From September 2014 Children that have Special Educational Needs will have an Education Health Care Plan rather than a Statement of Special Educational Needs. It is proposed (June 2014) that the system will work as follows in Sunderland:


1. Early years and education providers will use their ‘best endeavours’ to identify and meet a child or young person’s SEN.  There should be a graduated approach (assess, plan, do, review) and, where appropriate, involvement of external specialists.  A two-level approach is recommended: “Action” and “Action Plus”, with the trigger for Action Plus generally being the involvement of one or more external specialists.


2. Criteria for Action, Action Plus and for proceeding to an Education, Health and Care Plan will be produced by the authority by September 2014, with guidance for the four areas of SEN:

• Communication and interaction
• Cognition and earning
• Social, mental and emotional health
• Sensory and/or physical


3. Key Workers such as SENCOs will consider the need for medical (paediatric) assessment in a timely manner, i.e. not leaving it until a referral for Formal Statutory Assessment is imminent. 


4. A person centred approach throughout the graduated response is recommended.  Where it is anticipated that a multi-agency meeting to review progress at Action Plus will result in a referral for Formal Statutory Assessment, the Key Worker should conduct the meeting using a person-centred format (ideally, supported by a ‘scribe’ to record discussions):


• The child or young person is at the forefront
• The meeting is conducted informally

• The following headings are used to structure the discussion:
• What do we like and admire about …?
• What’s important TO …?
• What’s important FOR …?
• What’s working well?
• What are the issues and questions that need to be addressed?
• Actions? (Including further assessment work)


5. It is helpful if reports submitted to the meeting are structured under the above, person centred, headings.  This prepares group members to contribute or, if unable to attend, to submit a relevant contribution. Proforma for child’s and parent/carer’s views will be available.


6. The notes of the meeting and reports will be included with the FSA referral.


7. If the FSA is initiated, a Plan Co-ordinator will be appointed from the SEN Unit and contributors will be given a date for submission of their Advice.A revised outline format for Advice will be produced.


8. The Plan Co-ordinator will liaise with the Key Worker to arrange a multi-agency person centred Support Planning Meeting within two weeks of the above date.  Ideally, the meeting will have a Facilitator and a Scribe.


• The Plan Co-ordinator will bring a draft of parts 1, 2 and 3a of the EHC Plan for review and approval by the group. 
• The group will identify and agree time specific outcomes for the child or young person and the support required on an ongoing basis to ensure that these are achieved.
• The family can request a Personal Budget


9. The Plan Co-ordinator completes the proposed EHC Plan, which is submitted to the Resources Panel for approval and completion of information re resources, funding agency, personal budget and educational placement.