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Assessing needs

If you have concerns about your child’s development, it’s important to understand who to talk to.

A diagnosis can be really valuable for a child and their family to understand their difficulties.

However, it is important to remember that a diagnosis does not mean you are guaranteed support.

What to do

Initially, if you are concerned that your child may have SEND, you should talk to your school teacher or GP.

The Bromley Local Offer provides lots of useful information about assessing a child for SEND, including:

  • SEN support
  • Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments
  • Funded Inclusion Plan (FIP)
  • EHC plans

Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment

Children and young people progress at different rates and in different ways. Through ‘differentiation’ of the curriculum and the SEND graduated approach, a child or young person who is making slow progress can be helped to reach their full potential.

Most children and young people’s special educational needs can be met effectively in mainstream school via SEN Support. In a small number of cases, where a child or young person’s needs are significant and complex or a child does not make progress despite the SEN support in place, the Council may need to carry out an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment and consider whether or not to issue an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

An EHC needs assessment is a detailed look at a child’s or young person’s SEN and the support they may need in order to learn.

The Council is responsible for carrying out EHC needs assessments under the Children and Families Act 2014, they are sometimes referred to as a statutory assessment.

A parent, young person, nursery, school or college can ask the Council to carry out an EHC needs assessment.

Within 6 weeks of receiving a request for an assessment the Council will let you know whether they will carry out the EHC needs assessment or not.

If they decide to carry out the assessment, they have a further 10 weeks to gather advice and information from:

  • You and your child
  • Your child’s setting, school or college
  • An educational psychologist
  • Health practitioners
  • Social care staff
  • Anyone else you ask them to contact who may be able to give relevant advice

After the assessment has been completed, the Council will then decide whether or not an EHC plan is necessary.

If the Council decides to issue an EHC plan, they will work closely with you and your child to make sure the plan takes account of your views, wishes and feelings. At this point you will also be able to choose a school.

The whole process should take no more than 20 weeks.

More information about the process is available on the Bromley Local Offer website.

An EHC needs assessment will not always lead to an EHC plan. The information gathered during an assessment may identify ways in which the education setting can meet the child or young person’s needs without the need for an EHC plan.

Disagreeing with the Council’s decision

If the Council have made a decision you don’t agree with, you may want to ask the Council for a copy of the information they used to make their decision.

If you are unhappy about a statutory decision, you may have the right to mediation or to appeal.

The IPSEA websites a general information about the process as well as detailed information about mediation and EHC appeals.

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