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By The SEND Project

Many people with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) often have their needs overlooked, particularly in a school or workplace, which can be combated by raising awareness of SEND and the assistance they may need. This lack of education regarding support for those with SEND can lead to those affected feeling disconnected and isolated, but this needs to change. We can start by asking how we can support and help people with SEND.

SEND is the term used for children/young people with special needs and disabilities that affect their ability to learn. As per the Gov.UK page on this very topic, a child’s: behaviour/ability to socialise, ability to understand things, physical ability, concentration levels reading and writing abilities can all be affected. In 2014, Parliament created two pieces of guidance for local authorities, social care staff and educational facilities to ensure that those who require help, are supported in the right ways:

A) SEND Code of Practice 2014 (CoP)- contains requirements that must be followed and duties for professionals, outlined in part 3 of the CFA 2014

B) Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA 2014).

SEND in real life:

One of our project-member’s is in contact with ‘Stephanie Cridland’, a Family Outreach Worker and she has kindly offered an insight into life working with SEND and some ‘top tips’ for families!

‘I regularly support families to apply for EHCPs whilst their child attends a mainstream school. It has always been a tricky process for children with no obvious physical support needs and harder still for children to obtain an EHCP where they mask or present with emotional based school avoidance. With increasingly squeezed budgets, diminished staffing capacity and high staff turnover, families are being discouraged from applying for an EHCP unless absolutely necessary. In many cases, I feel children who would benefit from an EHCP are being denied school support due to capacity and lack of resources.

My top tip for families considering requesting an EHCP are as follows:

1. Know your rights. Try to read a little about EHCPs and the SEND Code of Practice. Contact a free independent service (such as SENDIASS or IPSEA) for support.

2. Record everything and ask for evidence of impact of any support or interventions school may offer.

3. Don't rush or skimp on the EHC2 form. This is your chance to highlight the difficulties that school cannot. Use as many pages as you like and the more detail the better.

4. Don't give in. EHCPs take time and effort and perseverance. The SENDSIT 2020 report highlighted that 95% of Tribunals overturned a negative EHCP decision.’

As you can see, there are so many various tips and resources out there to help everyone involved. Families, friends, school staff, and those with SEND themselves, are encouraged to reach out and seek help from those around.

If you need help or advice or just someone to chat to, drop us a DM on Instagram at @thesendproject_uol.

We are here to help!

The SEND Project

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