SEND in education | Central Bedfordshire Council

SEND in education

SEND panels in Central Bedfordshire

Our SEND team holds three separate advisory panels to assist with decision making regarding:

  • EHC needs assessments
  • special school and additionally resourced provision placements
  • funding for post-16 placements

Each panel consists of multi-agency professional groups to support our decision making. Once the panel has made a decision about a case, a member of our SEND team will contact young people and/or parents and settings to inform them of the decision. This usually happens within a week of the date of the panel meeting.

Further information regarding each of the panels can be found below;

SEND panel

The purpose of the SEND panel is to provide guidance to enable consistent and focused decision making. This is in line with the legislation as outlined within the Children and Families Act (2014), in relation to requests for EHC needs assessments. The focus of this panel is to consider agreement to requests for EHC needs assessment and whether an assessment should lead to the completion of an education, health and care plan (EHCP). The panel may also consider requests for personal budget, funding and equipment.

The multi-agency group is responsible for providing professional guidance to enable our decision making to be fair and transparent and in line with the legislation. It is expected that all panel members read the necessary paperwork and provide advice to the Chair on each case. The final decision remains with us.

It is important to note that our decisions do not have to be made following guidance from a panel. To ensure speed and efficient decision making, for those cases where agreeing to an EHC needs assessment is clear,we will make decisionsas possible, without the necessity of a panel’s advice. The panel’s main purpose is to offer guidance and consistency where decisions require further professional advice, and where EHC needs assessments may not be agreed.

This also enables advice as to an appropriate way forward to support the child and the setting following our decisions. However, in order to ensure compliance with statutory timescales around decision making, we will exercise our right to make decisions outside of panel where necessary, within the legislative framework.

Download Guidelines for Statutory Assessments

SEND Panel dates and associated timescales

SEND Panel dates and associated timescales
Date of panel Last date information needs to be with SEND officers from settings We'll share information with panel members:

6 January 2021

24 December 2020

30 December 2020

3 February 2021

22 January 2021

27 January 2021

24 February 2021

12 February 2021

17 February 2021

24 March 2021

12 March 2021

17 March 2021

14 April 2021

2 April 2021

7 April 2021

12 May 2021

30 April 2021

5 May 2021

9 June 2021

28 May 2021

2 June 2021

21 July 2021

9 July 2021

14 July 2021

Special School and Additionally Resourced Provision Panel

The purpose of this panelis to provide professional guidance that enables transparent, consistent and focused decision making in line with the legislation for the educational placement of children and young people with education, health and care plans.

The panel is a multi-agency team,responsible for providing professional guidance to us to enable consistent and appropriate decision making, in line with the SEND Code of Practice 2015. Representatives of each of our four special schools attend this panel and share their views as to the suitability of the requested placement.

Please be aware that the panel is not a statutory requirement for decision making on placements.The final decision on where to place a child or young person with SEND remains with us.

Special School and Additionally Resourced Provision Panel dates and associated timescales

Special School and Additionally Resourced Provision Panel dates and associated timescales
Date of panel Last date information needs to be with SEND officers from settings We'll share information with panel members:

20 January 2021

8 December 2021

13 January 2021

17 March 2021

5 March 2021

10 March 2021

28 April 2021

16 April 2021

21 April 2021

7 July 2021

25 June 2021

13 May 2020

8 July 2020

26 June 2020

30 June 2021

Post-16 SEND Panel

The purpose of the Post-16 Panel is to provide professional guidance that enables transparent, consistent and focused decision making in line with the legislation for the top-up funding for educational placements for young people with Education, Health and Care Plans in addition to the funding allocated by the Education Funding Agency for post-16 pupils or the Skills Funding Agency for post-19 students.

The panel is a multi-agency team, responsible for providing professional guidance to us to enable consistent and appropriate decision making, in line with the SEND Code of Practice 2015.

The following representatives attend this panel and share their views as to the suitability of the requested placement and associated funding:

  • the main college
  • alternative post-16 settings attended by Central Bedfordshire students
  • a senior advisor from our youth support service

Please be aware that the panel is not a statutory requirement for decision making on placements. The final decision on funding and placements for young people with SEND remains with us.

Post-16 SEND Panel dates and associated timescales

Post-16 SEND Panel dates and associated timescales
Date of panel Last date information needs to be with SEND officers from settings We'll share information with panel members:

16 December 2020

4 December 2021

9 December 2020

10 February 2021

29 January 2021

3 February 2021

26 May 2021

14 May 2021

19 May 2021

23 June 2021

11 June 2021

16 June 2021

Early Years SEND Panel

In addition, we hold a regular Early Years SEND Panel. The purpose of the panel is to provide guidance to enable consistent and focused decision making on referrals to the Early Years SEND Advisory Team from outside agencies for children under five years of age.The panel also considers individual children’s initial assessment reports for the purpose of sharing views on the future support proposed for a child. The panel may also consider requests for additional funding.

Referral decisions made by the panel are recorded andthe referrer informed within one week of the meeting.Where a referral is accepted and allocated to an advisory SEND teacher an initial assessment takes place with the child, parents/carers and early years setting within eight weeks of the panel date.

The panel is a multi-agency group, responsible for providing professional guidance in line with the SEND Code of Practice 2015 and the DFE Early Years Foundation Stage 2017.

The following representatives attend this panel and share their views on referrals, allocation of support and additional funding:

  • early years SEND advisory team
  • private, independent and voluntaryproviders
  • schools
  • SEND officers
  • childcare development officers
  • the NHS

It is expected that all panel members read the necessary paperwork and provide advice to the Chair on each case. Please be aware that the panel is not a statutory requirement for decision making.The final decision on allocation of resources and funding for children with SEND remains with us.

Early Years SEND Panel dates and associated timescales

Early Years SEND Panel dates and associated timescales
Date of panel Last date information needs to be with SEND officers from settings

9 December 2020

1 December 2020

23 December 2020

15 December 2020

Evidence considered by panel

The panel will consider evidence on a case-by-case basis dependent on the remit of the panel and the nature of the request.

For the majority of cases, panel would expect to be provided with evidence of the following;

  • clear evidence of implementation of Graduated Response at Stage 1 and 2 over time for requests for EHC needs assessment
  • clear evidence of implementation of the education, health and care plan and appropriate cycles of review and implementation of strategies for requests for change of placement or increased funding
  • where evidence over time is not available, evidence of circumstances that have given rise to sudden, significant change
  • clear evidence of interventions specific to area of need identified within application
  • clear evidence of the assess, plan, do, review cycle being implemented, interventions being evaluated and adjusted if not having impact
  • involvement of external professionals and evidence of their advice being implemented and evaluated
  • evidence of developmental levels in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage
  • evidence of financial expenditure already in place (linked to aforementioned documents) and evidence of impact
  • clear detail of how any additional funding will be spent with clear measurable outcomes
  • documentation must evidence the strategies being implemented
  • evidence that behaviour logs are being evaluated and strategies implemented as a result of information gained from analysis
  • provision maps, IEP / one-page profile and SEND support plans should be included with the application where possible
  • examples of unaided work and clear evidence of current academic levels
  • evidence of how school has used CPD and external support to upskill all staff in meeting identified needs

Any application to our SEND panels must be countersigned by the young person and/or a parent/carer, giving their consent for the application.