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SENCO Central

Welcome to SENCO Central, where we gather together all the resources we think SENCOs might find helpful in one place.

If there's anything you can't find, you can contact the Suffolk Inclusion Support Line, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm on 01473 265502 or email localoffer@suffolk.gov.uk.

EHCP Annual Reviews and Phase Transfers

Annual Review Guidance

EHC plans should be used to actively monitor children and young people’s progress towards their outcomes and longer term aspirations. They must be reviewed by the local authority as a minimum every 12 months.

The first review must be held within 12 months of the date when the EHC plan was issued, and then within 12 months of any previous review, and the local authority’s decision following the review meeting must be notified to the child’s parent or the young person within four weeks of the review meeting (and within 12 months of the date of issue of the EHC plan or previous review).

Please bear in mind that an Annual Review is not just the meeting; it refers to the whole process and is only complete once the Local Authority have issued it's decision following the meeting, and so enough time must be allowed in your planning to ensure this can occur within the statutory timescales.

At least four weeks before AR Meeting:

•Obtain child / young person views

•Seek parent/carer views

•Seek advice/reports from all involved practitioners/services

At least two weeks before AR meeting:

•Send invites to AR meeting to parents/carers, young person (Year 9 and above), Family Services and any involved practitioners from Health and social care services.

•Share all received advice/reports, parent/carer views and pupil views with invitation

On the day of the AR Meeting:

•Ensure enough time has been set aside – we recommend at least 1.5 hours

•Complete AR Report. Can also be useful to annotate EHCP where changes are being requested.

•For pupils in Year 9 and above – complete/update Moving into Adulthood Plan

Within two weeks of AR meeting

•Send Annual Review report, all supporting advice/reports, parent carer views, child/young person views, annotated EHCP (if relevant) and Moving into Adulthood Plan (Year 9+) – send to everyone invited to meeting, including Family Services

Within four weeks of AR meeting

•Local Authority decides whether to leave the plan unchanged, amend it or cease it. They will inform the parents/carers, Young Person (where relevant) and school/setting.

Download a pdf version of these timescales here.

Annual Review Documentation

Annual Review for an EHCP Year 8 and below Last updated: 11/11/2019

Annual Review for an EHCP Year 9 and above Last updated: 11/11/2019

Moving into adulthood plan Last updated 06/10/2020

Example 1 Moving into Adulthood Plan and One Page Profile

Example 2 Moving into Adulthood Plan and One Page Profile

'This is me' One Page Profile template Last updated 19/12/2019

Please find below two versions of the Family's View Form. Families can choose which version they would like to complete prior to the Annual Review; they both contain the same questions but are set out in different ways. This form should be attached to the completed Annual Review form and returned to the Local Authority.

Family's View Form (Version 1) Last updated: 01/06/2015

Family's View Form (Version 2) Last updated: 01/06/2015


Please send all Annual Reviews to the following dedicated Family Services mailboxes:

Suffolk Inclusion Toolkit

The Suffolk Inclusion Toolkit brings together a suite of assessment and intervention tools to support education setting staff to deliver a graduated approach to meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND. Tools include Valuing SEND (VSEND), the Essential SENCO toolkit, and the Educational Psychology Analysis of Additional Needs Tool (AANT).

VSEND is an approach developed by IMPOWER that helps develop a single, rounded picture of the needs of children and young people and uses this as the foundation for planning and commissioning of support. Colleagues at Suffolk County Council have been working alongside education settings to test and develop VSEND along with IMPOWER, and settings have reported finding this really helpful for understanding needs and support in place. VSEND will be offered to all schools in the county over the 2022/23 academic year. For schools who have already received their VSEND training, log in details will be shared with you via email. The log in page can be found here.

Visit the Suffolk Learning website to download VSEND support resources.

The Essential SENCO Toolkit is a strengths-based framework for learners with SEND and provides a ‘language’ of assessment for staff, learners and their families. It includes a focus on the functions of learning support & overcoming or (where possible) removing barriers to learning. Within this toolkit sits an assessment and intervention resource and a progress tracker that includes the 7 C’s learning portfolio which helps to capture strengths and barriers to learning which then leads to information action that is ‘additional to or different from’ the differentiated curriculum. In addition to a focus on intervention planning, the toolkit promotes a shared understanding of SEND provision as a combination of teacher adjustment, support, resources and the use and impact of teaching assistants.

