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How do I know if my child has special educational needs and/or disabilities?

Some special educational needs and disabilities are visible and some are less so.  As parents you know your children best and it is important that you work with professionals and that they work with you to identify and address any concerns you might have about your child’s development.

The earlier special educational needs and/or disabilities are identified and addressed a more comprehensive package of support can be tailored for your child’s individual needs.

Early Years

When your child turns two you will be invited to attend a health and development review with a health visitor.  If you already have concerns about your child’s development it is most important that you take the time to attend this appointment.

You can also raise any concerns you have about your child’s development with you GP, Health Visitor or their early years setting if they attend.

At this stage it is possible to have a multi-professional (educational psychologist, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist and paediatric consultant) assessment of need via referral from your GP or early years centre.

There are a number of children’s centres in Slough offering childcare and family services.

There is an early years support team in Slough that can be accessed via referral to the SEND Panel this can happen prior to a formal assessment of education, health and care needs and prior to starting in a formal setting.

Some children are referred for an assessment of their education, health and care needs at this stage mostly in their second year of nursery, or pre school education.

Schools

Once your child starts formal education in primary school the class teacher should work closely with you on their progress and raise any concerns they have about your child’s development with you.  If you have any concerns about your child’s progress you should raise this first with the class teacher.

Schools should clearly set out how they identify and respond to SEND. This should be set out in their Local Offer or SEN Information Report which can be seen on the school’s website and this website.  

If you have any concerns about your child’s presenting behaviour you should also consult your GP to identify any potential underlying causes particularly if they are very young.

There is now a national funding formula that provides all schools with an element for special educational needs and can provide support up to the equivalent of £6000.00 per annum  if you agree to have your child’s needs recorded at SEN support (SEN register  If the school are providing additional support for your child they must tell you and update you regularly on progress. (Termly progress review meetings) 

School should also seek your agreement if they are going to ask external professionals for advice about how to meet your child’s needs (i.e. educational psychology, speech and language therapy, occupational therapist or physiotherapy etc.)

Before seeking a formal assessment of any child’s education, health and care needs schools must follow the “assess”, “plan”, “do”, “review” cycle ideally for a couple of terms or 12 weeks.

An Education, Health and Care, Needs Assessment – definition

In the flow chart set out in the Downloads section, the time line for the assessment process is laid out.  During this process the local authority will first consider from the evidence provided by the setting, parents or any other professionals or the young person themselves if over 16 whether it is necessary to carry out an assessment.  If the decision is that it is not necessary then you will be advised and given your right of appeal.

If it is agreed that an assessment is necessary then the local authority will request evidence from all the relevant professionals in order to consider whether it is necessary to issue an education, health and care plan.

Further Education

Most young people who have reached the age of accessing further education (FE) should already have an education health and care plan that has been produced during their time in school. 

If your son or daughter does not yet have an education health and care plan, but does have a statement of special educational needs and is currently in year 10 or above in school please contact the SEND Team on 01753 787676 to ensure that your child’s plan is produced in time for their transition to FE.