You could make your request by sending a letter to the SENSAP team.

IPSEA have produced a template letter that you may find helpful.

It can be also helpful when making your request, to think about the legal test mentioned above and provide information to the SENSAP team about why you feel that both parts of this test would be met.

Your answers do not need to be long and you do not need to use legal language. Try to make your points clearly, you could think about using bullet points.

Part 1: The child has or may have Special Educational Needs

Think about what you feel is important for them in the following areas of need, what needs are you seeing? Can you think of any support, equipment or strategies that they might they need to help manage them? What support is already in place and what impact is it having?

Communication and Interaction Think about what difficulties they have understanding others or letting you know what they need.

Cognition and learning Think about what areas they struggle with, what type of learning environment they prefer and do they respond better to information in a particular format such as written down, verbally or in picture form.

Social emotional and Mental Health Are they able to make and maintain friendships? Think about how they behave at home, at school and in other settings – does it change depending on where they are and what they are doing?

Physical and or Sensory Needs Can they use equipment independently or do they need support? Do they have any motor skill difficulties such as with writing, holding pens, holding scissors, tying shoe laces? Can they dress and undress independently? Are they able to use the toilet independently? Can they eat their lunch independently and use cutlery? Are they sensitive to light, sounds, foods, different environments, crowds? Do they need to fidget or move about?

Independence and Self Care Are they able to care for themselves? Do they understand concepts such as road safety, using money, time, and stranger danger? Are they able to get themselves dressed, cook, and look after their personal hygiene?

Part 2: They may need special educational provision to be made through an EHC plan

Tell the local authority why you think that your child might need a plan to meet their SEND. What do you feel that they may need, that is above what should be provided under the graduated approach? You do not have to prove that it is definitely necessary, just that it might be needed.

It could be that you feel school are not able to give all of the help that may be needed without the support of the local authority. If so, then you need to explain why the support needed is above what a school is legally expected to do under usual SEND support and planning, known as the graduated approach.

It could be that the school are putting a lot of support in place, but despite this your young person is still not making enough progress. Can you show that any progress has been because support has been in place for them? What is working well and needs to be kept in place or built upon? What is not working so well? What could be missing that might improve things for your young person?

It may be that you think your young person needs some very specific or specialist support that is not available in their current school. So additional resources or even a change of placement might be needed. You cannot apply for a specialist placement without an EHCP.

Think about them preparing for becoming an adult and the changes that come up in education (transitions) such as changing teachers, class groups, key stages or moving school settings. Do you feel that your young person will manage these ok? Might they need some additional support or resources? Does the school or any other professionals agree that this is something your young person will struggle with? If your young person will be moving on in their education, for example from primary school to secondary school, does the current school think they will cope ok in the new setting, or that it will need some careful planning and preparation work? Might they need a more specialised setting than a mainstream school?

Remember, this request should not be a complaint about what you feel the school has not done or put in place. It is to show that your child may need something over and above what a mainstream school should be able to provide.