Your Child's Rights
Information, advice and guidance
The Local Authority has to provide information and advice to children and young people with SEN and their families. There is an information, advice and support service in Redcar & Cleveland called SEND Information Advice & Support Service (SENDIASS) which provides factual, impartial and confidential information about SEN, disability, health and social care.
The service can help you on-line, by phone or face to face with issues such as preparing for and attending meetings, expressing your views and being involved in decisions being made about your child. They can also help you with complaints and appeals.
You can also get help, support and advice from:
SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)
Parents 4 Change
The Local Offer
The Local Offer is an information directory that details education, health and social care services in Redcar & Cleveland, as well as some services outside the local area, for children and young people with SEND and their families.
The Local Offer has been developed closely with children, young people and their families and we would particularly like to thank local parent forum groups (Parents 4 Change, The Parents and Carers Alliance and other individual parents/carers) for the dedicated time they have given to this work.
Schools, colleges, health services also contribute to the Local Offer and it will be regularly updated to make sure there is the widest, most up to date information available for children, young people and their families on support, provision and services they can access to help them.
If your child has SEN, they will receive help in their educational setting (nursery, child-minder, school, college) this is known as SEN support and replaces school action and school action plus.
Children and young people with more complex SEN may need an Education, Health and Care plan, which replaces a statement and Learning Disability Assessment but quite often, a child's needs can be met by the school or setting through SEN Support.
When a special educational need has been identified, the education setting should start a cycle of actions to make sure they put effective support in place. This cycle is called the Graduated Approach and involves these four stages:
Your child's difficulties must be assessed so that the right support can be provided. The educational setting should ask you what you think and they should talk to other professionals who work with your child, such as the teacher. Your child's progress should be reviewed regularly with you so that changing needs can be met. It might mean asking for advice and further assessment from someone like a specialist teacher or educational psychologist.
You and any other professional involved with your child will need to agree with the school what support your child needs and how it will make things better for him/her. You will need to agree a date with the school to review your child's progress so you can all check on your child's progress and whether the support is achieving what was planned.
The setting will put the planned support in place and your child's teacher will be responsible for working with your child on a daily basis. The school's special educational needs coordinator (SENCo), support staff and any specialist teachers involved in providing support will work closely together to track your child's progress and check that the support is working positively.
The support your child receives should be reviewed by the date agreed in the plan. You can decide together whether things are working well for your child and they are making the progress discussed and whether there should be any changes to the support and what that might be and how it will work.
The school can use the Local Offer to see what other support might be available to help your child achieve positive outcomes.
SEN Support can take many forms which could include:
- a special learning programme for your child
- making or changing materials or equipment
- working with your child in a small group
- extra help from a teacher or learning support assistant
- observing your child in class and at break times and keeping records
- helping your child to take part in class activities
- supporting your child with physical or personal care difficulties (such as eating or getting around school, toileting or dressing).
The school must provide you with an annual report on your child's progress and discuss their progress with you regularly at least every term.
What is an Individual Education Plan (IEP)?
Strategies used to enable a child/young person to make progress should be recorded within an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) or Provision Map.
The IEP should include:
- *Short-term targets set by teacher and/or the pupil;
- Teaching strategies to be used;
- Provision/support to be put into place;
- The IEP review date;
- Success and/or exit criteria;
- Outcomes to be recorded when the IEP is reviewed.
* If the child has a statement, targets should be linked to their objectives.
The IEP should only record additional to or different from the differentiated curriculum, which is in place as part of provision for all pupils.
The IEP should be reviewed at least twice a year.
Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments and Plans
Sometimes a child or young person requires a level of support that is more intensive than the resources usually available in their school for SEN Support. In such a case, you or your child's school could consider asking the Local Authority to undertake an Education, Health and Care needs assessment which could lead to your child receiving an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP).
There is a legal timetable that the Local Authority must stick to if it undertakes an EHC assessment and this can be found at the end of this document (Statutory timescales for EHC needs assessment and EHC plan development).
An EHCP brings together your child's education, health and social care needs into a single plan which is a legal document. Your child must have special educational needs to be eligible for a plan if your child doesn't have SEN, there are ways they can be supported and you can ask your Families Information Service for help with this. Information on whether a child is eligible for an EHCP can be found on our People's Information Network website
Asking for an EHC Needs Assessment:
You, your child's teacher or others who work with your child (such as your doctor, nursery worker or health visitor) can ask the Local Authority for an assessment to be carried out.
Some children and young people will have needs that clearly require an EHC Needs assessment
and plan and the Local Authority should start the process as soon as they know about the child.
Deciding whether to undertake an EHC needs assessment:
The Local Authority has up to six weeks to decide whether it intends to do an EHC needs assessment and they will ask you and others involved with your child to provide them with information to help them decide you can collect any reports from those who know your child (such as the school or doctor) and any assessments already done to give to the Local Authority to help them make a decision.
