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Resources & Useful Contacts

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Resources & Useful Contacts

Waltham Forest SENDIASS has a wide variety of information and advice available across a range of SENDIASS topics. Below you will find links to helpful resources that can be downloaded, saved and printed.

If you are unable to find what you’re looking for, please contact us.

 

In this section you will find template letters which have been created to help you to contact the local authority. The letters contain all of the relevant information you will need and can be tailored to meet your circumstances. Click on the heading to download the template letter.

 

1. Request for EHC needs assessment

This template letter can be used to help you make a request for an EHC Needs Assessment for your child

 

2. Chasing outcome of EHC needs assessment request

This letter can be used when you have not heard from the local authority following 6 weeks since a request for an EHC needs assessment was made

 

3. Requesting amendments to a draft EHC Plan

This template letter can be used to write to the local authority when you receive a draft EHC Plan and you wish to make some changes to the draft plan

 

4. Chasing final EHC plan

This template letter can be used to chase up a final EHC plan and remind the local authority of the 20 week time frame

 

5. Request for a personal budget

This template letter can be used to request a personal budget

 

6. Request for a Direct Payment

This template letter can be used to request a Direct Payment

 

7. Request for a review of the decision to refuse Direct Payments

This template letter can be used to request a review of a decision following refusal of Direct Payments

 

8. Request for a Carers Assessment under Children Act 1989

This template letter can be used to request a Carers Assessment

 

9. Requesting information on the Local Offer

This template letter can be used to request information from the local authority on the Local Offer

 

10. Request for Information, Advice and Support

This template letter can be used to request information, advice and support about matters relating to the special educational needs and disabilities of the children or young people concerned

 

11. Request for an Advocate by a Young Person

This template letter can be used by a Young Person to request the support of an advocate

 

12. Complaint regarding failure to work together

This template letter can be used to make a complaint about the local authority's failure to work jointly together with other partners such as with the Health Service and Social care

 

13. Complaint regarding failure to arrange provision

This template letter can be used if you wish to complain to the local authority for failing to arrange or deliver provision (the help that the child or young person should receive) that is usually detailed in Section F of the EHC Plan

 

14. Chasing the outcome of an Annual Review

This template letter can be used to help chase up the local authority about the outcome of your Annual Review when you have not heard from them following an Annual review meeting (after 4 weeks)

 

Key addresses for template letters

LBWF SEN Team
Wood Street Health Centre
6 Linford Road
Walthamstow
E17 3LA

 

Email: senteam@walthamforest.gov.uk

 

If you know the name of your SEN Officer, you can also address the letter to them.

 

 

The Glossary had been developed to explain commonly used words, terms and jargon which are used relating to Special Educational Needs and/or Disability.

 

Age Weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU)

The AWPU is the amount of money that every maintained school receives for each pupil that is on the school roll, whether or not they have SEN. The value of the AWPU varies from one local authority to another and according to the age of the pupils. For primary age pupils the minimum is £2000 per year. For pupils in Key Stages 3 and 4 the minimum is £3000 per year.

Annual Review

Under the Education Act 1996 local authorities had to carry out a review of every Statement of Special Educational Need at least once every 12 months.

Under the Children and Families Act 2014 local authorities must carry out a review of every EHC plan at least once every 12 months.

Children and Families Act 2014

This law came into force on 1st September 2014. Part 3 of the Act sets out the new law on special educational needs and disability. The Act is supported by the SEND Regulations 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 Years. You can download a copy of the Act at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/contents/enacted

Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

CCGs are groups of professionals that work together to commission health services, ensuring there is sufficient capacity contracted to deliver the necessary services to people.

Direct payment

A payment made directly to a parent or young person to purchase specific services. Under the Children and Families Act 2014 a Direct Payment may be made as part of a Personal Budget so that the parent or young person can buy certain services that are specified in their EHC plan.

Direct payments can only be used for provision provided on the school or college premises if the school or college agree.

Disagreement resolution

Local authorities must provide independent disagreement resolution to help parents and young people resolve disputes with local authorities, schools and other settings about SEND duties and provision.

You can find more information on disagreement resolution in the SEND Code of Practice 11.6 to 11.10.

Early Years Action/Action Plus

This describes the additional or different support for children with SEN given by early years settings under the previous (2001) SEN Code of Practice. This support was for children with SEN who did not have a Statement of Special Educational Need.

