Most children with special educational or additional needs do not have a statutory support plan.
In England, when a child is first thought to have special educational needs, the SEND Code of Practice says schools should have a discussion with the child’s parents. External advice from experts, such as educational psychologists or speech and language therapists should be considered to understand what might be causing the child’s difficulties. For Wales, read out page on ALN here
Together with the parent, a plan of action should be drawn up. This is called the Assess, Plan, Do, Review (ADPR) process or “graduated response”. Essentially, it is designed as a circular process where interventions are put into place, which are then reviewed after a short period. Successes can then be built upon. Interventions which haven’t made an impact can be changed.
Parents are supposed to be closely involved at all stages as outlined in the SEND Code of Practice 2015
However, it should be noted that success depends on the quality and appropriateness of interventions being put into place and the suitability of the school environment.
Does my child have to go through the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle?
No. If your child’s needs are complex or severe, they do not have to be made to go through any cycles of Assess, Plan, Do Review on SEN Support. A statutory EHC needs assessment should instead be requested immediately to determine the appropriate support required.
Neither does a child need to go through a certain number of cycles of ADPR before an EHC needs assessment can be requested. This may, in fact, end up increasing their needs, because without an assessment, it may not be possible to provide the correct interventions, support and therapy.
While evidence gathered during an ADPR process may be useful to help determine what works or doesn’t work, the law does not say this process is a necessary, or essential, before you can make a request for an EHC needs assessment.
Additionally, a child does not have to be so many years behind their peers for an EHC needs assessment to be requested.
If your child has been left on SEN Support for some time with no apparent improvement, you should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.
You can do this yourself, or we can help you right from the start.
Using our services can alleviate the stress this process undoubtedly causes and it may end up being more cost-effective and beneficial for the child, if they secure a plan faster and get the right education without having to face going to tribunal.
Get in touch to see how we can help and have a no-obligation chat with us.