localoffer@bexley.gov.uk

020 3045 5677

Bexley Local Offer

The Children and Families Act has introduced changes to the ways in which children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are supported. One of these changes is a new assessment process with an integrated Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) which will replace Statements of Special Educational Needs and Learning Disability Assessments.

The EHC Plan is for children and young people aged 0 – 25. It focuses on identifying individual outcomes and puts children, young people and their families at the centre of the assessment, planning and review process. EHC Plans will have the same protection in law as a Statement of SEN. The majority of children and young people with SEN and disabilities will have their needs met by their local mainstream early years setting, school or college. However for those with needs that cannot be met by the support put in place by their school or college, an EHC needs assessment may be required.

Information on how the system for supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities is changing and the new EHC assessment process and plan can be found on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Simply click on the questions below to see the answers:

  •  
    Can a parent/carer request an Education, Health and Care Plan assessment? (EHC-PROC-0615-D001)

    The majority of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) will have their needs met through the resources and expertise within their educational setting.

    The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENco) at a child/young person’s educational setting is usually the first point of contact for parents and young people who have questions about special educational needs support. The SENco will know the child/young person well and will be able to give advice about a child/young person’s learning, the progress they are making, their strengths, their needs, the support they require. We always recommend that parents and carers speak with their child's SENCo when considering making a request for additional support.  

    Parents/carers who wish to request an Education, Health and Care plan assessment (also know as a statutory assessment) complete and submit the requested form by clicking on this link and downloading the document at the bottom of the page.

    If you have any questions about completing this form please contact the;

    Special Educational Needs Statutory Assessment Service

    Email: specialneeds.els@bexley.gov.uk

    Telephone: 0208 303 7777

    If you would like some advice about special educational needs and disability that is independent of the local authority please contact the;

    Independent Advice and Support Service

    Telephone: 0203-045-5976
    Email Address bexleyIASS@bexley.gov.uk

     

     

  •  
    My child has a statement will they have an Education, Health and Care Plan? (EHC-GI-0215-N001)

    EHC plans will replace Statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN). From September 2014, no more statutory assessments for a statement of SEN will be started. Instead, there will be an Education Health and Care needs assessment. All current statements of SEN will be converted to EHC plans over the next few years.

    Anyone who applies for an assessment of need up to Sept 2014 will be included in the current system of statements and Learning Disability Assessments. From September 2014 onwards all students undergoing an assessment of need will be assessed for an Education, Health and Care plan.

  •  
    Will the Local Authority just take away my child's Statement and replace it with an Education, Health and Care plan? (EHC-GI-0215-N002)

    No, before the local authority can change the Statement over to the plan they will need to go through the review process with you, your child/young person, the current educational setting and the professionals who support you/your child.

  •  
    Will the support that my child/young person receives change when their statement of SEN is transferred to an Education, Health and Care plan? (EHC-GI-0215-N003)

    Just like a statement of SEN an Education, Health and Care plan details a child/young person’s special educational needs and the support that they require. The level and type of support will be discussed and assessed as part of the transfer process and, just like an annual review of a statement of SEN, the Plan will reflect the advice received from the professionals involved. This means that for some children and young people the level and type of support may change but only as it would have done if an annual review of a statement was being carried out. Education, Health and Care plans consider not only a child and young person’s special educational needs but the outcomes that the child or young person are working towards and their aspirations. This means that Education, Health and Care plans are person centred.

  •  
    Can I still appeal if I disagree with changes made when transferring to an Education, Health and Care plan? (EHC-GI-0215-N004)

    Independent Advice and Support

     

    Should you wish to seek advice from someone who is independent of the Local Authority, the Independent Advice and Support Service, can be contacted on 020 3045 5976 or at bexleyIASS@bexley.gov.uk. This is a free, independent and confidential service.

     

    Alternative Dispute and Mediation

     

    Aims to settle disagreements between parents and Local Authorities about the SEN of children and young people, this is a free and independent confidential service in Bexley, dispute resolution and mediation services are provided by KIDS London SEN Mediation Service. Should you wish to make an appeal about the above decision, you are required to consider mediation and obtain a certificate from this service before registering an appeal. The Tribunal will not take account of the fact that mediation has taken place, or has not been taken up, nor will it take into account the outcome of any mediation.

     

    KIDS can be contacted as follows: Email: Audrey.dorival@kids.org.uk Website: www.kids.org.uk Phone: 0207 359 3635 Appeal In accordance with the provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014 you have a right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal against the decision not to write an Education, Health and Care Plan. You can appeal within 2 months from the date of this letter or one month from the date of a certificate which has been issued following mediation or being given mediation information, whichever is the later.

