Best Practice in using External Professional Advice for Children with SEND
There has been a lack of clarity about the role of external professionals in relation working with children with SEND and making requests for EHCA. This briefing has been agreed with Senior Managers within SEN and Inclusion and aims to provide a definitive
guide to ensure a shared understanding of the role of external professionals in relation to children with SEND.
- The aim of involving an external professional is to clarify the nature of a young person’s needs and to access specialist advice on evidence based interventions and strategies that can be put in place to improve outcomes. This can take place at any stage,
but is advised at Range 3.
- Any agreed plan should then be implemented and reviewed by school based staff over an agreed period of time. The review should highlight progress towards the identified outcomes and any amendments or extensions to the identified intervention. The review
will sometimes involve the professional involved but this is not essential.
- My Support Plan is a highly effective way of bringing all of this together and the expectation is that schools use this as a model of intervention through at least two cycles prior to any request for additional support via an Education Health and Care Plan.
- In making a decision as to whether to progress a request for an Education Health and Care Assessment the SEND panel will interrogate evidence in relation to two legal tests: might the CYP have SEND and do the identified SEN require provision over and above
that normally available in school ie beyond R3.
- In making a request for an EHCA, it is incumbent on the referrer to ensure they provide sufficient evidence in relation to both of those tests. The Bradford Revised Range Guidance indicates the types of evidence that should be provided for example:
- School Core Offer detailing Quality First Teaching
- Information from health regarding diagnosis
- Bradford Engagement Tool
- EYFS / NC / 16+ levels / Developmental Journal Levels
- SEN Progress Grid
- SEN Support Grid
- Evidence of involvement from external professionals;
- My Support Plan document
- Evidence of involvement from external professionals can take many forms including handwritten notes from a meeting, contribution to a My Support Plan, follow up notes from the professional or a formal written report. This evidence should be no more than
18 months old.
- It is not a requirement for the external professional to confirm or otherwise whether the CYP is at the range identified by school. The evidence sources listed above should be robust enough to do this.
- It is not a requirement for the external professional to confirm or otherwise whether the CYP requires provision at a certain range. The evidence provided by school in their SEN Support Grid should detail what provision is being put in place.
- Requests for change of placement should only be made following an annual or interim review of an EHCP. The evidence provided by school should be drawn from the same sources listed previously and is not contingent on a report from an external support agency,
stating that needs cannot be met.
Ruth Dennis / Ronnie Hartley / Anne Lomas / Simon Ramsden