Gathering information and advice

The SEND key worker will write to the relevant professionals in order to gather advice about the child’s or young person’s education, health and care needs, desired outcomes and special educational, health and care provision that may be required to meet their identified needs and achieve their desired outcomes.

Advice and information must be sought as follows:

  • From parents, carers or the young person.
  • Educational advice and information from the manager, headteacher or principal of the early years setting, school or post-16 or other institution attended by the child or young person.
  • If the child or young person has either a visual or hearing impairment, or both, the educational advice and information must be given after consultation with a person who is qualified to teach pupils or students with these impairments. 
  • Medical advice and information from health care professionals with a role in relation to the child’s or young person’s health.
  • Psychological advice and information from an educational psychologist. The educational psychologist should consult any other psychologists known to be involved with the child or young person.
  • Social care advice and information from or on behalf of the local authority, including, if appropriate, children in need or child protection assessments, information from a looked after child’s care plan, or adult social care assessments for young people over 18. If the child or young person already has a statutory child in need or child protection plan, or an adult social care plan, the information in these should be drawn for the education, health and care needs assessment.
  • From Year 9 onwards, advice and information related to provision to assist the child or young person in preparation for adulthood and independent living.
  • Advice and information from any person requested by parents, carers or the child or young person, where the local authority considers it reasonable to do so. For example, consulting a GP or other health professional.
  • Advice from a youth offending team, where the child or young person is detained in a young offender institution. Where the young person is serving their sentence in the community the local authority should seek such advice where it considers it appropriate.
  • Any other advice and information which the local authority considers appropriate for a satisfactory assessment, for example:
    • Early help assessment
    • In the case of children of members of the armed forces, from the children’s education advisory service
    • In the case of a looked after child, from the virtual school headteacher in the authority that looks after the child and the child’s designated teacher and the designated doctor or nurse for looked after children.

Advice and information requested by the local authority must be provided within six weeks of the request, and should be provided more quickly wherever possible, to enable a timely process.

The local authority must not seek further advice if such advice has already been provided (for any purpose) and the person providing the advice, the local authority and the child’s parent or the young person are all satisfied that it is sufficient for the assessment process. In making this decision, the local authority and the person providing the advice should ensure the advice remains current.


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