EHCP Assessment: SNJ’s “Get started” Checklist

If you think your child’s evident (to you) needs will ensure that they will get the help they need, think again. There is a lot of information available, but it can be confusing and sometimes, misleading (even by your local authority). If you believe your child or young person requires a full Education, Health, and Care needs assessment, with a view to obtaining an EHCP, you will find the steps needed on your local authority's Local Offer website. However, be aware that their policies must be in line with the law, so it's a great idea to check out the IPSEA website as this has invaluable information about EHCPs and assessments.

What do I need to do?

For your part, you will need to assemble any reports or letters from any assessments they have had. Your child’s school should also compile any reports to show all reasonable steps to help your child have been taken within their usual resources and still, they have not made the progress expected.

This would usually be in the form of SEN Support using an assess, plan, do, review process. However, it is a myth that there is a set number of APDR "cycles" to be gone through -- not even one-- if your child's needs are clearly in need of significant support.

Additionally, they do not need to be so many years "behind". It is individual - indeed, many children on the autistic spectrum are very bright and can achieve well in comparison to other children, but their social and communication difficulties mean they are not reaching their individual potential. Don't accept being told "we have 'worse' children than yours and they don't have EHCPs" or a version thereof -- that's nothing to do with your child and is completely beside the point. Don't accept either being told, 'we don't do EHCPs', 'we've reached our quota for Ed Psych/ASD/SaLT/EHC assessments', 'we don't do EHCPs for Dyslexia/dyspraxia/autism/ADHD etc'. The diagnosis is immaterial, the need is what matters.

If you want to see the flow of the SEND system, take a look at our SNJ SEND Flow Charts that we co-produced with the Department for Education. These are free to use, download, print, laminate, anything -- non commercially. Why not let us know how you're using them?

Get Started

Parent co-production is vital

The SEND Code of Practice (2014) emphasises that parents are central to the process of helping the child thrive and succeed at school. In other words, the parents/carers and the teachers are all on the same side and are creating a circle of support around the child. So, in theory, you should be in close contact about what is working and what could be tried.

In reality, this may be far from the truth. Contact may be sporadic, you may not feel welcome, you may feel judged or may even feel that the school is failing your child.

So, whatever your situation, here are some quick and dirty tips that will get you off to a good start:

1. Find out how the school thinks your child is doing

  • Speak to your child’s head teacher or the Special Educational Needs Coordinator, (SENCo) about your concerns. 
  • Find out if they are already on SEN Support and they haven’t told you (which by law they should have) and for how long they have been on the SEN register.
  • Ask to be provided with a record of the educational and/or behavioural interventions used and comments have about how they have worked or not.
  • If they are already on some level of support, ask to see evidence of improvements. Find out who delivered the intervention if you don't already know, over what period, how it has been monitored for progress and whether your child has achieved their target. Get concrete evidence for whatever is said has been achieved and that the improvements have been achieved consistently. 

2. Gather together and review any reports or tests your child has ever had done.

  • This means all their school reports and exam results, any referrals they have had to Paediatricians, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapists, Educational Psychologists, etc. Make a file up if you haven’t already and put them in chronological order. You are building up a paper profile of your child because you will need to prove that they need the help you say they do.
  • Review them for correlations – are they all saying the same thing, for eg, your child is inattentive, finds finishing work difficult, wanders, finds sitting still hard etc. Note this down including which document you saw the information.
  • If you have the facilities, scan as PDFs or photograph all your letters in to your computer so that you never lose them and you can print the ones you want off, when you need them - NEVER send originals. You can then organise them into folders on your computer/cloud so they documents are easy to find.

