All Teachers Need To Know About The Send Code Of Practice 2015
The Code of Practice provides statutory guidance on duties,policies and procedures relating to Part 3 of the Children and Families Act2014 and associated regulations and applies to England.
It relates to children and young people with specialeducational needs and disabled children and young people.
In the Code of Practice, where the text uses the word must it refers to a statutoryrequirement under primary legislation, regulations or case law.
The Code of Practice is comprised of 290 pages split into 11chapters.
Chapter 6 Schools
1. Improving outcomes: high aspirations and expectations forchildren and young people with SEN
- All children and young people are entitled to anappropriate education, one that is appropriate to their needs, promotes highstandards and the fulfilment of potential
- Every school is required to identify and addressthe SEN of the pupils that they support.
- They must:
- use their best endeavours to make sure that achild with SEN gets the support they need this means doing everything theycan to meet children and young peoples SEN
- ensure that children and young people with SENengage in the activities of the school alongside pupils who do not have SEN
- designate a teacher to be responsible forco-ordinating SEN provision the SEN co-ordinator, or SENCO
- inform parents when they are making specialeducational provision for a child
2. Equality and inclusion
3. Medical Conditions
5. Careers guidance for children and young people
What Is Meant By Assessment Of Need
A person may apply for an independent assessment of need if they think that they have a disability. The objective of the assessment is to establish the persons health and educational needs and the services required to meet those needs. Assessment officers, appointed by the Health Board, will carry out the assessment. Once this has been done, the person will receive an Assessment Report.
This report will indicate:
It is important to note that the educational needs of a child can be assessed under the Disability Act 2005 or the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 . If, under the Disability Act, a special educational need is identified for a child, then that aspect of the assessment will be referred to the National Council for Special Education or to the Principal of their school.
What Are Special Educational Needs
Section 20 Children and Families Act 2014 defines a child as having Special Educational Needs if he or she âhas a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special education provision to be made for him or herâ.
A child is considered to have a learning difficulty if she or he:
- has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
- has a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post 16 institutions.
In the Equality Act 2010 a person is classed as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a personâs ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
- Normal day-to-day means things that people do on a regular basis, for example mobility, dressing or cleaning , and having a conversation.
- Long-term usually means the impairment should have lasted or be expected to last at least a year.
- Substantial means not minor or trivial.
- Physical impairment includes sensory difficulties such as visual or hearing impairments
- Mental impairment includes learning difficulties, autism, dyslexia, speech and language difficulties, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .
- Some specified medical conditions, such as HIV, multiple sclerosis and cancer are all considered as disabilities, regardless of their effect.
Some examples of SEN are:
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Las Must Publish A ‘local Offer’
This sets out information in one place about what provision they expect to be available for children and young people in their area with SEN or disabilities, including those who don’t have EHC plans.
The 2 key purposes of the local offer are to:
- Provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the provision available and how to access it
- Make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving children and young people with SEN and disabilities and their parents and carers and service providers in its development and review
See more about the local offer in chapter 4 of the code.;
Involve Parents And Young People In Decisions
All schools should take steps to make sure;parents and pupils are;actively supported in contributing to needs assessments, developing and reviewing education, health and care plans.;
Your local authority must make sure parents and pupils are involved in discussions and decisions about their individual support and local provision.;
This is set out on page 20 of the code and section 19 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
What Other Forms Of Need Exist
In addition to the clinical and strictly educational needs outlined above, a young persons behaviour can be influenced by factors in their personal life and their home life.
The Exclusions Guidance Statutory guidance to schools, governors and local authorities on the law and process for excluding, and reviewing exclusions. The 2017 edition of the guidance is the current version. specifies that headteachers should consider whether such factors have been a factor in a young persons education before deciding to exclude them. It states at paragraph 18 that:
Whilst an exclusion may still be an appropriate sanction, the head teacher should take account of any contributing factors that are identified after an incident of poor behaviour has occurred. For example, where it comes to light that the pupil has suffered bereavement, has mental health issues or has been subject to bullying.
There are some life events that will, on a common-sense understanding, cause upheaval to a young persons personal life. These include bereavement, bullying, homelessness, domestic violence and problems with immigration status.
However, there are a range of factors, known as adverse childhood experiences traumatic events that occur during childhood. , which are well researched and shown to influence a young person, sometimes to exhibit disruptive behaviour.
