Karen contacted Holly Loxton, Team Manager – Early Help SEND, for clarity on the EHCP process and the mysterious panel meetings
Holly Loxton“The process for request an EHC Needs Assessment has not changed in that this can be done with school or by parent. We consider on the legal threshold of whether there is SEN and whether needs/ provision identified in the request may require access to support above a school level of input. If assessment is agreed, we write to any professionals as relevant to request their advice. Even at this stage it may not lead to an EHC Plan. Once the advice is collected, we consider the decision of whether to issue an EHC Plan at SEN Panel. If a plan is agreed, we would draft the plan and send out to all involved for feedback before finalising. If at either the request for EHC Needs Assessment or consideration of EHC Plan decision we turn this down, parents can access a phone call/ meeting to discuss further, mediation or appeal rights (we would always suggest some discussion with us first to make sure there is nothing that has been missed along the way or further information to consider).
Currently there are two weekly SEN panels that are centrally lead, both consider decision to assess (although these are mainly decided by team manager), Decision to issue an EHC Plan and provision required within the plan/ funding. These have reps from SEN, EP service, Health, Specialist Teachers, Schools, Social Care – this is on a rota basis and varies each time. We don’t have parent or school reps for specific children and is considered on the paperwork provided. There is ongoing work as part of our transforming SEND project and how decisions are made is something that is being considered further.
We are always happy to discuss any specific concerns that parents have regarding individual decisions or circumstances as advice does vary between children dependent on needs and requests as well as what has been tried as part of ongoing response and support”
Holly informed Karen that there was a parents event, Let’s Talk taking place on the 2nd December. This even is a platform for parents to voice their opinions on the changes in SEND services.