3. Find out what your child should be achieving.

  • The LA will argue that just because a child is achieving below average does not mean that they have special educational needs or that they need SEN Support or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Children in each class will have a broad spectrum of achievement according to their individual potential. Harsh as it seems, some children will never be top of the class but that doesn’t mean that they have SEN. Even if your child is top of the class, it doesn’t mean they do not have SEND. So, how can you show that your child has a greater potential than their current achievements point to?
  • Again, look at the evidence/reports you have for signs that the teacher thinks they are not “trying hard enough” “daydreaming” “not concentrating” “not achieving as highly as they could” Also look for comments about low attainment when you know they are more capable than that – remember you know your child best. 

4. Ask for an Educational Psychology assessment.

  • Depending on your child, you may also need a speech and language assessment, an autism outreach assessment and/or an occupational therapy assessment. 
  • Each LA has its own Ed Psychologists, although there is a shortage nationally. The SEND Code of Practice 2015 says when an SEN is suspected, external experts should be called in at an early stage. If you have a good SENCO, they may already have commissioned one or more reports. However, your child’s school may be resistant to this for funding reasons or because they don’t believe you. 
  • If you can afford it, you might want to consider commissioning your own private Ed Psych assessment. These are often far better quality than an LA report but can be costly and there is sometimes a long wait. 
  • Try to build up and maintain a positive relationship with your school’s SENCo and class teacher if possible. You are supposed to be a vital part of the team, according to the SEND CoP. 

5. If applicable, get a medical diagnosis for your child.

  • Your school should not wait for a diagnosis of a learning difficulty before they put support into place. They should be able to see from your child what support is needed. If your child has a mental health need, the use of nurture techniques or groups should be a consideration, or support from a school-provided counsellor.
  • Some parents don’t like “labelling” their child, which is fine, until you want to get the state to provide them with the help they need. If little Johnny is dyslexic, ASD, ADHD, dyscalculic or any other hidden disability, you need to be able to prove that this is not just your opinion, even if you are a doctor yourself.
  • Take your child to your GP and ask for a referral to a paediatrician or to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). A firm medical diagnosis is harder to ignore. If you can afford it, you can also see a paediatrician or child psychiatrist privately for a diagnosis, which may be much quicker. You can then opt back into the NHS for continued treatment or shared care under your GP.
  • If your child has an Undiagnosed rare condition, focus on the symptoms that they have. You may also be able to draw parallels with known conditions for some of their symptoms that already have useful information, for example, posture, visual difficulties, medication needs, attention difficulties, sensory issues, accessibility requirements and so on.

6. Do Your Research.

  • Knowledge is power and in such a David v. Goliath match as the local authority vs the parent (despite SEND legislation stressing co-production or working together), this is even more important. By all means, find out what your LA’s SENDpolicies are (they should be on their Local Offer website) but remember a local authority's own policy DOES NOT TRUMP THE LAW. If the policy is over and above what is legally required, then great. If it’s less, then the law is applicable.
  • When you read the LA’s information, bear in mind that it may not be legally compliant. Always check against the IPSEA website or the legislation itself. 
  • Read the SEND Code of Practice which you can download in pdf format  There are easy read versions available and a Parents' Guide that SNJ had some input into but if you want the unedited facts (and you will if you want to quote from parts of the CoP) nothing beats the Code itself. This is the main page from where you can find the government publications on the 'latest' tab
  • If you want to understand it more easily, visit IPSEA's website which is packed with legally-backed information. Make this a vital port of call whatever age or SEND stage your child is at.

7. Work out a strategy

  • Once you have the information you need, you need to know what to do with it. If your LA has a document outlining its policies, read and analyse it. Make it work for you. Use its own policies and the law to show that your child isn’t getting what they should be. After all, if you can’t prove this, your case will be considerably weaker. 
  • If you decide to apply for an Education, Health and Care needs assessment, try to get the support of your SENCO, but make sure you put in the request yourself. 
  • You will be expected to contribute your own submission about your child. If you need support to do this, check the IPSEA website and there are a number of articles on SNJ about writing a parental statement. 
  • When you send in your submission, don’t use the LA’s own form if you don’t want to. Write as much as you can that is relevant to your case and refer to reports you have to back them up. Approach it like you are writing a report at work or at college. This may take many redrafts and a lot of time. You may want to ask a partner, family member or friend to help. You can also ask someone from the local SEND IAS Service or a local parent support group. IPSEA, SOS!SEN and other charities may also be able to help you. 

