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Requesting an EHC Needs Assessment, Identifying and Assessing SEN’

Special Educational Needs

If you are concerned your child is finding school work difficult or not making progress, it is always best to talk to their teacher. Some children may need extra help with their education, and schools have responsibility for meeting children’s needs, ensuring that they have the opportunity to enjoy their education and have the opportunity to achieve successful learning outcomes. In doing this, schools follow the government’s SEN Code of Practice (2014).

 What is a special education need or disability (SEND)?

 A child of compulsory school age has a learning difficulty or disability if they:

  • have more difficulty learning than most other children their age
  • have a disability which means they cannot use the facilities usually provided at a mainstream school.

 What should I do if I think my child has a learning difficulty?

You should contact your child’s school. All schools have a designated Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo), who will also be a teacher, and can advise regarding support. The vast majority of pupils with special educational needs can be supported by the school, from their own resources and liaising with outside practitioners (for example, with the Sensory Consortium Service, if your child has a visual, hearing or multi-sensory impairment). The school will usually put an Individual Education Plan into place, which should be agreed with you.

 If your child is below school age, and you are concerned about their development (for example acquiring language skills, or they are not hearing or seeing properly, you will be able to access advice and support at your child’s nursery, pre-school, Children’s Centre or other early years setting, or from your health visitor or family doctor.

 If you disagree with your SENCo about your child’s needs, you may wish to talk to the Reading Information, Advice & Support Service for SEND (formerly The Parent Partnership) for advice and support. Tel: 0118 937 3241 email: iass@brighterfuturesforchildren.org

 What happens if the school can’t provide what my child needs?

 In a small minority of cases, where a child has needs that are particularly Severe, Complex and Persistent (as defined in the criteria for starting a Needs Assessment) and s/he has not made progress despite the school’s use of personalised support though an Individual Education Plan, the school may, with parents’ agreement, ask the Local Authority to carry out a Needs Assessment for the child. Parents also have the right to request a Needs Assessment, in writing to:

Special Educational Needs Manager, Floor 2, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU

Please also include any evidence/supporting documentation with your request.

Tel: 0118 9372674 Email: sen@reading.gov.uk

Only pupils with significantly greater difficulties in learning may require a Needs Assessment in order to identify and provide for these needs. Our SEN panel will consider whether the criteria is met to start an Assessment, using the information provided. This information will include evidence of the help that has been provided for a child for a reasonable amount of time, along with supporting reports and information from outside practitioners including an Educational Psychologist. If the Panel agrees to the request, our SEN team will carry out the assessment, keeping you informed throughout.

 What does an Education, Health & Care (EHC) Needs Assessment involve?

 It involves a number of educational and health practitioners seeing your child. They might see your child on their own or with the school, they should provide reports based on outcomes and aspirations. They will then advise us on your child’s needs.

 The complete Needs Assessment process will in the majority of cases be completed within 20 weeks from the date the request was received by the Special Educational Needs department. Please refer to the Timeline Needs Assessment document for an overview of key steps in the entire process.

 The Education, Health & Care (EHC) Plan

 If it is agreed that an assessment should go ahead because additional resources or educational provision are required that is over and above what a school may reasonably provide, this may result in Education, Health & Care (EHC) Plan being made by the Local Authority, in partnership with the family, school and supporting practitioners. We will then work with parents and practitioners to identify additional support needed at school, or in some cases there may be a need to identify an alternative suitable school. The Plan should outline additional support needed, and should be aspirational and outcome focussed.

 How often is an EHC Plan reviewed?

EHC plans are reviewed every year or – if your child is under five years of age – every six months. The school will invite you to the review meeting, as well as any supporting practitioners.

I am unhappy with my child's Education, Health and Care plan. Who can I talk to?

If you are unhappy with your child's Education, Health and Care Plan you can contact Reading SEND IASS. They can advise you about the Independent Dispute and Resolution Service.

Reading IAAS (formerly Parent Partnership Service) - Contact information

T: 0118 937 3421 E: iass@reading.gov.uk  W: Reading IASS

Helpline open: Monday 9.30-1pm; Wednesday 10am-6pm; Friday 1pm; 9.30am-1pm Term time only - Messages can be left at any time.

Experiences of Education, Health & Care Plans - A survey of parents & young people

Are there any specialist schools or resource bases in Reading?

There are a number of special schools and resource bases in the Reading Borough, which each have their own admissions criteria:

School

Description

Contact number

The Avenue Special School

All age special school for children with complex needs, including autism.

0118 937 5554

The Holy Brook Special School

Primary special school for pupils with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.

0118 937 5489

Phoenix College

Secondary special school for pupils with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.

0118 937 5524

Blessed Hugh Faringdon School

Secondary mainstream school with a resource for pupils with an autistic spectrum condition.

0118 957 4730

Christ the King Primary School

 

Primary mainstream school with a resource for pupils with an autistic spectrum condition.

0118 937 5434

EP Collier Primary School

Primary mainstream school with a resource for pupils with speech & language and communication difficulties.

0118 937 5470

Highdown School

Secondary mainstream school with a resource for pupils with a visual impairment.

0118 937 5800

Manor Primary School

Primary mainstream school with a resource for pupils with cognition and learning difficulties

0118 937 5494

New Bridge Nursery

Mainstream nursery with a resource for pupils with an autistic spectrum condition.

0118 937 5580

Prospect School

Secondary mainstream school resource for pupils with moderate learning difficulties

0118 959 0466

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