The SEND team always seeks to apply a solution focused approach to help secure the most appropriate provision and support for every child. We work within the framework as set out in the SEND Code of Practice, which provides structure to our problem solving. We recognise that every case is different and by utilising our team's experience and expertise, in partnership with families and our partners, we are able to problem solve the most tricky and challenging cases. This can include a multi-professionals meeting, options appraisal and opening up negotiation with providers, schools and placements.
You can also read more about how decisions are made by the SEND Team and SEND Panel in Chapter 10 of the Golden Binder.
Contacting the SEND Team for updates and clarification
Any parents, carers or young people who have concerns or questions regarding the progress of assessment, provision and detail of an education, health and care (EHC) plan should contact the EHCP Co-ordinator Assistants as the first point of contact. The team have worked in the area of special needs for some time. The EHCP Co-ordinator Assistants support the Education, Health and Care Plan Coordinators in the essential management of each family’s case, and therefore will have knowledge about children and young people you may have queries about. Many queries relating to statutory assessment processes and the stages of the process, annual review queries or level of support can be answered very effectively and efficiently at this level.
Further to this, if you have still have concerns, you should contact your EHCP Co-ordinator. You can request a meeting to discuss face to face.
From that point, unresolved concerns or disagreements should follow a clear escalation process within the SEND Team to the Senior Case Worker, the Principal and then the Associate Director of SEND.
There is no set timescale for escalating an issue to the next level because all situations are different and will require varying lengths of time to resolve. However, when an issue is being dealt with an indication of a realistic timescale should be given and if it seems this is not going to be met an update should be given with an explanation as to why there is going to be a delay. If the service user is not satisfied with the length of time the issue is taking to resolve or the reasons given for the delay and the actions that are being taken this should be escalated to the next level.
You can find contact details for SEND Team members here or ask your coordinator:
Disagreement resolution - independent support and advice
All parents, carers and young people have access to free independent support and advice through the local KIDS Richmond and Kingston SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS), the national KIDS Disagreement Resolution Service or the local Independent Support Partnership. You can approach these services at any time to ask for advice or support.
Other organisations may also be able to offer helpful support.
What if we still cannot reach an agreement or you still have concerns?
To pursue a complaint or issues with SEND team processes, service or staff after failing to resolve with AfC, you would need to follow the individual Council complaints procedures.
You can also feedback directly to the SEND Team at any time using our two feedback surveys:
SEND TEAM Bitesize Feedback (opens a new web site)
Education, Health and Care Plan Survey (opens a new web site)
Concerns or a disagreements with decisions made during or as a result of the EHCP process
If you do not agree with decisions Achieving for Children have made during the EHCP process, there are statutory mediation and appeal processes that can be followed.