8. Stay strong

  • There is no doubt that this process is stressful and often depressing. Many parents give up along the way, which is what the LA is hoping for. Often an LA will refuse an initial application because they know that a large proportion of parents will not appeal. However, of those who do, many do not have to go to Tribunal as the LA will change its mind and conduct an assessment once you have appealed – or even if you tell them you are going to appeal. Of those parents who do go to the SEND tribunal, 95% are successful so it is worth persisting. 
  • If your child has severe and visible needs, you would think that you would be less likely to be reading this as those cases are self-evident and easier to prove. However, this is not always true. Many times the provision offered is inadequate or the placement is inappropriate. 
  • Nevertheless, it is where a child has a hidden disability that things get trickier. It is completely true that only the most determined will get what they want. You must look after your own physical and mental health in order to help your child. That means eating healthily, sleeping enough (not easy if your child is up a lot in the night), Finding talking therapy via your GP if needed, trying mindfulness or meditation, or just doing whatever works for you to keep you going. 
  • If you have a set back, take some time to process it, but try not to give up. Your child is depending on you to help them thrive and you are your child’s greatest asset and best advocate.

9. Get help

  • Not everyone is great at reading and analysing great tracts of text and complex documents. This is sometimes because the parents themselves have an ASD or are dyslexic; these conditions do, after all, have a genetic component. If this sounds like you, then, as above, ask a friend or family member for support, or approach some of the excellent charities as above,that can help.
  • Facebook has many groups of parents who are in a similar position to you. They can be great sources of strength but do not take legal advice from anyone unless they are suitably qualified. 
  • Unfortunately, SNJ does not have the capacity to offer personal support and we are not legally qualified. However, we do offer an “Ask IPSEA” service for non-urgent questions.
  • If you feel that you cannot do the application and you can afford it, there are a number of SEND specialist qualified lawyers who can help. There are also SEND Advocates but please be careful as, while some are excellent, they are often not legally qualified. Ask for their success rates and for testimonials from previous clients but be aware that an advocate is not regulated by any official body as solicitors are.
  • And although the law has changed, you may still find the tips for gathering your case together in our SNJ Statementing Guide Book handy, you can find details here

You can download this information as a PDF

Download the charts with colour background, one at a time.
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Download our Annual Review Flow chart
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Download our SEN Support chart (PDF)

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  1. I am helping a family friend who’s daughter has had an SEN since starting school; she suffers from speech, language and communication difficulties as well as poor fine motor skills and I highly suspect autism. She is now in 6th form but in the past 18 months has experienced bowel and bladder issues and is unable to self care with her toiletting. Her school absolutely deny that she needs help and send her home everyday soiled where she has been left in her own faeces due to her inability to clean up.
    In addition, in September they moved her into a class with younger more able peers with a curriculum that she cannot cope with. She now only attends part time as aprt of this year includes external work and mainstream college placements – both are without carers and an expectancy to get herslef there which is both impossible and unsafe for her. In June last year she was stripped of her residential status.
    The only alternative was to attend mainstream college; she has never even been to mainstream school.

    We applied for residential special needs college in another county as there was nowhere in the locality that could offer an appropriate level of curriculum coupled with a need for residential care in order for her to continue with her life skills learning as well as relief for her parents who are both in ill health. To cut a long story short, funding was refused and much weight was put on the fact that when asked, she told the school and Connexions adviser that she would like to stay at school. The fact of the matter is that if anyone had asked her from any school or college if she wanted to attend, she would have said ‘yes’ – she likes to please.
    Sadly for her, she lacks the communication and process skills to make a balanced decision for her future and because of her photgraphic memory she can repeat words that she doesn’t know the meaning of and can inform you which page the wordsearch was on in last weeks magazine. Her teachers cannot see beyond this and so insist that she is far more capable than she is.
    Similarly, Social Care advised me that her opinions were taken into consideration because ‘she has capacity’. How does anyon decide who ‘has capacity’ and how much you can or can’t do before you have it?

