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September 2015:
My latest article is now available through SEN Magazine:
SEN Provision in the Independent Sector

Here I outline the requirements of Independent Schools under the latest regulations of the SEN Code of Practice. With over 13 per cent of all pupils being educated within the Independent Sector, 4 per cent of whom have a Statement of Special Needs, understanding and implementing the law is paramount to delivering effective and outstanding education. For further information please contact me.

August 2015:
No child should lose their SEN provision as a result of the changes in the SEN Code of Practice. If you have any concerns regarding the provision your child has been offered please contact me.

All settings have a duty to:
  • identify barriers to learning and achievement
  • provide appropriate support for children and young people who are experiencing significant areas of difficulty
  • ensure specific difficulties are identified through the graduated response: assess-plan-do-review
  • regularly assess pupil progress and, where appropriate progress is not being made, appropriate support should be provided
  • regularly monitor support to ensure it is effective; if not, why not? What more can be done?
  • ensure support is tailored to the individual - requiring a full needs assessment through a specialist assessor
It is unlawful for schools to refuse admission to a pupil on grounds of disability or special educational needs, if the pupil has the mental capacity to perform to the standards of the setting.

Where a pupil has been admitted to a school, it is the responsibility of the setting to provide the appropriate support.

There are specific rules for pupils with a statement of SEN/EHC Plan. Any parent can apply directly to the Local Authority for a statutory assessment of Special Educational Needs. If the statutory assessment is refused, parents are entitled to a right of appeal. Any pupil over the age of 16 may request a statutory assessment themselves. All EHC plans, and the transition from statement of SEN to EHC Plan will require a full assessment. Contact me for more details.

Funding for pupils with SEN has been devolved to schools/colleges and the first £6,000 is now part of the whole-school budget. Hence any support for individual pupils is initially to be financed through the School budget. Where support is evidenced to exceed £6,000, an application for additional, top-up (high-needs) funding can be made through the Local Authority. This funding is usually for pupils with severe and long-term disabilities, such as autism or cerebral palsy.

All settings have a legal obligation to provide auxiliary aids, such as coloured overlays for dyslexic pupils, voice activated software, ramps/writing slopes or specially adapted equipment. It is unlawful to charge for auxiliary aids (including communication aids such as PECs) under disability legislation.

Remember, all schools and colleges must adhere to the SEN Code of Practice and the Equality Act (2010).

July 2015

Read my latest article about transition for children and young people with SEND in SEN Magazine: July Edition

May 2015
All schools and Colleges should now have their SEN Report published on their website along with details of how parents can access help and support.
All Annual Reviews will revise the SEN Statutory Statement of SEN into an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan).
All SEN Registers will have been revised to the new 'additional support' category. Where pupils have  been taken off the register, it is imperative that schools continue to monitor their performance and provide the opportunity for additional support if it becomes necessary. All pupils with an SEN diagnosis should be maintained as 'monitoring'.

April 2015:
SEN Magazine: See Pearl's latest article regarding PUPIL VOICE and the SEN Code of Practice (2014): view article here

Coming up: SEN Leader Magazine: Assessing Mathematical Learning Difficulties