Education Act 1996

Part IV of the Education Act 1996 was the legal framework for SEN. Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 now replaces this legislation. However there is a transition period until 2018. This means, for example, that Statements of Special Educational Need that were in place before 1st September 2014 will continue to have legal force until the child or young person transfers to an EHC plan.

Education Funding Agency (EFA)

The EFA is the government agency that funds education for learners between the ages of 3 and 19, and those with learning difficulties and disabilities between the ages of 3 and 25.

The EFA allocates funds to local authorities, which then provide the funding for maintained schools. The EFA directly funds academies and free schools.

EHC Needs Assessment

Local authorities must carry out an EHC needs assessment if a child or young person may need an EHC plan. The assessment is a detailed look at the special educational needs that the child or young person has and what help he or she may need in order to learn.

It is sometimes called a statutory assessment.

You can find out more in the SEND Code of Practice sections 9.45 – 9.52.

Education Health and Care plan (EHC plan)

An EHC plan describes the special educational needs that a child or young person has and the help that they will be given to meet them. It also includes the health and care provision that is needed. It is a legal document written by the local authority and is used for children and young people who have high support needs.

First Tier Tribunal (SEN and disability)

The First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) is a legal body. The Tribunal hears appeals from parents of children with SEN, and young people with SEN, about EHC needs assessments and EHC plans.

You can find out more at https://www.gov.uk/special-educational-needs-disability-tribunal/overview

Graduated approach

The SEND Code of Practice says that schools should follow a graduated approach when providing SEN Support. This is based on a cycle of:

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Do
  • Review

You can find out more about the graduated approach in the SEND code of Practice sections 6.44 to 6.56.

Independent supporter

 

A person recruited by a voluntary or community sector organisation to help families going through an EHC needs assessment and the process of developing an EHC plan. This person is independent of the local authority and will receive training, including legal training, to enable him or her to provide this support.

Keyworker

 

Someone who provides children, young people and parents with a single point of contact to help make sure the support they receive is co-ordinated. A keyworker could be provided directly by a local authority or local health organisation, a school or college, or from a voluntary or private sector body.

Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA)

Learning Difficulty Assessments set out what additional learning support a young person needed when continuing their education into some form of post-16 education or training.

From 1September 2014 Learning Difficulty Assessments will be replaced by EHC plans. Local authorities must transfer young people who already have provision as a result of an LDA to the new SEND system by 1 September 2016 if they are staying in further education or training after that date

Local authority/authorities

 

Local authorities are administrative offices that provide services within their local areas. There are 152 across England which are education authorities. For more information about local government, see https://www.gov.uk/understand-how-your-council-works/types-of-council

Local Offer

The Local Offer, published by every local authority, tells you what support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and their families. It includes information about education, health and care provision. It also gives information about training, employment and independent living for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Local transition plan

Every local authority must publish a plan that explains when and how Statements of Special Educational Need will be transferred to the new system, as well as information for young people in further education and training who receive support as a result of a Learning Difficulties Assessment.

Mainstream school

This is a school that provides education for all children, whether or not they have special educational needs or disabilities.

Mediation

Mediation is a type of disagreement resolution. Every local authority must provide independent mediation to help parents and young people resolve disputes with local authorities about:

  • a decision not to carry out an EHC needs assessment
  • a decision not to draw up an EHC plan
  • the content of a final EHC plan or amended plan
  • a decision not to amend an EHC plan
  • a decision to cease to maintain an EHC plan.

Mediation must also be provided on the health and social care elements of an EHC plan.

You can find more information on mediation in the SEND Code of Practice 11.13 to 11.38.

Mediation advice

The purpose of mediation advice is to give information about what mediation involves. Parents or young people who wish to register an appeal with the First Tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability) must first seek mediation advice. The advice must be factual and unbiased. After mediation advice has been given the parent or young person can choose whether they wish to go to mediation.

However it is not necessary to seek mediation advice if the appeal is only about the name of the school, or college named on the plan, the type of provision specified in the plan or the fact that no school or other institution is named.

You can find more information on mediation advice in the SEND Code of Practice 11.21 to 11.25.

Must

The SEND Code of Practice says in Section i of the Introduction:

…where the text uses the word ‘must’ it refers to a statutory requirement under primary legislation, regulations or case law.