    They have now amended her SEN to remove boarding, etc and we are in the process of appealing via a solictor and are heading for SENDist.
    It is sad to note that the school andConnexions have successfully obtained funding for other kids at the school to attend independent special needs colleges; kids that have lesser needs than her and would be more able to cope with the mainstream education that was offered.

    I can genuinely understand why people wak away as it is without a doubt the hardest thing i have done in my life and we have not even achieved anything – yet.
    I know I need to remain positive and I do remain resolved to continue the fight. I look at her when she returns from school and feel bad that she doesn’t even realise how badly she has been failed by those who should be looking out for her.

    If anyone has any help or advice it would be gratefully appreciated.

  2. Special Needs Mum

    I think you’re doing the only thing that can be done – fight it at Tribunal to get the help she needs. Good luck – hope it turns out the right way

  3. I believe that is one of the such a lot significant information for me. And i am happy reading your article. However wanna observation on few common issues, The site style is perfect, the articles is truly nice : D. Just right process, cheers

  4. Sophie White

    Helpful to have this sort of thing for parents – the LA don’t know the children and have never met them so having the bits of paper is necessary as the LA have to have the evidence to issue a statement and unfortunately schools can’t always be relied upon to give it. I don’t think every parent experiences a battle with the LA, I certainly haven’t, but I can appreciate that this may depend where you live which isn’t fair!

  5. Joanne

    Hi – can you help me My son is statemented with special needs and has 15 hours support. The school now want to use this funding for a support teacher to float around all 3 classes. How can I dispute this. They say they want my son to be more independent.

    1. Hi, What is the exact wording in your son’s statement? Does it specify 15 hours of one to one?
      What is the need specified in section 2 that provides 15 hours support to meet the need in section 3? Let me know and we can then advise what is the best course of action.
      Debs 🙂

  6. S

    On bottom of this post, the link to SEN – filling out the assessment form -yipes! doesn’t seem to work – was just about to recommend it to someone but can’t find it!

  7. MumToC

    We have had a first version of statement issues to us but I feel it is very weak mostly as the LA EPs report was weak having done no new assessment. At this point can we submit a report from an independent E P? Any advice would be appreciated

    1. Yes you have 15 days from the date of receipt to ask for changes to be made to the draft statement. Or tell the LA why it is not acceptable, as well as suggest any school for Part 4. You can also ask for a meeting with the SEN area manager, which stops the clock while a date is found. They cannot refuse this. If you have an independent report, they will rightly want to know why you did not submit it with the other documents to the panel, but it is not too late.
      If you ask for a meeting (recommended) make a list of all the points you need to make at the meeting and take a notepad. Also take a friend, spouse or supporter to help make notes.
      First step: Call your SEN case officer and ask for a meeting with their manager regarding the statement. If you haven’t got my SEN statementing guide (Amazon), it’s a good idea to read it to help ensure you’ve been through it with a fine toothed comb. Good luck and let me know how you get on.

  8. Latasha

    Hi there,

    I am just starting the long process of applying for a statement for my daughter who is 13. She is in a mainstream school but keeps getting excluded as she has tourettes and says inappropriate things and has anger rages when things are not dealt with straight away. She also has ADHD and ODD which obviously does not help with the situation. I have asked the school for years for a statement to be applied for but only just learnt that i myself as her parent can ask for this of which i have done. She has received DLA since she was about nine and has always had the same thing said at school that she is a lovely girl she just does outrageous things. If anyone has any suggestions on what can or could help me through my journey ahead please feel free to let me know. x

  9. L Thomas

    Are there any real life stories of parents and practitioners successfully working together (in the new involved way we anticipate) – to actually drive positive relationships/outcomes? Some light at the end of the Reforms tunnel, anywhere?

