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Frequently Asked Questions 

I think my child has SEN - how can I find out about what their needs are?

What makes you think your child has SEN? Do you feel they are not picking things up as quickly as other children the same age? The actual definition of SEN is that a child has significantly greater difficulty in learning than other children the same age. But at the same time, it is true that all children learn at different speeds and schools are very aware of how important it is to identify children who may be having difficulties with their learning.

Arrange to meet with your child's class teacher to talk through your concerns. It is a good idea to ask for meeting rather than just try to catch the teacher at the start or end of the school day when they are busy.

If you are still concerned after you have spoken to the class teacher, you could ask them to involve the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). They have responsibility for what happens on a day to day basis in the school for pupils with SEN and also provides advice to other teachers in the school to help all pupils with SEN to make progress.

SEND IASS can offer support to prepare for the meeting, if you don’t feel confident in getting your views across, we can also support you at the meeting. If you require support at the meeting it is best to give SEND IASS as much notice as possible.

What is an EHC plan?

The Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) describes a child or young persons special educational needs (SEN) and the provision that will be put into place to support these needs. An EHCP also includes any health and care provision that is needed. The EHC Plan, which replaced the Statement, is a legal document, and the Local Authority must secure the special educational provision specified in the EHC Plan.

If you or your young person are not happy with the finalised EHC Plan and are unable to reach agreement with the local authority, you can appeal against some parts of it to the SEN and Disability Tribunal.

The sections that you can appeal against are:

Part B, which describes the child or young person’s SEN,

Part F which specifies the provision necessary to meet each and very need described in Part B

or Part I, which names the school or setting the child or young person will attend.

Who should make the request for an EHC plan?

A child or young person’s school or setting can make a request, as can a parent. Under the new law, a young person (16-25) can also make a request themselves.

In making its decision about whether a child or young person needs an EHC Needs assessment the local authority has to look at what support has already been provided and whether there has been any progress. If a school or setting makes the request, they will able to provide evidence of support, attainment and rate of progress.

If you as a parent, or your young person make a request, please refer to the guide for parents carers provided by Sandwell Local Authority.

What is an Annual Review?

The Annual Review meeting should:
Bring together your views and those of your child or young person, along with the Local Authority, the education setting, and all the professionals involved in supporting the child or young person, during the meeting all involved will:

-    Discuss and check progress against the outcomes specified in the EHC plan and longer term aspirations

-    Set new targets for the coming year

-    Consider any further action required and if so, who will be responsible.

-    Decide whether the EHC plan needs amending.