Making sense of the SEN system

The ways in which special educational needs (“SEN”) impact a person’s ability to learn depend largely on the SEN the person has. SEN can have a bearing on a person’s ability to comprehend, concentrate, read, write and/or do physical things such as writing. Your child or young person may require SEN support in school from the setting’s internal resources, or it may be necessary for your child to be issued with an Education, Health and Care Plan (“EHCP”) to secure the special educational provision required to meet their needs.

The SEN system can be complex to navigate. We have, therefore, created comprehensive PDF resources centred around SEN to empower and support families and individuals facing these unique challenges.

SEN Resources

What is SEN?

If you are experiencing the SEN system for the first time, our guide to what ‘SEN’ is provides a helpful overview of what SEN is, the types of learning difficulty that may constitute SEN, and how it is legally defined.

EHCP Process Timeline

If you have applied for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (“EHCNA”)’ there are statutory timescales which apply. In our experience, Local authorities often breach the timescales, so it’s important to know your rights and when the local authority is required to complete each stage of the process.

EHCP’s: Getting Your Child the Right Support

This guide sets out how to navigate the SEN system, from the request for an EHCNA and what is involved in the assessment process to appeals to the Tribunal and everything in between. The guide covers the draft EHCP process, making parental comments, and providing your parental preference for schools.

How Should Education Settings Help?

If your child has SEN, this guide sets out what you can expect from your school or setting in supporting your child. If you believe that your child has been discriminated against on the basis of their disability, you can find information about how to make a complaint.

How should Local Authorities be Helping?

There are a number of duties which the local authority is responsible for. If you believe the local authority are in breach of their legal duties, you can file a complaint.  

Choosing a Nursery, School or College

See our useful hints and tips for choosing a setting for your child with SEN.

EHCP: Annual Reviews

The local authority is responsible for reviewing EHCPs at least every 12 months. Our checklist covers what you need to know about the annual review process, preparing for a meeting, follow up, and what happens at the outcome of the annual review.

SEN Letter Templates

We provide template letters for commonly encountered issues to enforce your rights, which are accessible via our website and are free of charge.

Our services

We support parents, guardians and young people in matters relating to EHCPs and SENDIST claims, including:

1.   Refusal to assess appeals

2.   Refusal to issue appeals

3.   Appeal after annual review

4.   Appeals relating to the contents of an EHCP

5.   Disability discrimination

6.   EHCP health checks

While our services aim to resolve our clients' matters promptly and efficiently, our EHCP review service is often incredibly beneficial to clients. It has the potential to save the need for costly and lengthy appeals to the SEND Tribunal.

An EHCP review is a fixed fee service to review your draft or final EHCP. From receipt of your draft EHCP, you must be provided with at least 15 days to provide your comments on the draft. Our reviews will assess the full content of each section of your EHCP and provide you with a detailed report with comments and recommendations on each section. 

If you opt for our EHCP and evidence review service, we will also review all of the advice listed in Section K to confirm that all of the relevant information has been transferred to the draft. Often, local authorities take information from one or two reports but fail to consider the contents of each report.

Our EHCP review service is very popular. We aim to complete our reports within one week from instruction. Given the popularity of the service, it is important to contact us as soon as possible to ensure that the report will be prepared in time to provide your comments to the local authority. Wherever possible, we will work to your deadline.

If you have a draft EHCP or even a final EHCP, the EHCP review service is incredibly valuable. You will be provided with a detailed report on your child’s EHCP, which can be used in providing comments to the local authority, information for annual reviews, or in submitting an appeal to the SEND Tribunal.

Our website link below contains further information on each type of EHCP review service. To instruct for this service please complete the request form through the link: Education health care plan (EHC Plan) health check review ( Alternatively, for a quote for our other services, I can be contacted on 01245 453805 or via email

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.