    It takes two to dance the new dance, the reforms tango. Yet parents are not getting enough real support in addition to reading material, especially those who are not living in EHCP land, which is the vast majority. Learning a new dance requires some practical learning eventually, ideally before parents apply for assessment and trip up. At the moment it seems that most of us still have to rely on SENCo’s and Connextions for wise and impartial insight. As before.

    IS, in as far as it goes, SNJ info and especially the details of organisations that can help parents access resources (Watford Mencap by the way) will help many parents to polish up their technique; to be able to better defend their child’s education or participate as an equal expert in planning for their child’s outcomes, given an opportunity that is. But too many parent carers don’t have on-line lives, or IS and not everyone learns best from print alone. For this reason the COP insists the Local Offer must be available off line too. Yet this week we hear the demise of many proactive Early Support training initiatives, including the parent carer workshops into which so many funds were poured in recent years in the name of supporting parents through and beyond Reform changes. What signal does this send out?

    Learning together, parents with parents and parents with practitioners is another way to enhance practical learning and skills. Developing partnership learning ahead of partnership working is a proven benefit to children in schools where Achievement for All have been active. I can’t help but feel the government reforms are missing a trick, to make so little provision for parent learning and practitioner joint learning. Less than 1% of my LA’s pathfinder grant was spent on parent learning or information events.

    When will the Government/LA’s realise that it takes two to tango and that (some) training for (some) practitioners and variable reading material for parents is not equally skilling up both sides in these so called ‘involved’ partnerships? Parent’s I suspect do most of the care work but get the least investment and support for the valuable work they do. So, our ability to work as partners with our education, health or LA services could well remain the biggest challenge to our children and young people’s future outcomes – as before. No tango!

    In my LA we have some of the best and the worst involvement practices; we are trying to create balance, piloting parent led workshops on classroom SEN, EHCP and outcomes planning in partnership with SEND IASS. So far, only for parents, because not everyone appreciates the relevance of parent trainer perspective to practitioner learning. Which is a shame for a Pathfinder which led the way in parent carer participation in practitioner learning events when all eyes were on it.

    Are any other LA’s trying out new moves, getting with the partnership learning groove?

    To Tango or not to Tango, what will they choose?

    Is it ok to rant here?!

    1. Excellent points and we have asked parents to send in examples of good practice and experiences to us but have had no response.
      We’ll continue to add to our info pages as we can (going through two EHCPs myself right now- but would love to hear some good experiences!

  10. Judith Newman

    You mention help from Independent Supporters and that it is only available once a request for assessment has been made. Why haven’t you mentioned the statutory Information, Advice and Support services that can support parents from when SEN is first suspected, and continue helping all the way through the assessment process and beyond?

    1. I do believe I have invited them to write an article for us, but haven’t yet received anything 🙁
      As to why they’re not mentioned, I just forgot as I was writing, as always, with limited time. This article is still a WIP.

      1. Jacqueline

        I am a parent of a young person with SEN and a SEND information advice and support service coordinator, I know that SEND IAS services work tirelessly to ensure parents have the right support. We provide IAS to support all concerns and SEN processes including the statutory EHC plan process. It’s a shame you haven’t received a reply Tania I’m sure many SEND IAS services would be only too happy to provide you with something to help parents understand all that’s available to them.

          1. Jacqueline

            Thank you for the opportunity, that would excellent! I will get back to you as soon as possible. May be after the end of term due to workload.

      2. Hi there,
        I work for Barnardos Independent Support Service in Bradford and would like to write an article on Independent Support and how we can guide parents and young people through the EHCP process. Hopefully the article can make things clear about our service and what information we can provide.
        Would this be okay?
        Ayesha Ismail
        Independent Supporter
        Barnardos, Bradford.

