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).
All SEN must be specified, including those which can be met by the school or the Local Offer. SEN may include needs for health and social care provision which are treated as special educational provision because they ‘educate or train’ (2), so advice from health and social care is needed.
It is not enough just to name a list of diagnoses (if there are any) without talking about the effects any diagnoses may have on the child or young person and, how any diagnoses impact on the child or young person’s ability to access the school and curriculum. No diagnoses are needed, EHCPs are needs-led.
‘Sam has dyslexia’ doesn’t tell the reader about the impact of this.
Add: ‘All aspects of Sam’s literacy are delayed, despite Sam’s underlying ability being in the high average range’, and it will tell the reader that Sam can produce age-appropriate work, with support. However, it still does not say just how delayed Sam’s literacy is.
Add: ‘Assessments show that Sam’s literacy skills are in the below and well below average ranges’, now tells us that the delay is quite significant. Writing what each score was would give us even more useful information and gives us something we can keep track of.
Sam’s needs would not change if the EHCP described ‘delayed literacy skills’ rather than dyslexia. The same would go for any/all educational needs.
The term ‘SEN’ also covers disability where it hinders or prevents access to what typical peers of the same age can access in mainstream (3). Again, a description of the child or young person’s needs should cover all needs, not just those which cannot be met by the nursery/school/college.
Describing needs properly is essential because for each educational need, there must be educational provision to meet it stated in section F.
1 A v Special Educational Needs & Disability Tribunal & Anor  EWHC 3368 (Admin) (25 November 2003)
2 Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015, s9.69
3 Children and Families Act s20