All schools should have a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEN. The benefits of early identification are widely recognised – identifying need at the earliest point and then making effective provision improves long-term outcomes for the child or young person. (Reference Chapter 6 SEND Code of Practice 2015)
All children and young people in Doncaster settings have access to a broad and balanced curriculum, including extra-curricular activities. All Doncaster settings take account of a child/young person's additional needs in every area of school life and all children and young people have the opportunity to experience the full range of subjects and activities offered by our schools. Teachers and support staff make sure all children/young people's needs are met through arranging appropriate classroom organisation and activities. Learning activities include small achievable steps to meet the needs of individual a child/young person and where necessary extra adult support will be offered.
This page looks at SEN support and education, health and care plans, if you would like more information on General Development Assessment pathway please click the link - GDA pathway
Quality First Teaching
What do I do if I feel my child has a Special Educational Need?
Many children have some degree of special educational needs at some stage in their lives. Most of these additional needs are met by the school the child attends.If a parent/carer thinks their child may have SEN then they should:
Contact the Special Educational Needs co-ordinator (SENCo) or Manager/ Head teacher /Principal in the education setting alternatively parents/carers may be aware of a lead practitioner or lead service involved with their child and they may be able to provide more information Parents/carers know their children better than anyone and they have a right to take part in decisions about their child’s education. The closer a parent/carer works with their child’s teachers, education setting and other services, the more successful any special help will be.
All schools must have an SEN Policy which sets out how children might be supported in school. Schools also have to publish an SEN Information Report to show how they have implemented their Policy and also how they are meeting their duties under the Equalities Act 2010. The Department for Education (DfE) has published a Parents’ Guide to the SEND Code of Practice.
The SENDIAS Service, Families Information Service and Doncaster Parent Voice parent/carer forum are very helpful and can provide independent information, advice, and/or support.
The person who will take the lead in coordinating support for children with SEND is the School SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). Every school is required to have a SENCO with day-to-day responsibility for the operation of SEN policy and the co-ordination of specific provision made to support individual pupils with SEN. The SENCO provides professional guidance to colleagues and works closely with staff, parents and other agencies. The SENCO should therefore be the main point of contact for parents who have concerns regarding their child’s SEND.
Some children may need more support than can usually be provided from the staff and materials available from the school’s own resources. If this is the case, additional top-up resources can be requested from the local authority.
Element 1: an amount of money for each pupil in the school
This is a sum of money that each school will receive for EVERY child/young person. This is used to make general provision for all pupils in the school including pupils with SEN.
Element 2: this is known as the school's notional SEN budget
All schools receive an additional amount of money to support the needs of children with SEN. The government has recommended that schools should use this notional SEN budget to pay for up to £6,000 worth of special educational provision to meet a child’s SEN. Most children with SEN need special educational provision that comes to less than £6,000.
Special educational provision is anything that is provided to meet a child/young person's SEN that is ‘additional to or different from’ provision made for all children and young people. The local authority must make sure that the special educational provision specified in a statement is made for the child/young person. For a child/young person receiving SEN Support a school must use its ‘best endeavours’ to make sure that special educational provision is made to meet a child’s SEN. Schools must also follow the SEND Code of Practice 2014 which expects schools to involve parents in decisions a about how their child’s needs are met.
Element 2 is called the notional SEN budget because no-one tells schools exactly how they should spend their money. When funding is delegated to schools, they can spend it in the way they think is best. However, schools have a duty to identify, assess and make special educational provision for all children with SEN; and the local authority has a duty to set out what schools are expected to provide from their delegated budget.
Element 3: top up funding
If the school can evidence that a child/young person with SEN needs more than £6,000 (Element 2) worth of special educational provision, the school can request top up funding from the local authority to meet the cost of the extra provision required for the child/young person. If the local authority agrees, the funding is provided from the high needs budget.
Schools can request up to £4,000 of additional funding from Element 3 to meet the needs of a child/young person's SEN before requesting an Educational, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This is known in Doncaster as High Needs Funding.
SEND Support in Schools - Sample Plan and Review Framework
Top up funding without a plan (Element 3). Schools may request additional support via top up funding without a plan. Settings are able to request up to £4,000 additional funding via this process. Settings are required to submit a request with a robust evidence base in order to demonstrate provision that will enable the child or young person make accelerated progress. Cases will be discussed at a panel who will then make a decision on whether to proceed. Parents must be made aware that this is not a request for an EHC needs assessment by the school before the request is submitted.