        1. Absolutely! Thank you! We were only just discussing in out SNJ meeting today how confused many people were with all the different names and groups- please do! Email us at team [at]

          1. Hi Tania,
            Sorry for the delay, I will be sending an email through today with some information about Independent Supporters in Bradford.
            The email title will be Independent Supporters Information – Barnardos
            Ayesha Ismail

  11. Nikki Zumba Fothergill

    we applied for an EHCP and got turned down because … ‘we chose to privately educated our child’! the LA say he has needs but they don’t have to do anything at all. he has a diagnosis of DCD/dyspraxia, he’s got apraxia of speech so sees SALT, he has OT and physio treatement and assessments, he has irlen syndrome and suffers with sensory overload. it’s very frustrating. if we pull him out to put him in state education he wouldn’t cope. he would have a meltdown, which is not nice and usually results in him throwing things, hitting people, screaming and crying with no way of helping himself. he’s left handed and i believe he’s also dyslexic. it’s such a frustrating position to be in.

    1. Nikki. That’s wrong.. An LA has responsibility for the SEN of your child if they live in their area. That’s it.
      Nothing to do with their current placement. Go back to them and tell them they are wrong or, better yet, call IPSEA to get the chapter and verse as I can’t get hold of it myself right at this moment (in bed…) it is in the new SEND Code of Practice

  12. Amanda Parkin

    Does anyone know whether I can insist on a final plan being issued now they are in breach of the deadlines? My son is transitioning to a local college from a residential placement. The Authority are in serious breach of the timelines and have ignored so far my request to issue a final plan which will enable me to lodge and appeal?

    1. Have you seen a draft yet? Are you happy with what’s in it? I know that LAs, particularly the 16+ area, are having huge difficulty getting to grips with the new system. The 16+ teams are new to legally enforceable plans and language and training has been patchy.
      We had a similar situation, so I sent the college a draft and also my own table with need, specified provision and outcome detailed so they had a good idea of what my son needed.
      I felt it was better to work with the 16+ team to get the right plan. However, every case is different. You would be well advised to seek advice from IPSEA, SOS!SEN or similar.

  13. Nicola Blackett Was Slater

    This is bloody brilliant, I am just about to write the letter to request a statement for my very hidden aspie daughter (7). We have all the evidence, scared, anxious, but ready!

  14. Ilona

    Hi! Would you be able to advice me on Home educating and EHCP matter?
    I am educating my 6 year old son at home. I mentioned to our Educ. Psychologist that i would like to have extra funding (for day to day school expenses and trips to zoo, curriculum etc.) and she suggested to start EHCP application. Right now we are in the process of drawing out EHCP with LA (today was the first meeting with specialists involved) a i hoped to include Personal budget as means of supporting my part as a parent. Today i was told that i might not get funding, because of some Bands that they have, we are under school Band, but not really. They need to ask school if what i am spending is reasonable and their board will have to decide…Basically we are first HE family in our area (London, Wandsworth) to have EHCP, to ask for Personal budget etc.They have to see if i do have extra expenditure (like private speech therapy, private doctors visits to help with digestive issues -which they said they won’t cover.

    Are there laws, guidelines i can point them out in order to make LA aware that i am entitled as a parent for Personal budget? I read SEND code of practice, but it is still difficult to apply it to my situation. Because i am a school and a parent-all in one.

    Another questions is: can i and how to stop the process of EHCP if i se that i won’t get what i want and Personal Budget? We are doing so well at home, my son is reading, writing , became curious in learning, asks questions engages… I see EHCP as a box that i am no willing to take upon myself, unless there is monetary support for us.

    Please advice,

    Kind regards,

  15. Marguerite Haye

    Hi IIona,
    I wrote many plans for children educated at home. Does your son have a special educational need? If yes and he is statement or has an EHCP, the personal budget needs to be linked to an outcome.