The Scottish Government highlight 10 widely recognised ACEs as:
The Contradiction Between Listening To Childrens Voices And The Definition Of Special Educational Needs
Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 starts by defining the role of LAs in supporting and involving children and young people by listening to their voices, as well as to the wishes and feelings of their parents, so that they are fully able to participate in the decisions affecting their lives in an informed manner. The importance of listening to childrens views about their SEND and factors affecting their well-being has been highlighted in both policy documents and research . Recent research has also provided interesting data on factors affecting the sense of well-being of children with SEND, according to their own views. Children mentioned being able to participate, having good friends, family factors, anxiety related to performance in school, coping strategies/resilience, and personal growth and development as factors that could critically affect their well-being . These studies provide evidence of two very important issues for children with disabilities, namely that being included and fully participating in society is more than being able to learn, as it also encompasses other dimensions of life such as relationships and a sense of fulfillment, and that their full participation is often restricted by the environment around them, so that our interventions should move away from targeting the childrens ability to learn, and focus more on the environment.
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Local Offers And The Documentation Of Environmental Factors
While the recommendation for the integration of services can be regarded as a positive change in the new policy, there are not specific enough guidelines on how to achieve this interdisciplinary EHC assessment. In fact, local authorities must cooperate with governing bodies of schools, national health services, and social services, but no specific directions are provided on how to achieve these aims. Each LA must also make public its Local Offer , explicitly informing stakeholders about education, health, and social care options in its vicinity. We argue that the ICF-CY classification system could be used to present the Local Offer in each LA by matching each service with the environmental factors component of the classification.
What Is Meant By A Service Statement
If a person is found to have a need for disability related services, they will then be given a Service Statement drawn up by a Health Board liaison officer. The Service Statement will indicate the health and educational services that can be provided, taking account of:
- The Assessment Report.
- Relevant standards and Codes of Practice.
- The practicability of providing the service.
- The financial resources available.
Unlike the Assessment Report, the Service Report takes cost into account. In addition, the Service Statement does not deal with the educational needs of children as these are dealt with under the Education for Persons with Special Needs Act . Once the Service Statement is drawn up, the delivery of services is arranged for the individual.
A person may take a complaint to a Health Board:
A person may make an appeal to an appeals officer against:
Changes To Timescales For Actions To Be Completed
These changes disapply timescales, mainly found in the SEND Regulations 2014, for certain aspects of the processes leading to the assessment or making of an EHCP. The amending regulations operate where it is impractical or not reasonably practicable for the local authority or another body to comply with a timescale in the original 2014 regulations for a reason relating to Covid-19. In such cases, the local authority, or other body, must undertake the task as soon as reasonably practicable.
The changes permitted under the 2020 regulations only apply to the timescales for complying with the duty. The changes do not remove the requirement to comply with the duty.
The areas which are potentially subject to relaxed timescales are:
- the handling of requests for EHC needs assessments, decisions whether to issue plans and the preparation and issue of plans
- annual reviews of plans
- the processes relating to mediation
- the processes where there is a change of local authority or health commissioning body for a plan
- the process for a local authority reviewing for the first time the making and use of direct payments from a Personal Budget that is part of an EHC plan
- the actions that the local authority and health commissioning body must take when the First-tier Tribunal makes non-binding recommendations in respect of certain types of health and social care matters within an EHC plan
How A Parent Can Raise Concerns
1. Speak to the childâs teacher
If you have concerns with regards to your childâs education and you feel that they are not coping with their school work, you should raise your concerns with your childâs teacher. This may be their class teacher or head of year.
At this meeting, you may wish to provide evidence to the teacher supporting your concerns. This could include homework, test results and any other work. You may also wish to discuss with the teacher any change you have noticed in your child, such as them becoming more anxious, their behaviour deteriorating or any health condition that has been recently diagnosed.
During this meeting, you and the teacher should try and work together to address any concerns and to decide whether any action needs to be taken. It is important that you make note of any recommendations made and any plan that is being implemented. You should then make another meeting date, to follow up on any implementations that have been suggested.
After this meeting, it is important that you keep a track of how your child is progressing. If you do not feel that any progress has been made, you should meet with the teacher again or consider the next step.
