Bedfordshire – Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
Our vision for children and young people with SEND is the same as for all children and young people in Bedfordshire; that they live happy, healthy lives and are supported to fulfil their potential as a child, young person and through transition into adulthood.
The Children and Families Act (2014) requires Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Local Authorities to work together with children and young people with SEND and their families, to ensure that appropriate services are available to meet their needs and enable them to live ordinary lives. The SEND Code of Practice (2015) Statutory Guidance sets out statutory duties for Local Authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups so that they can meet their statutory responsibilities for children and young people with SEND between the ages of 0 and 25.
Bedfordshire CCG supports two local areas including Central Bedfordshire local area and Bedford Borough local area.
Each Local Authority within the local area must publish a Local Offer, setting out information about provision they expect to be available across Education, Health and Social Care for children and young people in their area who have SEN or are disabled, including those with and without Education, Health and Care plans. This will include both universal and specialist services and must include information about provision made by health professionals for children and young people with SEN or disabilities (SEND).
CCGs must co-operate with Local Authorities in the development and reviewing of the Local Offer.
What can I do if I think my child has SEND?
Public Health services, such as health visitors (0-5 years) and school nurses (5-19 years) support children, young people and their families to receive the universal and progressive offer of care within the ‘Healthy Child Programme’ framework of services. If you believe your child may not be developing within their expected parametres; contacting your child’s health visitor or school nurse for support may initially be helpful in identifying if your child has any additional needs. This may involve them further signposting your child to more specialist services if appropriate.
The CCG commission a variety of specialist services such as; speech and language, physio and occupational therapy services as well as child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHs) that may also support children and young people with SEND and their families. Further information including referral pathways may be accessed from the providers via the Local Offer websites identified above.
Education, Health and Care plans
Some children and young people whose needs are struggling to be met within a partnered approach across Education, Health and Care may require consideration of an Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment and potentially an EHC plan (EHCP) to identify their needs fully and consider appropriate provision to meet such needs. Each Local Authority leads on the EHCP process and information of how to request an EHC assessment can be found on the Local Offer websites as identified above.
Click here for further Independent advice about EHCPs (IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special Education Advice.
Some children and young people who require additional support may be entitled to a personal budget to enable them to be flexible and personalised in supporting their additional needs. Personal budgets can be considered across Education, Health and Care including integrated personal budgets across services if helpful to the child/young person.
A Personal Health Budget (PHB) is money that can be used to support a child or young person’s health needs, such as particular treatments, equipment or personal health care. Not everyone is entitled to a PHB and you can find further information about Personal Health Budgets at NHS Choices.
All children and young people who have an EHCP and/or who meet Children’s Continuing Care/Continuing Health Care thresholds will be entitled for consideration of a PHB if this is the child or young person (as appropriate) /parent /carer preference.
If you would like to discuss PHBs in more detail, please contact us using the details below:
Self Care, Personalisation and PHB Lead
Tel: 01525 624477