In Oxfordshire we understand that applying for an Education Health Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) is not always a straightforward process and we want to support you through this. We hope that this information helps you gain a greater understanding about how the SEND Team in Oxfordshire is structured and operates and how this team will support you through this process and beyond if an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) is issued.
The SEND Casework Team is responsible for statutory duties in relation to SEND as detailed in the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice 2015.
A Special Educational Needs Officer (SEN Officer) becomes involved when an application for an EHCNA is made. Their role is to;
- process requests for a statutory Education Health Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) for children and young people aged 0-25, in consultation with other agencies, ensuring that assessments are carried out and decisions are relayed to families in a timely manner
- monitor and process Annual Reviews for Children and Young People with EHCPs
- work with partners in Education, Health and Social Care to ensure best outcomes for all Children and Young People
- monitor outcomes for Children and Young People with EHCPs ensuring that their needs are appropriately identified and that the Special Educational provision required is delivered
- resolve disagreement, either by working directly with parents or by working with SENDIASS or an independent Mediation Service
- represent the Local Authority’s position at the First-Tier Tribunal (SENDIST)
- ensure value for money
SEN Officers have large, complex workloads. Communication with families, schools and colleagues needs to be manageable but prioritised.
The team commit to responding to requests from a parent / carer / school / colleague as outlined below.
A member of the SEND Admin team will answer calls immediately, or, if a voicemail is left, a call back will be made on the day (or the next day if after 3pm). They will direct enquiries to the SEN Officer or signpost to appropriate agencies.
A parent / carer / school / colleague can expect a full and accurate response to a typical request from their named SEN officer or their senior within 5 working days. Ideally, this will be via phone call and followed up with an email.
Emails that are sent from the SEN Officers are often sent via a service called Egress, in order to protect the content. Should you need the email and attachments longer term, please save them. The content will not be available after six weeks.
During office hours, if your call is urgent, there will be someone on call to manage this. Urgent matters include; child / young person at risk of exclusion or break down of placement.
Should you not get a response from your named SEN Officer within the five working days, please contact SEND Admin Team.
North (Cherwell and West Oxfordshire)