For some children and young people (YP) with Special Educational Needs (SEN), the support they receive at nursery/school/college (SEN support) may not be enough and your child/YP may not make expected progress. It may then be necessary to request a ‘Needs Assessment’ which may lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
The views of parents/carers, children and YP are very important and will be included in the final EHCP. It is useful to focus on areas that educational settings or other professionals writing reports may not be aware of.
You can start by making a bullet point list of things as you think of them, this will give you a start for when you complete your views, wishes and aspirations. Remember that as parents/carers you can get used to your child/YP’s traits/quirks and make adjustments within your home/family, please remember to include these in your views.
Is a Needs Assessment necessary?
If you are requesting the Needs Assessment to consider if an EHCP is necessary, it is useful to include details about your child or young person such as:
- Their date of birth
- Early years setting/school/college she/he attends
- Names of any professionals who have already been involved with your child/YP
- Copies of any relevant reports
- An example of your child/YP’s work
- Your child/YP’s views
- Copies of any exclusion letters
- Why do you think your child/YP needs to be assessed?
- What is happening at school now?
- What support is in place at school?
History of the child/YP
You will always be asked your views when an EHCP has been requested. You will be given a form to fill in from the Local Authority, these are some things you may wish to tell them. Not all of them will be relevant to your child/YP.
- What do you remember about their early or school years that might be useful?
- Were you happy about progress at the time?
- When did you first feel things were not right?
- What happened?
- What advice or help did you receive?
- What has happened since then?
- Progress, or lack of progress, made over the last year
- What has pleased you educationally and also any concerns?
- Has the school had any professionals in to assess your child/YP? e.g. Educational Psychologist
- Relationships with other children and young people including teachers/tutors
- Progress with reading, writing, numbers, other subjects and activities at school
- How the nursery, school, college has helped your child/YP
- Have you been asked to help with their education, such as hearing them read or do a project?
- If your child/YP does not get the appropriate support what are the consequences?
- What does he or she find easy or difficult?
Activities outside education and relationships/behaviour at home
Activities outside education
- Belonging to clubs
- Sporting activities
- Does your child/YP have any extra help/provision to enable him/her to fully take part in these activities?
- Are they happy to go out alone? (if appropriate)
Relationships and behaviour at home
- With parents, brothers and sisters, with friends and other relations both inside and outside of the home.
- Does your child/YP make friends easily?
- Does your child/YP co-operate, share, listen to, and carry out requests, help in the house, offer help, fit in with family routine and rules
- Moods: good and bad, sulking, temper tantrums, affectionate
Relationships/behaviour at school
- Does your child/YP have any support at school with their behaviour?
- Are there things that have worked well at home or at school?
- Has the school asked your child/YP to go home early?
- Has your child/YP been on a reduced timetable?
- Has your child/YP been excluded?
This is wider than education support from social services it may include other areas such as short breaks, assistance at home or traveling.
- Has social care been involved with your child/YP?
- What additional support has been put in place?
- Has there been support for the family which has helped your child/YP in education?
- Do you have a social care budget? If so what does it provide?
- What additional services do you feel could help?
- Have you worked with Early Support or the Family Support Process? If so, has this helped and how?
Your general views
- What do you think your child/YP needs support with at nursery, school or college? How do you think this can best be given?
- How do you compare your child/YP with others of the same age?
- What is your child/YP good at or what does he or she enjoy doing?
- What do they worry about?
- Is he or she aware of their difficulties?
- What are your worries and concerns?
- Are there any other professionals who you feel need to assess your child/YP and why?
- What does your child/YP want to do in the future (their aspirations)?
These are just some ideas, please write what is appropriate in your particular circumstances. If you need further support please call us on 01603 704070.
Returning your views, wishes and aspirations form
Forms need to be returned to the below address,
Norfolk County Council - SEN Operational Support Team
Professional Development Centre - Room 16
144 Woodside Road
Norwich, NR7 9QL