  16. Talia Sherrin-Miller

    Hi, I work for Independent Support Kent. I would just like to clarify for everyone that Independent Support (Not the statutory Information, Advice and Support Service) is run by different charities in each county, therefore services may differ slightly, as does the EHCP paperwork. Independent Support Kent offers support to families undergoing a transition as well as making a new application – from thinking about applying and writing the letter onwards. This service should be advertised via the local council and schools, in Kent families are not automatically assigned to our service, instead we promote our free independent service throughout the county and work with schools so that everyone knows we are here for them. I would be more than happy to answer any questions and signpost families to the help they need. Feel free to email at

    1. Thanks for that Talia. We spoke about IS with Ed Timpson when I met him this week along with PCF members, NNPCF reps, CDC and CaF. We impressed upon him the need to maintain the IS service in particular. If you’d like to answer questions via SNJ, let me know

  17. Loo

    I’m waiting the hear from the LEA on whether or not they will assess my son. I’ve just come back from the meeting with school who tell me that in their experience if they assess and agree his needs need further resources to be met the LEA just gives the school a set amount of money (£6,000) to top up the £6,000 they already have in their budget. That wasn’t my understanding. I
    thought the resources provided by the LEA is determined by the child’s needs and not that it was a pre-fixed amount, or indeed limited? Any advice please?

    1. Hi Loo
      The funding for an EHCP is supposed to be for that child, not to be out in a pot for all children with SEN. It is to fund the needs stated in the EHCP to go towards meeting the outcome for that child. If the school is sharing it out, they are not following the law.
      For legal help, check out as they have lots of fact sheets.

  18. Loo

    Thanks Tania. It’s not so much that the school don’t intend to use any funding for my son, but they seem to think there is a pre-determined amount set at £6,000 that comes with an EHCP rather than what ever resources are required to support the child. I’ve just never heard that before.

    1. The first £6000 of SEN funding for the EHCP comes from the school’s delegated budget. Anything over that comes from the LA. But that doesn’t mean it gets spread out- it’s supposed to be for the particular child, it’s just that anything under £6k comes from the delegated budget that the LA gives to the school. Hope that helps a bit. Contact a family can also help with this.

  19. sonya1000

    Hello can anyone tell me if there is any advantage to paying for a private diagnosis – I think my child maybe autistic? I could ask my local authority but I would just like to know the pros and cons. Also if my child is autistic do you recommend the state education or private?

  20. Owl2

    Hi, my child has medical diagnosis of Williams syndrome (can cause mild-severe learning difficulties along with other things). They are not school age yet but we are looking at getting EHCP process started. They have OT and SLT though only showing mild delay so far- would LEA be likely to agree to an assessment if we have diagnosis and is the request better coming from a professional rather than us?

    1. Hi have you spoken to your child’s SENCo? What support are they already getting? Presumably they are on SEN Support? If you apply for an EHCP the LA will want to know what has already been tried and why you feel your child needs help at statutory level. A diagnosis is helpful but far from a guarantee as EHCPs are education-based. OT and SLT can be education or health provision, so if your child needs them to enable them to access the education curriculum, then they would be education provision. Schools get £6000 delegates funding for each child with SEN. If any interventions are not working or are likely to top that budget if funded by the school, then yes consider an application. Read our getting started guide for more help, above. (Perhaps bookmark it.)
      As to your question, it is better if you are in the driving seat but with written support from the start professional.

      1. Owl2

        Thanks Tania,
        The nursery SENCO has put together an IEP for him to assist communication and understanding. I think we’ll probably need to wait until he moves into their pre-school to see fully what extra support he needs.
        Thanks for your help

        1. The EHCP covers 0-25, so your child is already old enough. If you are sure he will need that support, then begin to gather as much evidence as you can, including what is known about Williams syndrome and learning difficulties.
          Ask the nursery to contact the LA and request an Educational Psychology assessment if you haven’t had one done. They SHOULD be able to tell you about the EHCP process for the Early Years in your area. Also, this link is to the DfEs guide for Early Years in the SEND Code of Practice. Read this and pass it on to your nursery too.
          Getting the ball rolling with an Ed Psych assessment is a good start.
          If you are looking for people to talk to online, there will be Favebook groups and also internationally, there is (tell them SNJ sent you!)

