Useful case law update
EC v North East Lincolnshire Local Authority  UKUT 0648 (AAC)
This decision was about Statements of SEN but also applies to EHC Plans, it was stated that “A SEN Tribunal should not rubber stamp a Statement (of SEN) that is inadequate. The statement that was accepted in this case was vague on the ‘who, what, when and how long’ details that are meant to spell out the LA’s duties to the statemented pupil”. This means a statement or an EHC Plan should have quantification, how much, and specific, precise provision.
Buckinghamshire County Council v cc  UKUK 0254 (AAC)
This decision states that it is not necessary to be working towards qualifications for the provision to be seen as education in an Education Health Care Plan. This is particularly important for young people who will be looking for 5 day provision to meet their particular needs.
David Wolfe, from Matrix chambers has produced a very useful document which he has called A Noddy Guide to Statements of SEN and EHC Plans. You can download this on the below website.
The summer term is a really busy and important time to prepare children and young people for the next stage of their education. This ‘moving on’ to the next stage is called transition. However there are many types of transition, it could be moving from one school to another, from one class to another, between class and playtime, from home to school etc.
For many children with SEN, particularly those with ASD/ADHD, transitions need to be carefully planned for, so that the move between places/situations can be successful.
Planning for transitions will be different depending on the situation the child or young person is facing but one of the main things to do is to talk to the relevant people early and make a plan.
One page profiles about the child or young person (yp) can be very useful to help in a transition and is a great way to get the child/young person involved in the process. Please see the website below.
Below you will find some useful websites which have detailed information on how to plan for transitions.
- www.norfolk.gov.uk/libraries-local-history-and-archives/libraries/libraries-for-children-and-young-people/libraries-for-send (bookstart packs for younger children on getting ready for change & new experiences)
If you need further help with this process please call and speak with one of our advisors who will be pleased to help you.
Transition from Statement to Education and Health Care Plan (EHC Plan)
Children and young people with statements are gradually being transitioned to ECH plans. All of these should be completed by April 2018. This transition process must include a full needs assessment, which is collecting evidence from education, health and social care. This assessment includes an educational psychologist assessment which is the duty of the LA not the educational establishment. You must be asked for your views and the views of the child’s/yp’s must be obtained. Current advice from professionals must be used if everyone (Local authority, parents, young person, professional who wrote the report) agrees that it is sufficient for the assessment, and that it is current. Please see below IPSEAs information on the transition process.
If you need support going through this process you can have support from an Independent Supporter (IS) either from ourselves, Norfolk SEND Partnership by contacting 01603 704070 or Scope on 07764256471.
Person-Centred Reviews (PCRs)
What are PCRs?
A Person-Centred Review (PCR) is a tool which aims to involve your child in the decision-making process that affects his/her life. The PCR allows everyone to feel empowered to make a significant contribution to these decisions. A PCR results in a collaborative and co-produced action plan which optimise outcomes for the child or young person (CYP).
What can PCRs achieve for my child?
PCRs are dynamic and non-traditional meetings which generate a relevant, realistic and targeted action plan for your child. In Norfolk, PCRs are typically used with children who have an existing or emerging special educational need (SEN). The PCR focuses on your child in order to meet their specific needs which may span social, emotional and behavioural needs, learning, communication and physical and/or sensory needs. The approach can also be used for systemic purposes as well as preparation for Ofsted inspections and school improvement agendas.
What would my child’s PCRs involve?
PCRs take place in one meeting that usually lasts up to 1.5 hours. Everyone who is involved with supporting your child is invited to attend. At the meeting everyone is invited to write their answers to specific questions hung around the room on large sheets of paper using a different coloured pen. This empowers everyone who attends to share their views openly in a supportive and safe environment. These views are used to create a ‘Live Action Plan’. A child-friendly film covering the process of a simple PCR meeting can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/0uKB4mQZg4w
How were PCRs developed?
PCR’s have been used for many years typically with adults. In 2015, Norfolk County Council’s Educational Psychology and Specialist Support led a project on a major study which investigated how PCRs could be used with CYP. This is the first major study of its kind with children ever to be undertaken. Extensive preparation activities with visuals to aid understanding allows the CYP to feel more involved in the process and contribute to the plan which will benefit them.
What evidence is there supporting the benefit of using PCRs?
The research led by Dr Nick Hammond and Nikki Palmer at the Norfolk Educational Psychology Support Service used 60 research partners to investigate the effectiveness of PCRs. The results indicated that PCRs are overwhelming experienced positively by all those who participate. The nature of the process and resulting action plan allows children’s needs to be met efficiently and effectively. This research has led to new resources being developed and used across Norfolk as well as a book publication commissioned by the UCL Institute of Education/Trentham Books which will distribute the findings worldwide. This means the PCRs delivered by our team are recognised as being at the forefront of international research and practice.