2. Have a meeting with the SENCO
Every school must have a SEN Co-ordinator . A SENCO has to be a qualified teacher and may also have another job title within the school, such as Deputy Head Teacher.
It is important that you keep a track of how your child is progressing
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What You Must Consider For Pupils In Specific Circumstances
This includes children and young people who:;
- Are looked-after or care leavers
- Have social care needs, including ‘children in need’
- Are educated out of area, in alternative provision, in hospital or at home
- Are the children of service personnel
- Are in youth custody
You must have a designated teacher for looked-after children.;If this is someone other than your SENCO, they should work closely together to ensure that the needs of pupils who are looked after and have SEN are fully understood by relevant staff. ;
If a looked-after child is being assessed for SEN:
- The information in their care plan must be taken into account
- SEN professionals must work closely with other relevant professionals, such as the child’s social worker;
- The LA that the child ordinarily resides in must carry out the EHC assessment, even if a different LA looks after that child;;
This is set out in paragraphs 10.3 and 10.7 of the code.;
Children and young people with social care needs;
Your LA is required to safeguard and promote the welfare of ‘children in need’ in your area, including children with disabilities, by providing appropriate services to them.;This could include:
- Short breaks for parents/carers
- Equipment or adaptations to the home
- Support for parents from social workers;
This is set out in paragraphs 10.13 and 10.18-10.20;of the code.;
Chapter 10 outlines more information on supporting;pupils in specific circumstances.;
Impartial Information Advice And Support
This section of the Code covers the provisions that local authorities must arrange for children with SEN or disabilities for whom they are responsible. This includes information and advice about matters relating to their SEN or disabilities, such as matters regarding health or social care and management of personal budgets. These provisions must also be made known to the local schools.
These support services should be impartial, confidential and accessible, and should have the capacity to handle face-to-face, telephone and electronic enquiries, and recognise the different needs of children, young people and their parents.
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The Law Around Special Educational Needs And Disabilities
All nurseries, playgroups, schools and colleges in England must provide support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities .
The SEND: guide for parents and carers explains the system to support children and young people with special educational needs.
You can also read a simple version of this guide:
Organisations And Statutory Bodies With Arole In Special Needs Education
The National Council for Special Education
The National Council for Special Education is a statutory body with particular functions in relation to specialneeds education. Its main functions are:
- Planning and co-ordinating the provision of education and support services to children with special educational needs
- Planning the implementation of the Education for Persons with Special Needs Act see above
- Disseminating information on best practice concerning the education of children with special educational needs
- Providing information to parents in relation to the entitlements of children with special educational needs
- Assessing and reviewing resources required by children with special educational needs
- Ensuring that progress of students with special educational needs is monitored and reviewed
- Reviewing education provision for adults with disabilities
- Advising educational institutions on best practice
- Consulting with voluntary bodies
- Advising the Minister for Education on matters relating to special education
- Conducting research and publishing findings
In 2017, the Special Education Support Service, the National BehaviourSupport Service and the Visiting Teacher Service transferred to the NCSE. TheNCSE support service was set up to provide a more integrated service tochildren and their families as well as to teachers and schools.
The NCSE has published information for parents, including the following:
Special Educational Needs Organisers
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Who Is The Special Educational Needs Code Of Practice For
The SEND Code of Practice was devised to explain the responsibilities of Local Authorities, educational establishments such as early education settings, schools and academies together with health organisations to those with special educational needs in accordance with the Children and Families Act 2014. The Code is for Head Teachers and Academy Principals; Governing Bodies; school staff; SEN coordinators; Local Authorities; early education providers and health and social services personnel.
Duty To Provide Information Advice And Support
Both the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Care Act 2015 impose upon local authorities a duty to provide children and young people with information, advice and support relating to their SEN or disability, and transition, including matters relating to health and social care. It must include information, advice and support on the take-up and management of Personal Budgets. This information, advice and support should be provided through a dedicated and easily identifiable service. Information, advice and support services should be impartial, confidential and accessible and should have the capacity to handle face-to-face, telephone and electronic enquiries.
Local authorities must take steps to make these services known to children and young people/their parents in their area; head teachers, proprietors and principals of schools and post-16 institutions in their area, and others where appropriate.
Advocacy services must be available to young people going through the transition phase.
Children and young people should be involved in the design or commissioning of services providing information, advice and support.
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