The Analysis of Additional Needs (AANT) is a person-centred, efficient consultation process that supports both early intervention and identification of needs, as well as unpicking and more complex situations. The AANT allows colleagues from all kinds of educational settings to take part in a rapid, evidence-based, video consultation process with an educational psychologist (EP). The aim is to help educational professionals understand their learners’ needs and find new ways of supporting them, based on what is already known about them. Consultees complete an online form, undertake a consultation with an EP and then receive a concise, solution-focused report containing the practical next steps and ideas that were discussed. To find out more about the AANT and how to book one, visit the AANT pages on the Suffolk County Council website.

The Suffolk Inclusion Toolkit is supported by the Psychology & Therapeutic Service and the Specialist Education Service.

For more information on all parts of the Suffolk Inclusion Toolkit, please contact sencosupport@suffolk.gov.uk 


Watch our Inclusion Toolkit animation:

Graduated Response

Where a pupil is identified as having special educational needs, the SEND Code of Practice is clear that schools should take action to remove any barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place – this is called SEN support. We publish information on our what to expect from a school or setting page.

This support should take the form of a four-part “Assess, Plan, Do, Review” cycle; where actions are tried, reviewed and revised as necessary in line with the pupil’s needs. In education settings, this is known as the graduated approach and in Suffolk, we have set up a process to support this approach called the graduated response:

Stage 1: Initiate Assess, Plan, Do, Review (APDR)

A whole setting approach to identifying need and removing barriers to learning


  • Discussion with key staff in the educational setting to build profile of need
  • Capture CYP and parent/carer views
  • Gather and analyse assessment information, based on observations, current attainment, formal and informal assessments


  • Work together to create a time-limited support plan, utilising whole school approaches, high quality inclusive teaching and differentiation
  • Use the categories of need descriptors to help inform planning


  • Put in place the agreed adjustments, support and intervention, with the SENDCo supporting teachers with implementation, linking interventions to classroom teaching.
  • Agree date of review


  • Review the quality, effectiveness and impact of the provision, involving the CYP and their parent/carers

The APDR cycle then starts again with the updated information.

Stage 2: CYP making less than expected progress despite evidence-based support and intervention

  • Seek support from the Specialist Education or Psychology & Therapeutic Services Core Offer around individual CYP and whole setting approaches.
  • Seek support for CYP and whole school approaches through a SEND Support Consultation. This could lead to a SENDCo Support visit to your school and/or involvement from the P&TS e.g. Inclusion Facilitation support or an EP Analysis of Additional Needs (AANT)
  • Explore the SCC Traded Offer for training and additional support
  • Refer to external agencies (e.g. Health, Mental Health, Early Help, Social Care)
  • Consider an application for High Needs Funding

The APDR cycle then starts again with the updated information.

Stage 3: CYP needs a higher level of support and intervention

  • Review the impact of interventions, continuing the cycle of APDR and involving the CYP and their parent/carers
  • Review the impact of the SEND funding in place
  • Consider a request for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment.
Inclusion Support Line

The Suffolk Inclusion Support Line is an advice line, targeted at education settings as well as colleagues who work in health and social care, to help them to source the advice, guidance and information they need to meet the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) as early as possible, in the most appropriate way. All your questions are welcome. We are happy to share there is now a new Chat function to provide even quicker and easier access to support.

Find out more, including how to contact the Inclusion Support Line, here

Specialist Support

The Specialist Education Services (SES): our offer

The Suffolk Inclusion Support Line is a new advice line, available all day, targeted primarily at education settings and setting-based staff, to help them to source the advice, guidance and information they need to meet the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) as early as possible, in the most appropriate way.

Contact us on 01473 265502 or via email localoffer@suffolk.gov.uk

Inclusion Support Meetings (ISMs) continue to be available via Teams across the week for all areas of need to support early discussion and early intervention: Cognition and Learning, SpLD, Communication and Interaction, Speech, Language and Communication Needs, SEMH, and Sensory/Physical. This term (autumn 2023) we have introduced ISMs around the theme of transition, to support you with learners new to the school or who have transitioned into a new phase of education. In addition, ISMs are available to support you with VSEND and the Suffolk Inclusion Toolkit. Please follow the link below to request any of the ISMs described above.

