Who decides if my child has a SEND?
Often, children may join our school, with parents having a clear picture of their child’s needs – parents know their children best – and as a school we see parents as full partners in their child’s education. Sometimes, however, it is school staff who may initially identify a concern. If this were to be the case, school staff would liaise with parents at the earliest opportunity to discuss such concerns and agree a way forwards. Additional support can be sought by families from the Information Advice and Support Service (IASS). For some concerns, we may discuss the involvement of the Educational Psychology Service, the Learning Support Service, the Occupational Therapy Service, Parent Support Advisor, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service or your local GP. It is important to understand, however, that the purpose of such involvement of professionals is not always to seek a ‘label’ or ‘diagnosis’ – but more often in order for advice to be offered to help the child learn as well as they possibly can. For example, certain programmes may be advised, teaching strategies, resources or services in order to address the needs as best as possible.
There are two categories of SEND at Esh Winning Primary School, these are children in receipt of:
A Support Plan; the children are overseen by the school and the school and parents initiate, review, amend, and cease support for children whose needs are seen at ‘Support Plan’ level.
A Statement / Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP); historically, children who had higher needs were issued a ‘statement’, by the Local Authority. From September 2014, statements will cease to be issued, and EHCPs will be issued in their place. All children with a current statement will be assessed against the criteria for EHCPs over the coming years. Children with needs at this level have their plans initiated and ceased by the Local Authority, but reviewed and monitored by the school and parents at least annually.