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What is the process for receiving SEND support?

SEND support has replaced school action/school action plus in schools. Children and young people with more complex needs might instead need an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP). EHCP's have replaced statements of SEN and Learning Disability Assessments (LDAs).

SEND support is part of the ‘graduated approach’ and in general should work as follows;

  • If your child appears to have a barrier to making good progress in their learning, you may be contacted by your class teacher or the SENCO, to discuss support that they might need.
  • On the other hand you may feel that your child has SEN and will make contact with the class teacher to discuss this.
  • Teachers will follow a process of 'assess, plan, do and review', so that they can monitor a child’s progress closely.
  • SEND Support Arrangements (previously known as Pathway Plans) are a tool used to monitor and support children with additional needs and disabilities, who are being supported in school through SEND support.

For many children, the school will be able to meet their needs through Quality First Teaching approaches and the Surrey Ordinary Available Provision, or SEND support

Sometimes a child or young person needs a more intensive level of specialist help that cannot be met from the resources available to schools and other settings to provide SEND support. In these circumstances, you or the school could request the local authority for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment for your child. This assessment could lead to your child getting an EHCP.

An EHCP brings your child’s education, health and social care needs into a single, legal document. Your child must have special educational needs to be eligible for a plan, and it is important to understand that being recognised as having additional needs does not mean an EHCP is necessary. 

Visual representation of graduated response from OAP to Special Education Provision

Who can request an Education, Health Care Plan?

You can request the local authority for an EHC needs assessment if you think your child needs one. Anyone at the school (such as your child’s teacher or Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion) can also ask for an assessment to be carried out. Others who work with your child can also tell the local authority if they think an assessment is needed (such as your doctor, health visitor or nursery worker).

After your local authority has made its assessment, having involved you and your child fully in the process, it will then decide whether or not an EHCP is necessary. If they decide that an EHCP is not needed, they must tell you within 16 weeks of the date they received a request for an assessment. The EHC needs process from start to finish should take no more than 20 weeks.