This means that wherever the term ‘must’ is used all the organisations listed in Section iv of the Introduction to the Code have a legal duty to do what the Code says.

Outcome

Section 9.66 of the SEND Code of Practice says:

An outcome can be defined as the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention. It should be personal and not expressed from a service perspective; it should be something that those involved have control and influence over, and while it does not always have to be formal or accredited, it should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (SMART). When an outcome is focused on education or training, it will describe what the expected benefit will be to the individual as a result of the educational or training intervention provided.

Parent Carer Forum

 

A Parent Carer Forum is a representative local group of parents and carers of disabled children who work with local authorities, education, health and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver meet the needs of disabled children and families. They have been established in most local authority areas. For more information please visit Waltham Forest Parent Forum's website.

Personal Budget

A Personal Budget is money set aside to fund support as part of an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) for a child or young person with special educational needs. It can include funds from Education, Health and Social Care.

Parents of children with an EHC plan and young people with an EHC plan can choose whether or not they wish to have a Personal Budget.

Reasonable adjustments

 

Reasonable adjustments are changes schools and other settings are required to make which could include: changes to physical features – for example, creating a ramp so that students can enter a classroom or providing extra support and aids (such as specialist teachers or equipment)

School Action/Action Plus

This describes the additional or different support for children with SEN given by schools under the previous (2001) SEN Code of Practice. This support was for children with SEN who did not have a Statement of Special Educational Need.

Schools Forum

Every local authority has a Schools Forum. It made up of representatives from schools and academies, and some representation from other bodies, such as nursery and 14-19 education providers.

The role of the Schools Forum includes looking at the local formula used to fund schools and SEN provision.

Section 139A Learning Difficulty Assessment

See Learning Difficulty Assessment

SEND Code of Practice

This is the statutory guidance that supports Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

It tells local authorities, early years settings, schools, colleges, heath and social care providers and others what they must and should do to identify, assess and provide for children and young people with SEN or disabilities.

You can download a full copy of the Code at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25

You can download a shorter version for parents at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-guide-for-parents-and-carers

SEN Information Report

All schools must publish on their websites information about their policy and arrangements for supporting children with SEN. This must be kept up to date.

The information that has to be included can be found in Section 6.79 of the SEND Code of Practice.

SEN support

SEN support includes any help for children and young people with SEN that is additional to or different from the support generally made for other children of the same age.

The purpose of SEN support is to help children achieve the outcomes or learning objectives that have been set for them by the school. Schools should involve parents in this process.

SEN support replaces Early Years Action/Action Plus and School Action/Action Plus.

SEND Tribunal

See First Tier Tribunal (SEN and disability)

SEND Pathfinder

SEND Pathfinders were set up in 2011 to test out the reforms the Government were proposing to introduce as part of the Children and Families Act 2014.

You can find more information about the SEND Pathfinders at http://www.sendpathfinder.co.uk

Should

Should is a word that occurs frequently in the SEND Code of Practice.

Section i of the Introduction to the Code says:

… where the text uses the word ‘should’ it means that the guidance contained in this Code must be considered and that those who must have regard to it will be expected to explain any departure from it.

This means that wherever the term ‘should is used all the organisations listed in Section iv of the Introduction to the Code must consider what the Code says. However they may depart from it.

Signposting

Sometimes a service that provides information, advice and support may be asked for help that it is not able to give directly.

When this happens the person seeking information, advice or support may signposted to other service providers. This means that they will be given information, including contact details, about other sources of help.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)

 

A SENCO is a qualified teacher in a school or maintained nursery school who has responsibility for co-ordinating SEN provision.

Early years settings that are part of group provision arrangements are expected to identify an individual to perform the role of SENCO.

Statement of Special Educational Need

Under the Education Act 1996 local authorities issued Statements of Special Educational Need for children whose needs could not be met through the provision normally made by schools.

The Children and Families Act 2014 replaces Statements with EHC plans.

Children and young people who already have a Statement will gradually transfer to the new system. Each council publishes a local transition plan to explain how this will happen.

Statutory guidance

Statutory guidance is guidance that local authorities and other local bodies have a legal duty to follow.

Transfer review

A transfer review replaces the annual review in the academic year that the child or young person transfers to the new SEND system.

A transfer review involves an EHC needs assessment to decide what outcomes and provision need to be included in the EHC plan. This should include education, health and social care needs.

You, your child or the young person must be invited to a meeting as part of the transfer review.