The Education Access Team are also offering early discussion and early intervention to support you with those children and young people vulnerable to exclusion or non-attendance. Contact EducationAccess@suffolk.gov.uk for more information.

To request an ISM; a 20-minute slot with a Specialist Teacher from the relevant specialist service, please use this link and compplete the short online form: www.suffolk.gov.uk/sesinclusionappointment

SEND Support Consultations / Solution Circles are available from SES and from the Psychology and Therapeutic Services by emailing sencosupport@suffolk.gov.uk. These are multi-professional virtual meetings designed to support early intervention and where a multi team of professionals is needed. Various dates throughout the autumn term 2023 are available. Do book early as they fill up quickly. We are happy to share that from January 2024 we will be increasing the number and therefore the availability of Solution Circles via our new ‘Communities of Schools’. More detail to follow shortly.

SES referrals (core offer): Referrals should be requested via the SES Referral Form and should continue to be sent to SESReferrals@suffolk.gov.uk This will be for requests for Cognition and Learning, SpLD, Communication and Interaction, the Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) service, SEMH, Physical / Sensory and the Whole School Inclusion Service. The link to the SES referral form is via the following link and can be found in the ‘downloads’ on the right hand side of the page Suffolk InfoLink | Specialist Education Services (SES) Suffolk County Council

Please note that Stage 3 / Inclusion Practitioner input is via the SES Specialist services above in liaison with the school where it is agreed a more multi-disciplinary approach is appropriate and needed. Please refer to SES using the SES Referral Form (link above) and your Specialist Teacher assigned to work with you will advise regarding Stage 3 where appropriate. There will be no need to complete a new referral. Please do use the SES Referral Form above and not the Inclusion Referral Form (see below).

The Inclusion Referral Form should still be used for the Alternative Tuition Service (ATS), IYFAP, Permanent Exclusions, requests for Reception / Key Stage 1 Specialist Unit provision and Alternative Provision.

The Inclusion Referral Form and any relevant appendices can be found here: Specialist Education Services (SES) | Community Directory (suffolk.gov.uk) Please note that a new email address is available apinbox@suffolk.gov.uk for any questions relating to AP at this time.

Please note carefully: In SES we are receiving a very high number of referrals each week. However, on receipt of your referral we will always seek to support you as quickly as possible. Please bear with us. We will contact you as soon as possible once your referral has been considered.

Important update: From January 2024 we will be visiting every mainstream school in Suffolk. Bespoke support from SES will be discussed with you in school. There will be more information and detail about this shortly, including at our countywide virtual SENCo Forum on 5 October at 4pm to 5.15pm. Please do join us. If you have not received an invite to the Teams call please contact sencosupport@suffolk.gov.uk

In the meantime, to ensure we are able to deliver our services efficiently and effectively for you from January 2024, referrals received over this coming first half of the autumn term will be offered a consultation with a Specialist Teacher from the most appropriate service. This may include an observation and assessment of need in addition to advice and guidance. We are working hard to move to a new model of delivery in the spring term 2024 and so we will shortly offer more information around further dates for referrals this term.

Please be assured of our on-going support and our wish to offer the very best and most timely service that we can.

At all times our ISMs (described above) will remain in place, as well as our free training offer (please see further detail below). We aim this term to increase the availability of ISMs whilst we prepare for the spring term 2024.

Additional support available:

We offer free essential virtual training to all schools and settings with themes from across the 4 areas of need in addition to training from the Whole School Inclusion Team. In addition, we are now happy to offer some more targeted training at a low cost to schools and settings. The links to the training and to book a place are here:

For Essential (free) CPD, book here: SES CPD 23-34 Essential Booking Form

For Targeted (low cost) CPD, book here: SES CPD 23-24 Targeted Booking Form

If would like to discuss bespoke training for your school via our traded offer, this is available through Schools Choice: https://www.schoolschoice.co.uk/our-services/childrensservices/

Please contact Izzy Connell or Sally Blackman to discuss your requirements (contact details below).

