others.
Many children and young people may have SEN of some kind during their education. Child care providers – like nurseries or child minders – mainstream schools, colleges and other organisations can help most children and young people succeed with some changes to their practice or additional support. But some will need extra help for some or all of their time in education and training.
Children and young people with SEN may need extra help because of a range of needs. The SEND Code of Practice sets out 4 areas of SEN:
- Communicating and interacting
Children and young people have speech, language and communication difficulties which make it difficult for them to make sense of language or to understand how to communicate effectively and appropriately with others.
- Cognition and learning
Children and young people learn at a slower pace than others their age, have difficulty in understanding parts of the curriculum, have difficulties with organisation and memory skills, or have a specific difficulty affecting one particular part of their learning performance such as in literacy or numeracy.
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
Children and young people have difficulty in managing their relationships with other people, are withdrawn, or they behave in ways that may hinder their and other children’s learning or have an impact on their health and wellbeing.
- Sensory and/or physical needs
Children and young people with visual and/or hearing impairments, or a physical need that means they must have additional ongoing support and equipment. Some children and young people may have SEN that covers more than one of these areas.
Many children and young people who have SEN may also have a disability. A disability is described in law (the Equality Act 2010) as ‘a physical or mental impairment, which has a long-term (a year or more) and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’ This includes, for example, sensory impairments such as those that affect sight and hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy.
The Equality Act requires that early years providers, schools, colleges, other educational settings and local authorities:
- must not directly or indirectly discriminate against, harass or victimise disabled children and young people
- must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of extra aid services (for example, tactile signage or induction loops), so that disabled children and young people are not disadvantaged. This duty is known as ‘anticipatory’. People also need to think in advance about what disabled children and young people might need.
Education, Health and Care plans
Sometimes a child or young person needs a higher level of specialist support than is available in school, or other places they’re cared for.
What is a EHC plan?
An EHC plan helps young people aged 0-25 who have special educational needs (SEN). It looks at their educational, health and social requirements – and then identifies any extra support needed to insure they get most out of further education and training.
For the first time, it puts education, health and social information together into one plan. And during the EHC assessment process, the child and family are kept central to the process.
How to make an EHC request:
If you’re a parent
Put your EHC request into writing, making sure you include:
- The child or young person’s full name, date of birth and address.
- A short description of their needs.
- Any evidence that may be available eg. a medical letter to confirm a diagnosis or professional reports
When request is received, the SEN team will then contact the child or young person’s school or college for further information. You will then be contacted by a SEN Officer who will explain the process and the timescales to you.
There will be a small number of children whose special educational needs are not met by the support that schools can provide and for whom a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) personal budget may be an option. A larger number maybe entitled to a pb for provided by social care such as personal assistants. Schools and colleges are funded to meet the special educational needs of children and young people with SEN up to an set amount per year. If the school or college requires additional funding, they are able to apply to the Local Authority.
What is an EHC plan personal budget?
An EHC plan personal budget is an amount of money available to help children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Families choose the sort of support and services they think will help children reach their agreed goals (‘outcomes’) as set out in an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan.
Why would I want a personal budget?
It may help you pay for additional services or activities to help reach your personal goals. Being approved for a personal budget does not mean that you will receive any more or less support than if you choose not to have a personal budget but it will give you more choice and control on how you want to be supported.
Principles of special educational needs
The principles of the system are set out in Chapter 1 of the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice. The basic principles:
All children have a right to an education that enables them to make progress so that they:
- achieve their best
- become confident individuals and live fulfilling lives
- make a successful transition into becoming an adult, whether that’s into further and higher education, training or work
All children with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities should have their needs met, whether they are in early years settings (like a nursery or a child minder), in school or in college.
Schools and colleges should consider:
- consider the views, wishes and feelings of children and/or young people, and their parents
- make sure that families are fully involved in decisions that affect them
- provide support so that children and young people do well in education and can prepare properly for adulthood
Parents will have a say in decisions that affect their children, have access to impartial information, advice and support, and know how to challenge decisions they disagree with.
For further information visit: www.wholeschoolsend.com/kpis