     

    The Tribunal can be contacted as follows: Website www.justice.gov.uk/tribunals/send E-mail: sendistqueries@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk Telephone: 01325 289350

  •  
    How can I request an Education, Health and Care Plan needs assessments? (EHC-GI-0215-N005)

    An Education, Health and Care assessment can be requested by: - A child’s parents (or somebody on their behalf) - The young person if over the age of 16 (or somebody on their behalf) - A person acting on behalf of an early years setting, school or post 16 institution (this should be with the knowledge and agreement of the parent or young person) Anyone can inform a Local Authority about a child or young person who has (or may have) special educational needs (SEN). This could include foster carers, health and social care professionals, early years practitioners, youth offending teams, probation services, those responsible for education or a family friend. Where possible this should be done with the knowledge and agreement of parents or the young person where possible. Every educational setting has a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who works closely with parents, teachers, support staff and other agencies to ensure that children and young people with SEN receive appropriate support and high quality teaching. The SENCO is usually the first point of contact for parents and young people who have questions about special educational needs and the support available. The SENCO of your child/young person’s educational setting will be able to support you with making a request for an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. To find out who the SENCO is, contact the educational setting directly. Alternatively you can contact the special educational needs team who will be able to offer advice and support: Special Education Needs Team London Borough of Bexley Civic Offices 2 Watling Street Bexleyheath Kent DA6 7AT Tel: 020 8303 7777 Email: specialneeds.els@bexley.gov.uk You can download a Parental Request for Statutory Assessment form here
  •  
    How do the Local Authority decide if an Education, Health and Care Plan is needed? (EHC-GI-0215-N006)

    The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (Chapter 9.16) allows Local Authorities to develop criteria for deciding whether to undertake a statutory assessment for an EHC plan. The criteria is flexible and adaptable and not applied as a blanket policy.

    The Local Authority hold a regular statutory assessment panel meeting at which requests for statutory assessment are considered. The information that has been provided about a child/young person is considered by the panel and the views of the panel support the Local Authority in deciding if a statutory assessment should be carried out. The panel, which consists of a number of professionals across education health and care, use the criteria that has been developed as a guide when considering the support a child/young person has already received, the outcomes they are working towards and any additional support that they may benefit from. Where there is a compelling reason to do so the Local Authority can, and will, depart from the criteria to consider individual circumstances that warrant such a departure.

  •  
    As Education, Health and Care plans are for children and young people from birth to age 25 will all children and young people have a plan until they are 25? (EHC-GI-0215-N007)

    Not necessarily, young people post 16 must be remaining in education or training for the plan to still apply, therefore post 16 or post 19 funding could only be for a further 3 years. Post 16 the young person has more say in their plan and may well decide to no longer attend education therefore it could be the case that the plan is ceased. However if a young person aged 16 or over is not in education or employment (NEET) then their EHC plan may be used to try to help the young person to engage further with training and education. As with current statements of SEN the child or young person must continue to have special educational need that require resources outside of those usually available for and Education, Health and Care plan to continue to be maintained.

  •  
    What happens if a child or young person has special educational needs but is not eligible for an Education, Health and Care plan? (EHC-GI-0215-N008)

    There will continue to be additional help and support for children/young people in education without a Statement of SEN or Education, Health and Care plan through SEN support. SEN Support will be the support available in school for children and young people who have special educational needs but do not have Education, Health and Care plans. Additional SEN support is support to meet a pupil/student’s needs so that they can meet their individual goals.

    The majority of children with special educational needs are taught, and have their needs met, in a mainstream school. However, some children will require a more specialised setting.

    Every school has a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who works closely with parents, teachers, support staff and other agencies to ensure that children and young people with SEN receive appropriate support and high quality teaching. The SENCO is usually the first point of contact for parents and young people who have questions about special educational needs and the support available. To find out who the SENCO is, contact the educational setting directly.

    All educational settings are required to make arrangements to support children with additional needs. Information about these arrangements and how pupils with special educational needs are supported should be on their website. You can find links to each settings website by visiting the Bexley offer home page and clicking the Education and Learning button.

    Children and young people who are eligible for Social Care or continuing care services will continue to be, even if they are not eligible for an EHC plan.

  •  
    Who can I talk to or contact for advice and support with Education, Health and Care planning? (EHC-GI-0215-N009)

    Often the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENco) at your child/young person’s educational setting is the first point of contact for parents and young peoples who need advice about SEN. The SENCO will know your child/young person and will be able to talk to you about their learning, the progress they are making, their strengths, their needs, the support they require and how to request further support and assessments. To find out who the SENCO is, contact the educational setting directly.

    However, if you would like to speak to someone other than a SENco about Education, Health and Care planning, or SEN in general, there are a number of people and organisations that can help including;

    The SEND Statutory Assessment Team – This team over see the statutory assessment process and work with parents, carers, professionals and educational setting to develop Education, Health and Care Plans.

    The Information and Advice Support Service (formally parent partnership) – This service offers advice about SEN, statutory assessment, Education, Health and Care Plans and legal advice. This service is independent of the Local Authority.

    Bexley Voice – A member of the national network of parent carer forums, Bexley voice are a voluntary group of Bexley borough parents of children with special or additional needs. Bexley voice provide a wealth of information and advice for parent, signposting them to services and ensuring that the views of parents are represented and heard.

    A professional who support you or your child – This may include a speech and Language Teacher, an Occupational therapist, an Educational Psychologist, your GP, a Social Worker, a health visitor or anyone else who provides advice about education, health and care services.

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