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Please see our list of frequently asked questions. If there is anything you wish to ask or cannot find the information you are looking for then please do not hesitate to contact us.

What is the Local Offer?

The Dudley Local Offer is a service which is available for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) aged 0-25. It is provided by Education, Health and Social Care, as well as services from the voluntary sector. All Local Authorities must publish information about their “Local Offer”, including local events and activities, education, health and wellbeing, and general advice and guidance. 

What is Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?

A child is considered to have Special Educational Needs (SEN) if they have difficulties learning compared to the majority of children their age. They may find it harder to learn behaviours, socialisation, reading or writing, they may find it hard to concentrate or understand, and they may have physical disabilities.

If your child’s school thinks your child may have SEN, they will discuss with you first before a decision is made to put them on the SEN register. With your involvement, the school will then start to plan how they can help your child progress.

What should I do if I think my child may have Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?

If you have concerns that your child may have SEN, you should first speak to your child’s class teacher. If you are still concerned, you should arrange to speak to the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). If you need to approach the school and would like support, you can contact the Dudley Council SEN and Disability Information, Advice, and Support Service (SENDIASS). They will be able to provide you with independent advice and information.

*Contact SENDIASS on 01384 817373. An answer machine is in operation, please leave a message and we will return your call.

What support do schools provide for children with SEN?

All schools receive a funding to help them support children with SEN and have a duty to make arrangements to assess their needs and plan what support should be put into place for them. In the early stages of the school may be able to assess themselves what the child’s needs and difficulties are. However with your agreement, they may contact specialist services to carry out further assessments.

A personal plan will then be developed for your child and recorded to show what support will be available. The plan will be regularly reviewed and your child’s progress revisited. If progress is still a concern then the plan will be reassessed and may involve advice from other professionals with you permission.

What will be in the support plan?

When a plan has been put in place, it is a requirement for all schools to keep a record of their plan for a child with SEN. This will include the needs of your child, what they are going to do to support them and the outcomes that SEN support hopes to achieve such as how your child will benefit and progress. The document will be developed with your involvement and you will receive a copy.

What is the role of the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)?

A Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) is a teacher or a headteacher within the school who is responsible for Special Education Needs children. Every school will have a SENCO and will actively work with teachers, parents and other professionals who the pupils are involved with to make sure they receive the right help and support.

What is SEN Support (SENS)?

The ”SEND Code of Practice” explains that most children who have SEN will be able to have their needs met by the school using their SEN budget. The budget will allow the school to set up a plan of how their needs will be supported and will be reviewed regularly to see if it is benefiting the child. This is known as SEN Support or SENS.

SEN Support can be provided in many ways. For example, through making modifications to the teaching content, delivery of education and materials like writing frames, visual prompts, or personalised reward systems.

If the child is making good progress, they may no longer need the extra help and can be taken off the school’s SEN register. If they are not making progress, the school will need to adjust the support given and take into account other professionals advice. If the child still fails to make enough progress in a set amount of time, they may need to be assessed to see if they need an Education, Health and Care Plan or EHCP.

I don't think my child is receiving the right support. Who should I speak to?

You should first discuss with your child’s school if you are concerned your child is not receiving suitable support. You should be able to come to an agreement between you about what is best for your child. However if you are still concerned, and would like some independent advice, you can contact the SEN and Disbability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) on 01384 817373.

What is an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)?

Most children will have their needs for Special Educational Needs met through SEN Support funded by the school. However there are a small number of cases of children who have more significant and long term needs that require a higher level of support. This is known as the Education Health and Care Plan or (EHCP).

An assessment for an EHCP can be requested by a parent or carer, the school (with permission of the parent), or the child (over the age of 16) only if they feel the SEN Support is not sufficient enough and require further support.

What independent information and advice is available?

If you or child would like support, the Dudley SEN and Disability Information, Advice, and Support Service (SENDIASS) can provide you with independent advice and help. Contact us on 01384 817373.

The Parent Carer Forum is also available for support. They help to make voices or parents and carers of children and young people with SEND heard.