The Local Authority will decide within six weeks whether they will carry out an EHC needs assessment.
The EHC Needs Assessment:
The Local Authority will make sure you and your child are fully involved in the assessment and will provide you with impartial information, advice and support to help you understand the process and make sure you are involved in all decisions that may affect your child.
You and your child will have the opportunity to give your views and be fully involved in any decisions that are reached during the assessment. The assessment will also involve getting information about your child from their teacher(s), doctor and educational psychologist.
Deciding whether to issue an EHC Plan:
Once the assessment is completed, the Local Authority will decide whether or not to issue an EHC Plan within 16 weeks of receiving the request for an assessment.
Preparing an EHC Plan:
The Local Authority will involve you and your child fully in drawing up an EHC Plan if it has decided to issue one it will take into account all yours and your child's views, feelings and wishes and will prepare a draft version for you to look at. This draft version will not include the name of the setting your child will attend you will have 15 days to look at the EHC Plan and choose which setting you would like your child to attend. This could be a mainstream or special school setting. You can ask for help or support during this process.
The Local Authority has 20 weeks from when it received the request for an assessment to when it must issue the EHC Plan naming a setting.
Once the plan has been finalised, the Local Authority must make sure the educational support in section F is made available, and the health service must make sure the support in section G is provided. This should help your child achieve the outcomes you have jointly agreed during the assessment
The plan must be reviewed at least every 12 months and the review has to include asking you and your child what you think, what you want to happen and a meeting that you must be invited to.
If you disagree with the Local Authority's decision:
You have the right to challenge the decision made by the Local Authority on:
- not proceeding with an EHC needs assessment
- not producing an EHC Plan, or
- the special educational needs support included in the plan
The Local Authority will tell you when and how you can challenge their decisions and information on what to do can be found in the section
Challenging or Disagreeing with Decisions.
Chapter 9 of the 0 25 Code of Practice has more information on EHC needs and assessments.
Section 19 of the Children and Families Act 2014 makes it clear that Local Authorities, in carrying out their functions under the Act in relation to disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs (SEN), must have regard to:
Principles underpinning the Code of Practice 2014:
- The views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person, and the child's parents;
- The importance of the child or young person, and the child's parents, participating as fully as possible in decisions, and being provided with the information and support necessary to enable participation in those decisions;
- The need to support the child or young person, and the child's parents, in order to facilitate the development of the child or young person and to help them achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, preparing them effectively for adulthood.
- Local Authorities must ensure that children, their parents and young people are involved in discussions and decisions about their individual support and about local provision.
Local Authorities must:
- Ensure the child's parents or young person are fully included in the EHC needs assessment process from the start, are fully aware of their opportunities to offer views and information and are consulted about the content of the plan (Code of Practice Chapter 9);
- Consult with children with SEN or disabilities, and their parents and young people with SEN or disabilities when reviewing local SEN and social care provision (Code of Practice Chapter 4);
- Consult them in developing and reviewing their Local Offer (Code of Practice Chapter 4);
- Make arrangements for providing children with SEN or disabilities with advice and information about matters relating to SEN and disability (Code of Practice Chapter 2).
Reviewing an Education Health Care (EHC) Plan:
EHC plans should be used to actively monitor children and young peoples progress towards their outcomes and longer term aspirations. They must be reviewed by the Local Authority (LA) as a minimum every 12 months and by the date agreed in the plan. Reviews must focus on the child or young persons progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHC plan, and must also consider whether these outcomes and supporting targets remain appropriate.
- gather and assess information so that it can be used by early years settings, schools or colleges to support the child or young persons progress and their access to teaching and learning;
- review the special education provision made for the child or young person to ensure it is being effective in ensuring access to teaching and learning and good progress
- review the health and social care provision made for the child or young person and its effectiveness in ensuring good progress towards outcomes;
- consider the continuing appropriateness of the EHC plan in light of the child or young persons progress during the previous year
- set new interim targets for the coming year and where appropriate, agree new outcomes;
- review any interim targets set by the early years provider, school or college.
Reviews must be undertaken in partnership with the child and their parent or the young person and take into account their wishes and feelings.
The review process will enable changes to be made to an EHC plan so it remains relevant to the needs of the child or young person and the desired outcomes. There may be occasions when a re-assessment becomes appropriate, particularly when a child or young persons needs change significantly.
You are entitled to request a personal budget if your child has an EHC Plan or has been assessed as needing one, and you want to be involved in choosing and arranging some of the support for them. A personal budget is a sum of money the Local Authority has decided will be needed to meet some of your child's needs in their EHC Plan and can only be used for this purpose.
Further information on Personal Budgets can be found in a special booklet which is available on the council's Local Offer website
, or by contacting the Local Authority's Families Information Service.