A transfer review ends when the local authority sends you (or the young person) a copy of the EHC plan, or when it informs you (or the young person) that an EHC plan will not be issued.

Each council publishes a local transition plan to explain how and when transfer reviews for children and young people with Statements of Special Educational Need will happen.

 

Legislation and Guidance

In this section you will find key legislation and guidance documents for your reference. Click on the headings below to open the document.

 

Local Offer

Waltham Forest Local Offer logoThe Local Offer includes information about education, health, social care, preparation for adulthood, leisure services and impartial information advice and support. Waltham Forest's Offer aims to help you find your way through information to reach the best solutions for you/your child.

 
Who is it for?


The Local Offer is for:

  • Children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities from birth to 25.
  • Their parents and carers.
  • Practitioners and professionals.

 
What should the Local Offer do?


The Local Offer should:

  • Make it easier to find out what you need to know.
  • Give you information about what is available.
  • Tell you where you can get further information.

 
Where can I find the Local Offer?


You can access the local offer here.

For more information on the Local offer, read the full guide on the Local Offer here.

Useful Contacts

 

Here is a list of useful contacts, both local and national organisations. Their work relates to SEND education, health and social care matters. To visit the website please click on the name of the organisation. 

 

Carers First Waltham Forest

Provide support for adult carers in the borough, they also have an information hub which links in to services provided by Waltham Forest such as carer assessments and information on welfare / benefits.

 

Cereba

Cerebra is the national charity helping children with brain conditions and their families discover a better life together.

 

Citizens Advice Waltham Forest

A local charity which provides free, impartial and confidential information, advice and advocacy services for people in Waltham Forest. They cover a wide range of advice areas including benefits, debt, employment, immigration, housing, direct payment support and care act advocacy. Waltham Forest SENDIASS has direct links into Citizens Advice Waltham Forest so you can ask your SENDIASS officer for more details on the support available. 

 

Contact

A national charity for families with disabled children. They support families with the best possible guidance and information. Helping families to campaign, volunteer and fundraise to improve life for themselves and others. They also have a dedicated information and advice helpline on 0808 808 3555.

 

Early Help

London Borough Waltham Forest's Early Help Service works in partnership with other professionals, parents and carers to intervene early in a child’s life to ensure that children have the best start in life. The service works with families that need additional help, to enable them to access this support when they need it. The aim is to address problems at the earliest opportunity - before they can escalate - and to enable families to support their children to reach their full potential.

 

Family Fund

Family Fund is the UK's largest charity providing grants for disabled children and their families. Last year they provided financial support to over 70,000 families. 

 

Healthwatch Waltham Forest

Healthwatch Waltham Forest is the independent ‘consumer champion’ for health and social care. They were created by the Health & Social Act 2012 to represent the views of patients and the public in our local area.

Healthwatch Waltham Forest make sure your views on health and social care services in Waltham Forest are heard by those who plan and manage the services.

 

IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice) 

IPSEA offers independent legally based advice, support and training to help get the right education for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability. 

 

KIDS

KIDS is a charity committed to delivering a consistently high level of service throughout our extensive and diverse range of provision. They offer a wide range of services to children and young people with SEND and their families, including mediation services.

 

Limes

The Limes Community and Children's Centre provides a fully inclusive, safe space for children and young people – with or without disabilities – to play, learn, develop and achieve.

 

Scope

They provide support and information if your child has a physical impairment, learning disability or any other condition. 

 

SENTAS 

Special Educational Needs Transport Advocacy Service.  

 

Waltham Forest SEND Team

The Local Authorities SEND Service. SEND is the service for children and young people with special educational needs and/or learning disabilities aged 0 to 25 years.

The vision statement of the SEND is:

 

"To pursue excellence in our work with families with children and young people with SEND in a spirit of mutual co-operation; to support the improvement of the lives of children and young people and to enable them to reach their full potential".

 

Who to contact
Telephone: 0208 496 6503
E-mail: senteam@walthamforest.gov.uk

 

SOS SEN

A national charity which supports parents and young people with SEN Support. 

 

Waltham Forest Parent Forum

A voluntary group of parents and carers of disabled children and young people aged from 0 to 25 in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Their aim is to  provide feedback on the development and direction of services for disabled children and young people in the borough to key policy makers in the borough and to support families through sharing experiences and building networks.