If you have any questions at all about the offer from the Specialist Education Services (SES) and the information above please contact:

Izzy Connell: Headteacher SES: Izzy.Connell@suffolk.gov.uk

Sally Blackman: Deputy Headteacher SES: Sally.Blackman@suffolk.gov.uk

Maria Hough: Deputy Headteacher SES: Maria.Hough@suffolk.gov.uk

Pupil funding

There are three different "pots" or elements to pupil funding. You may hear these referred to as Core/Additional/Top-Up, or as Elements 1,2 and 3:

  • Core Funding (Element 1) is the first £4,000 to fund a pupil’s education. In a mainstream school, this is called Age Weighted Pupil Funding or AWPU.
  • Additional Support Cost (Element 2) is the amount it costs to support an individual pupil above Element 1, up to the value of £6,000.
  • Top Up (Element 3) is the amount required to support an individual pupil above £6,000. This is sometimes called High Needs Funding.

There are three opportunities to apply for High Needs Funding each year; one per term. The process is the same each term – in the first half of the term SENCos should assess and decide what applications they may have, and then at the half term point submit their application spreadsheet, followed by evidence forms if required.  The funding, if agreed, is then released at by the end of each term.

You can find out more about how SEND provision is funded in Suffolk, including how to apply for High Needs Funding, on the Suffolk Learning website: High Needs Funding

Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessments and Plans

The majority of children and young people with special education needs or disabilities (SEND) will have the support they need within local mainstream early years settings, schools or colleges. Within Suffolk this is called SEN Support.

The SEND Code of Practice says that "where, despite the school having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the SEN of the child or young person, the child or young person has not made expected progress, the school or parents should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. To inform its decision the local authority will expect to see evidence of the action taken by the school as part of SEN support." (6.63)

In some cases, an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) may lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) being issued.

You can find out more about this process here: Assessments and EHCPs.

School admissions and transport

School Admissions - mainstream

You can find general information on school admissions, including the online application portal for parents here: School places | Suffolk County Council

All children who do not have an EHCP should apply using this system. 

School Admissions / Transfers for children with an EHCP

For children who have an EHCP, school admissions are managed by the Family Services team. Click here to see a list of the teams and the areas they support.

School Transport

School transport is arranged by Suffolk On Board

The SENCO Year - calendar, training and events

Download a term by term guide for some of the crucial SENCO tasks here, or click the calendar below to see upcoming training and networking events for SENCOs.

Contact SENCOsupport@suffolk.gov.uk for more information or to book onto any events displayed. All training is online unless otherwise specified.

SENCO Bulletin

We send out periodic SENCO Bulletins, with news, resources and events that we think you might find useful as well as reminders of upcoming deadlines and actions to take.

If you don't already receive it, please email SENDNews@suffolk.gov.uk to be added to the mailing list.

You can read the most recent version of the bulletin here: SENCO Bulletin

Other publications you may find useful

Suffolk Headlines is a weekly bulletin for school staff and leaders. Subscribe by sending an email to suffolkheadlines@suffolk.gov.uk or view recent editions here.

Local Offer News goes out half termly to families who would like to receive SEND related news and information. Subscribe to Local Offer News here.

Post 16 - Preparing for Adulthood

Suffolk County Council and it's partners want to help children, young people and their families to live fulfilled lives by moving successfully into adulthood and independence where possible. 

Suffolk County Council has produced a guide that includes lots of information to support transition from age 16.  It covers information on key areas such as:

  • Education
  • Training
  • Work and leisure
  • Health and social care
  • Contact details for key services

Download Suffolk's SEND 16+ Transitions Guide here


A SENCO Forum is for all SENCOs across Suffolk and it will update on the services across Suffolk for children with SEND, supported by colleagues from across the Inclusion Service, Health and Social Care/Early Help, the Skills Team and SENDAT Outreach. If you would like to access the SENCO Forum slides for this current academic year, please click here:

SENCo Forum – Suffolk Learning

Meetings are held in Microsoft Teams to enable all Suffolk schools to access more conveniently without the need to travel. Contact SENCOsupport@suffolk.gov.uk  for an invite to any of these events.

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