Suffolk is an 'inclusive' Local Authority and most pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) for whom Suffolk maintains a responsibility for are educated in mainstream settings and so we expect the vast majority of pupils are educated in their home community and have their SEND met by their local catchment mainstream school.
Suffolk also has specialist SEND provision for pupils whose educational difficulties mean that they require specialist provision. The law for assessing children and young people with SEND has now changed. From September 1st 2014, pupils who require specialist provision can request an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which is produced following an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment. Children and young people who, under the old system, have a Statement of SEN will be transferred to the new system over the next 3 and a half years.
The Special Needs Officers play a leading role in the management of casework for children with special educational needs and contribute to county initiatives. Much of the work arises from their prime responsibility for management of the statutory assessment process which requires the establishment of good working relationships with professional staff in schools, in the support services and other agencies and, importantly, with parents.
The Special Needs Officer is expected to ensure that, as part of the SEN Assessment Team:
- A service of high quality is provided to all schools, parents/carers with special emphasis on the solution of problems;
- Client needs are properly assessed;
- The work of the SEN Team on a day-to-day basis is both responsive to individual needs and local circumstances and in line with county policies.
Each Special Needs Officer has case responsibility for a number of pupils who either have a Statement of SEN, EHCP or are undergoing an EHC Needs Assessment.
If you feel that the child or young person for whom you have parental responsibility has issues in relation to special educational needs, you should talk to their school or pre-school setting in the first instance.