High Needs Funding for Summer Term 2021 (further round)
The LA intends to roll out a new way of funding high needs pupils and devolve the funding to local areas. This will ensure that the processes are more responsive to local needs and simpler to access. It has become increasingly clear however that the current COVID 19 situation has created a number of practical difficulties in introducing this new system not least of which is the continuing uncertainty about possible further restrictions and the impact on resources. For that reason, the LA has decided to extend the deployment of the new system after the Summer Term 2021.
In light of this, the LA does not intend to disadvantage any school in meeting the needs of children and will therefore continue to offer High Needs funding in preparation for roll out of the new funding arrangements. This will follow the current process and the deadline for submissions is Friday 18 June 2021 at 5:00pm. If you had submitted new or continuation request(s) after the previous deadline, these will have been logged but we will be happy to confirm this for you.
Any packages that schools would be looking to continue should be sent in as continuation requests in the normal way and as well as a completed Progress Report which clearly states the current or previous allocation as well as whether you would want this to be maintained, increased or decreased, please can a provision map, which would support the decision making process, also be included. However, in instances where funding had stopped from the end of Spring Term 2021 (1) or before, then a new request rather than a continuation request would be an appropriate mechanism to refer.
In order to ensure that all requests for funding have been logged and dealt with, schools are asked to check this prior to the deadline and upon receipt of requests, we will acknowledge receipt of these.
Requesting Additional Funding at SEN Support (enhanced) or an Extension of the Early Intervention Allowance in Reception (FS2)
- Early Years Funding
- Download (130KB)
- Guidance notes for requesting enhanced funding
- Download (147KB)
- Request for High Needs top up (enhanced SEN Support) - Sept 2017
- Download (124KB - DOCX)
- Progress report for High Needs top up (enhanced SEN Support) - Sept 2017
- Download (124KB - DOCX)
- Local EIA information 2017- 2018
- Download (101KB)
Extension of the Early Intervention Allowance into reception (FS2)
- 20/21 Early Years Inclusion Funding Guidance
Download (25KB - DOCX)
- Continuation of EIA into FS2 (Reception)
- Download (53KB - DOCX)
- Spring and Summer term (2021) continuation of EIA into FS2
- Download (50KB - DOCX)
What is an Education, Health and Care Plan?
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 complex needs that cannot be met by the support put in place by their school or college, an EHC needs assessment may be required.
Education, Health and Care Process
The following animations help parents to explain the EHCP process and its important relationship with the Person Centred Approach, visit: EHCP process animations.
- Education Health Care Plan - Timeline
- Download (147KB)
- Education, Health and Care Plans - Checklist
- Download (1.56MB)
Requesting an Educational, Health and Care Plan Assessment
Anyone can bring a child or young person to the LA’s attention, if they think the child has or may have SEN and an EHC needs assessment may be necessary.
Request for EHC needs Assessment for Professional
If you are a professional applying for an EHC needs assessment then his should be done with the knowledge and, where possible, agreement of the child’s parent or the young person. Please complete the below document 'SEHCAR1 - Requesting a Statutory EHC Needs Assessment (September 2017)' using the guidance if necessary. Once completed, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Request for EHC needs Assessment for Parents, Carers and Young People
If you are applying for a EHC needs assessment for your child or you are in education and under 25 years of age and wish to apply for a EHC needs assessment yourself then you can apply by completing the relevant following letter sample letter parent and carer, sample letter young person. Once completed, please send to email@example.com
What happens before the decision to assess?
A statutory assessment will consider special educational needs together with health and social care needs. When a request is made, the child will have demonstrated 'significant cause for concern' despite all relevant and purposeful action being taken. The education setting, or other practitioner, such as a Portage worker, health visitor or social worker, may bring a child to our attention.
They should provide the Local Authority with a range of information including: evidence of how the child and family have been involved the child’s strengths, special educational needs and any health and care needs relating to their SEN the outcomes for the child: i.e. what will s/he be able to do that they cannot do currently the interventions and strategies in place and an evaluation of the impact of these on improving outcomes for the child the resources or special arrangements that they have already made available the specialist advice they have acted upon over time.
When we receive a request for an assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), we will need to decide whether or not your child needs one. A panel of education, health and care professionals makes this decision.
The panel makes its decision based on:
- How complex your child’s needs are
- The level of support your child has already received
- Whether or not your child can be given support in his or her current setting.
What happens if the Local Authority decision is NOT to proceed?