What preparation is needed for my child’s PCR?
Referrals are selected on a case by case basis to assess the need for a PCR. If this criteria is met, and the child’s parent agrees, the PCR will run by an experienced and trained facilitator. There will be resources which will be sent to you and your CYP for you all to prepare for the PCR.
What will happen after my child’s PCR?
The facilitator will take photos of the completed sheets to produce a child-friendly report of the review. Each attendee will also be sent a copy of this report. The agreed action would then be completed by you and those important in your child’s life.text
Norfolk SEND Partnership Update
We would like to thank everyone that took the time to complete our Newsletter feedback survey. We are continuing to look at how we deliver our information by working on our website and updating our resources.
If you have used our service and you would be happy to speak to Ofsted when they come for the Norfolk SEND Inspection, contact us and we will put your name forward to the Inspectors. There are no dates confirmed yet. We will be given a week’s notice.
We have published a new document called the SEN Support Plan. This is available to download on our website. It is a template for SEN support/graduated approach. It is intended for both parents and professionals to help work in partnership and establish the support a child needs.
We also have a range of information booklets on EHCP, SEN Support, Funding and much more.
Niamh Keane—SEND Advisor
“My name is Niamh and I am the newest member of the Advisory helpline team. I have just completed my first level of IPSEA Legal Training this helps me to give families and young people the correct information and legal advice to answer their questions; I am now moving onto my level two training. At University I achieved a 2:1 BA Hons Degree in Childhood and Family Studies with Special needs, Disability and Inclusion.
I currently work as a Short Breaks Worker for children with complex health needs and severe special needs.
In my previous job I was a SEND Personal Assistant in a High School. I am extremely passionate about SEND and it’s always been my ambition to work in a job that helps and informs families/young people of their rights.
I have hit the ground running and I am really excited to continue my training and provide an excellent service for the families and young people of Norfolk.”
Other Places for Information
Every Local Authority must publish a SEND Local Offer telling you about what support is available for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities. This must include information about education, health and care provision. It tells you about training employment and independent living for young people locally.
Search the SEND Local offer or the Norfolk Directory for things to do for children and young people with SEND that are suitable for the whole family. You can also find mainstream clubs and activities which are accessible to children and young people with SEND.
If you are looking for childcare contact Norfolk Family Information Service who give guidance, advice and information to families with children age 0-19 (age 0-25 with additional needs). You can call them on 0344 800 8020.
Become a volunteer and make a real difference
FREE TRAINING COURSE
Are you passionate about SEND, confident, willing to learn and able to listen? Do you drive and have spare time to volunteer?
Give advice and support, help with paperwork, explain procedures, support at school meetings,
9 weeks on a Wednesday
13th, 27th September, 4th, 11th, 18th Oct, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd Nov 2017
(Not including school holidays)
Norwich Professional Development Centre, Norwich 144 Woodside Road, Norwich, NR7 9QL
For more information call 01603 704070
Who to complain to, and when
If your complaint is about a school issue, follow the school specific procedure described on the school’s website, or ask the school office for details.
Schools have a duty to identify and provide support for their pupils with SEN.
The Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs recommends that parents and young people should use the complaints procedures of local providers before raising their complaints with others.
The Local Authority (LA) has responsibility to ensure your child has access to an appropriate full time education (unless you have chosen to take your child out of maintained school provision without an EHC Plan/Statement).
If you have gone through the school’s complaints procedures you may be able to complain to the LA or for an Academy / Free School to the Education Funding Agency.
You can complain to the LA at www.norfolk.gov.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0344 800 8020.
Disagreement resolution and mediation services offer informal and solution-focused opportunities to address issues that have not been satisfactorily managed, at either school or LA level. This service is with Kids, which is independent of the LA. You can contact them on 03330 062 835 or email email@example.com.
Having exhausted all the complaint routes above you may be able to go to the Local Government Ombudsman. They only receive complaints regarding maladministration leading to an injustice, this could be a delay or non-provision of education by the Local Authority. The Ombudsman can be accessed via www.lgo.org.uk or call 0300 061 0614 .
County Councillors welcome feedback. They are the political decision-makers who decide on funding and hold ultimate accountability about services that are delivered locally.
Your constituency MP will hold regular surgeries. Please let them know if your disagreement has not been resolved through the above routes.
Details of county councillors and MPs can be found at - www.norfolk.gov.uk/councillors
You can appeal to SENDIST tribunal about:
- Refusal to assess
- Refusal to issue an EHC Plan
- Sections B - needs, Section F - provision and Section I - placement of an EHC Plan
- Cease to maintain an EHC Plan or statement
For more information download our leaflet - ‘What to do if I do not agree with decisions about SEN provision’.