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Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to SEN changes from Sept 2014. Sen code of practice 2014. has arisen from the Child and Families Bill 2013. All local authorities and educational settings must ‘have regard’ to the Code and must justify any deviation from it…

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sen code of practice 2014
Sen code of practice 2014

has arisen from the Child and Families Bill 2013

All local authorities and educational settings must ‘have regard’ to the Code and must justify any deviation from it…

NHS Health Trusts must also ‘have regard’ to the Code…

Many changes have been suggested by parenting and family support organisations.

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Many agencies may be involved in diagnosing and supporting a child’s needs…

In many cases referral processes were not easy to understand and tended to be inconsistent across regions…

Often parents and carers found themselves saying the same thing, over and over again, to different experts…

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Support can differ widely between authorities and between schools within authorities…

All children with SEN and disabilities deserve the very best support possible.

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Many children, young people, parents and carers felt uninvolved with support arrangements…

Support could occasionally feel like it was something that was inflicted on the family – with very little of their feelings and opinions being taken into account…

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sen support will
Sen support will …

… be clearly signposted at local and school level with all agencies working together…

… strive to be excellent for all children in all schools…

…engage children, young people, their parents and carers in decisions…

An informative video presentation can be found at:

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what will this look like
So…What will this look like?

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local and school offers
Local and school ‘offers’

Local authorities will provide information about the types of support available in their area. They will describe referral processes clearly.

Schools will do the same. They will describe how children’s learning is assessed and how their needs are diagnosed and supported. All schools will follow a ‘best practice’ model…

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the offers
The ‘offers’

Local and School ‘Offers’ will be published on websites and will be available in hard copy.

The principles underlying the Local Offer are:

  • collaboration
  • accessibility
  • comprehensiveness
  • transparency.

The School Offer will include information about strategies and interventions and the personnel involved. It will also explain how the school will link to other services to extend support.

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everyone will work together
Everyone will work together…

All agencies from education, health and social care will work together to ensure that outcomes for children are the best that they can be…

In practice this should mean that parents, children and young people will tell their story once, that they will be able to attend meetings with all the agencies present…

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children young people and their families
Children,young people and their families…

… will be involved in decision making surrounding their support.

They will be asked…

about what is important to them…

about what they want to be able to do one day…

about what is important for them…

to think about how they learn best…

for their opinions.

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a family centred system
A family centred system

Children, parents and young people will be involved in decision making.

They will be invited to yearly ‘person centred’ reviews with the team of professionals working with the child… In Essex these will be called ‘One Planning’ meetings. There will also be opportunities to review and discuss progress with the class teacher and one of the SEN management team in each school term.

Families will have access to impartial information and advice from parental support agencies and parent carer forums to be established nationwide from September. The following link will provide further information:

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who gets this support
Nitty gritty…Who gets this support?

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the sen register
The sen register

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how does this change affect day to day learning at school
How does this change affect day-to-day learning at school?

The Graduated Response

In class

Class teachers have long been expected to take full responsibility for the learning of all their students. High quality teaching with effective differentiation and the use of appropriate strategies will often be all that is needed.

SEN support group

If, despite this, your child’s progress is limited, the teacher will discuss his or her needs with the Senco and further measures will be put in place. At this point, your child is included on the SEN register at SSG level.

Some more complex needs may require 1:1 support from a Learning Support Assistant. The school may invest resources to provide 1:1 interventions outside class or 1:1 support to help your child to take part in class.

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how does this change affect day to day learning at school1
How does this change affect day-to-day learning at school?

The Graduated Response

Top-up funding and ‘Education Health and Care Plans’

If your child fails to make good progress throughout these stages the school may apply to the Local Authority for ‘top-up’ funding. An Education, Health and Care Plan will then be put in place. This equates to the former ‘Statement’ of SEN which resulted from Statutory Assessment. EHC plans will remain in place until the child is 25 years old. (Statements of SEN were retained until the age of 18.)

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the education health and care plan
The education, Health and care plan
  • All children who currently have Statements should be transferred to EHC plans by Easter 2018.
  • This is most likely to happen when your child reaches a transitional stage e.g. moving from primary to secondary school.
  • Statements have been ‘provision focussed’ with the emphasis on providing a certain number of hours to support a child’s needs.
  • This will change.
  • EHC plans will be ‘outcome focussed’. Parents, child and professionals will agree on desired ‘outcomes’ and then determine objectives or stepping stones to get there.
  • A ‘personal budget’ will be provided to help achieve these outcomes. This can provide a wider range of support optionsthan is currently available.

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how will the school know which type of support my child needs
How will the school know which type of support my child needs?

Model of Support and Intervention





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processes and documentation
Processes and documentation?

Class teachers’ assessment and planning records

Parent consultations twice yearly with additional meetings where necessary.

Meetings with class teacher and member of sen management team if child is included in SSG

SEN register and Provision Map

Yearly ‘One Planning’ meetings for more complex needs (currently described as SA+ and ‘Statements’)

One Page Profile with supplementary target sheet to be reviewed with child, parent and class teacher termly (replacing ‘Individual Education Plan’)

‘One Planning’ replaces ‘Annual Review’ paperwork for statemented pupils.

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please bear with us
Please Bear with us…

Many details remain a little fuzzy!

We await clarification from central government regarding many aspects of these reforms…

In Essex precise descriptors for levels of need are written but await authorisation before professionals will be able to use them to determine appropriate support.

We will be working things out as we go along…

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