Advice on the assessment process

Decisions to place a child at Woodcroft are made in partnership with the child’s local authority. It is the local authority who take responsibility for arranging the placement and paying for the assessment and school fees. There is a wide range of advice, help and information for parents and we have provided links to other organisations providing advice on the next page.

We believe that addressing a child’s needs in good time can have a significant positive impact on later schooling. A working knowledge of the process of assessing and providing for those needs will help you to get the best for your child when he or she needs it – whether in your local mainstream school, or in more specialised provision like Woodcroft.

Pupils attending Woodcroft School will either have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan), a statement of special educational needs under the previous system, or they will be going through an assessment process.

If you feel your child’s needs cannot be provided for in their current school or early education setting, an assessment may be necessary. This is a detailed investigation carried out by the local authority to determine exactly what your child’s needs are and what special help they need. This may result in an EHC plan.

In the first instance you would need to approach the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) in your child’s current school or early education setting. They may agree to request that the local authority make an assessment to see if your child needs an EHC plan. A request can be made by anyone at your child's school, or by a doctor, health visitor or nursery worker. Also, you can approach the local authority directly to request an assessment. A local authority has 6 weeks to decide whether or not to carry out an EHC assessment. If they decide to carry out an assessment you may be asked for any reports from your child’s school, nursery or childminder; doctors’ assessments of your child; and/or a letter from you about your child’s needs. You’ll usually find out within 16 weeks whether or not an EHC plan is going to be made for your child.

More information on this process is available from the gov.uk website here.

The authority must consider your wishes carefully before making a final decision. You have the right to appeal against the decision through the relevant Ministry of Justice Tribunal (First-tier Tribunal – Special Educational Needs and Disability). A link to the relevant page of the justice.gov.uk website can be found here.

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