  21. Ingrid Senger-Perkins

    My boy is on the waiting list for ASD assessment. He is 10! His new school say that his symptoms are quite severe. This is something we have been fighting for, for years. Now looking at the possibility of an EHCP. Love this checklist. It looks daunting and scary, but if he needs it, I will take it all the way.

  22. Susan Statham

    Hi Guys, we had a private ed pych coming into school in around a months time, he is going to do a full asessment on my son, the peadatrician has said she will decide on making a decision of a diagnoses of Asd when she sees the report and also the one from Salt, we have had the Salt report back which says he has socail communication difficulties. Also not so long back we saw a private Ot who basically said he has Sensory proccessing disorder. My son also has Hypercussis. He is very violent, hes always threatening to kill himself and often tries, although he does not show these sides at school, but school notice other things. Anyway school took my son off his iep months ago, but he is still on the Sen register which he has been since he started the nursery there. Now I am extremley worried about high school, if school apply for an Ehcp will they send someone to assess him? if they do if hes good in school we wont get it? if he gets a diagnoses would we get one??

    1. Hi your on should be on SEN Support now, ask the senco to explain this to you. It is better for you to apply for the EHCP; you can ask the LA for an independent supporter to help you through the process.
      Have a look at our Flow charts (link in left sidebar) for how everything works. Gather all your documents and also write down your child’s history from birth, carefully noting all the difficulties, when they appeared etc. Follow the advice above, step by step. Ensure the school will write a supportive statement and ask to see it before they submit it or if they won’t, ask them for a copy Somyou know what they have written. Do not send originals of any of your reports. Only send copies. Number everything you send and list everything on a separate sheet so nothing gets missed. If you need further help, let us know. Good luck!

  23. Susan Statham

    Tania school say they are supporting him and they are dont get me wrong, the learning mentor will see him some days and he has a box where he will put happy thoughts and sad thoughts, he was in a sensory group however they dont have the money for that at the moment, he is supposed to be on a sensory diet all day everyday but i cannot be hypocritical i do not always follow it 100% myself so how can I say anything about school not doing it? there was a point where he was kicking off going into school for around 3months, not getting in till around 12pm some days, thats not happening now, he does go through the reception now and not the main doors, He will not go to the toilet in school, i brought this up at the Taf the other day and the next day the learning mentor took him to the toilet and he went. So they do try.

    1. I’m sure they do, but if they are not meeting his needs, then they need to look into why that is. Your son has one shot at education and if they are not making progress then you should have a meeting and decide together how they can support you to apply for statutory assessment. If they apply and. You are turned down, they can’t appeal, so you should put in the application. if you haven’t already, you should also ask for a referral to CAMHS. It can come from your school or your GP.

  24. Susan Statham

    Thanks Tania, he is progressing, probably a little behind but not drastically, although i havent actually been told what his levels are, i always am told hes doing ok and he probably is,i just think he struggles with english.

  25. Susan Statham

    Thanks for all your help Tania i really appreciate it, i thought me may have hadmore difficulty because he doesnt have a learning difficulty, but now youve said that, that makes me feel more confident.

    1. Don’t get me wrong – an EHCP is education based. But many different things can input on that. The SEND Code of Practice identifies the four areas of need as
      1. Communication and interaction
      2. Cognition and learning
      3. Social, mental and emotional health
      4. Sensory and/or physical
      Many children and young people have difficulties that fit clearly into one of these areas; some have needs that span two or more areas; for others the precise nature of their need may not be clear at the outset. It is therefore important to carry out a detailed individual assessment of each child or young person and their situation at the earliest opportunity to make an accurate assessment of their needs.
      Hope that makes it clearer. Searching the site will bring up lots more info.

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