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Are you ready to give your feedback to Ofsted?

24 February 2020
Ofsted is coming to access NCC SEND provision 2nd - 5th March 2020 - here is what you need to know!

Emergency Contacts for over Christmas

23 December 2019
Who is there to help?


What are all the Acronyms in the world of SEND?

Asking for a Needs Assessment

There are different ways to ask for a Needs Assessment, for example, you could email the local authority (LA), ask the school to apply, or use the LA’s online form, which can be found on the Norfolk Local Offer (LO) website.

Dispute Resolution

Sometimes a parent (or young person) can feel a bit ‘stuck’ with a complaint. Dispute Resolution (1) could be a possible solution. You do not need to have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan to be able to request Dispute Resolution.

EHCP - Health

The Education Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment requires the local authority (LA) to seek advice and information about your child’s health.

EHC Plans - Advice on the Social Care Section

The Education Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment requires the local authority (LA) to seek advice and information about your child’s social care needs.

Hospital Visits

This is information relating to the NNUH


If you are given the right to appeal to the SEND tribunal (SENDIST) by the local authority (LA), you must first consider mediation. The letter from the LA will give the contact details of the mediator. You must contact them within 2 months of the date of that letter if you intend to appeal to the SENDIST (1). The mediation company will want to first talk to you and if you do not want to mediate, they must issue a mediation certificate within 3 working days (2). You do not have to mediate, and it will not reflect on tribunal if you say no. If you chose to use mediation, the meeting must be arranged within 30 days. There is no need to mediate for a school-only appeal.

Naming A School

When you receive your draft EHC plan, you are asked to name a school. There is a general principle that children will be educated where a parent chooses, as long as it ‘efficient’ and avoids unreasonable public expense (1).

Needs Assessment - Flowchart

Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0-25 years, page 154

Needs Assessment - What Happens?

If the local authority (LA) decides to carry out a Needs Assessment, it has specific timescales to stick to, and must seek a range of advices covering education, health and social care.

Needs Assessment - What is it?

You, the school (or college) can ask the local authority (LA) for a Needs Assessment
if you believe that:

Needs Assessment - When should I ask?

An EHC plan can run from birth to 25yrs old. For some children, it is clear from birth that they do have Special Educational Needs (SEN) which will require an EHC plan to be written. For example, a child with Down’s Syndrome will have difficulties with speech, which in turn will affect their ability to read and write. The provision of speech and language therapy is not generally available to all pupils in mainstream, so this will be special educational provision (1). A Needs Assessment for an EHC plan can be requested before the child is of compulsory school age.

Private Diagnosis and Reports

There are plenty of places you can turn to get private reports and diagnoses done.

Section A

This section is a narrative about your child. It is ‘your’ section rather than the professionals’. It is expected that it will also include the voice of your child, or the words of the Young Person (1).

Section B

The Needs Assessment will have sought advice and information from a range of professionals and identified your child’s needs, provision and outcomes. It is important that these are considered in this order, you cannot consider what provision is required until you know what your child’s needs are (1). Section B is dedicated to your child’s special educational needs (SEN).

Section c

This section must specify any identified health needs your child has, which relate to their Special Educational Needs (SEN). Some basic health care needs, such as routine dental needs are unlikely to be considered as ‘related to SEN’.

Section D

This section is about your child or young person’s Social Care needs. During the Needs Assessment for the Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, advice and information about social care needs must be sought. Saying ‘nil’, ‘not know to this service’ etc. is unlikely to satisfy the requirement to seek advice and information. It could be that your child is assessed as not having social care needs at this time. If that is the case, this section could say that.

Section E

Section E details the outcomes being sought for you child. Outcomes are the effect of the provision in section F and should also relate to the aspirations written in section A. There should be a range of outcomes over varying timescales, covering education, health and social care.

SENsational Families is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1173051.
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