The Local Authority may decide that the evidence does not support a statutory needs assessment and that the child’s needs should be met through school -based SEN Support. In these situations the Local Authority will explain the reasons to the parent and to the education setting and set out what they should do next to continue to meet the child’s needs.
The Local Authority will also set out the rights of appeal.
If parents, and young people over the age of 16 if they are able to make their own decision, disagree with this decision, they first have to consider mediation and have a right of appeal through The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
What happens during the assessment?
If the Local Authority feels that it should assess the child formally, it must seek statutory advice from all the services and settings involved and ask the child and family for their views, wishes and feelings.. The SEN Service and the lead practitioner will provide further information and support to the family. Everyone has 6 weeks to return their advice and reports. The statutory assessment will provide information on the following:
- The child’s strengths
- The child and family’s views, wishes and feelings
- The special education, health and care needs
- How the needs can best be met
- Special resources, equipment or input
- Access to buildings, curriculum etc.
- What outcomes are desired: what will the child be able to do that they can not do now?
What happens next?
If, following a statutory assessment, the Local Authority decides that a child requires support above what must be provided by the setting, an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be issued. This will be drafted in consultation with the family. It will not say at this stage where the child will go to school. The family has 15 days to give their views on the content in the EHCP. They can express a preference for a named setting and confirm if, and how, they would like to take up the offer of a Personal Budget.
If a child’s parent or a young person makes a request for a particular nursery, school or post-16 institution in these groups the Local Authority must comply with that preference and name the school or college in the EHC plan unless:
- it would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEN of the child or young person, or
- the attendance of the child or young person there would be incompatible with the efficient education of others, or the efficient use of resources.
A final EHCP must be issued within 20 weeks of the initial request being received and it will name an education setting although there are some exceptions allowed. Parents and young people have a right of appeal at this stage through The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. It important that the EHCP is specific and identifies all the child's needs and that it matches detailed provision to meet these needs and the identified outcomes.
Sometimes the Local Authority’s view is that the statutory assessment advice says that an EHCP is NOT needed. If this is the case, the Authority will explain in writing and also say how the education setting should continue to meet the child’s needs. Parents, and the young person if they are over 16 and able to make a decision, have the right to appeal against the Local Authority's decision through The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal after mediation has been considered.
Single Route of Redress – National Trial
The Government have extended the powers of the SEND Tribunal to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. This is a two-year trial from 3rd April 2018. For more about this, please read:
- Download (142KB - PDF)
Education, Health & Care Plan and Annual Review
Education settings should meet with parents at least 3 times a year and they are responsible for ensuring that the EHCP is delivered throughout the year. Ultimately the Local Authority is responsible for ensuring the child or young person receives the provision specified. The purpose of an Annual Review is to ensure that at least once a year the parents, pupil, Local Authority, school and all the professionals involved monitor and evaluate the continued effectiveness and relevance of the provision set out in the Statement or Education, Health and Care Plan. The meeting should:
- Consider progress by the pupil towards the objectives of the Statement or the Outcomes in the EHCP
- Consider if the Statement/ EHCP requires amendment, and if so, how
- Discuss and set new targets and review progress towards the agreed Outcomes
- Ensure that any phase transitions such as transfer from nursery (FS1) to Reception (FS2); primary to secondary school or 14-19 transition requirements are considered and followed according to the timeline set out in the SEND Code of Practice.
Here is an animation for children, young people and parents to help understand the process.Documents for the Annual Review
- General EHCP template September 2016
- Download (809KB - PDF)
- Annual Review of EHCP Updated September 2019
- Download (501KB - DOCX)
Other useful documentation
- The Equality Act 2010 and schools
- Download (391KB)
- Accessibility Strategy
- Download (443KB)
- Glossary of Terms
- Download (167KB)
- SEND Code of practice
- Download (3.23MB)
- SEN information report - schools
- Download (16KB)
- SEN Local Offer Regulations - Clause 30
- Download (100KB)
- SEND Reforms - one year progress report
- Download (162KB)
- SEND (Information) Regulations - Clause 65
- Download (80KB)
- Intimate and Personal Care Local Guidance (Sept 2016)
- Download (259KB)
- Doncaster SEND Strategy Framework
- Download (594KB)
- KIDS - Making it Personal
- Download (1.01MB)
- Changes to SEN reforms guide for children and young people
- Download (4.86MB - PDF)
Tel: 01302 737209 / 737210 / 737211