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Parents and Carers

Parents and Carers

Do you have a child or young person aged 0-25 with SEND? Bury SENDiass can support parents and carers to ensure they get impartial, independent advice on matters relating to Education, Health and Social Care. This page includes some useful information that may help answer some of your questions, however, if you can’t find what you are looking for or require further information and support please contact us via the chat facility, phone or email and we will get back to you within two working days. You could also join our Facebook page.


Further Information

Special Educational Needs (“SEN”) can affect a child or young person’s ability to learn.


For example, someone’s SEN might affect their:


For further information please click here to view our resource pack


Further information can also be found using the links below:


The 'Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions' above is statutory guidance that schools must follow. It gives clear information on what schools should do to meet the needs of children with medical conditions. 

Introduction to special educational needs (SEN) | Contact


 What are special educational needs (


 SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years - GOV.UK (



 Mental health in schools -


 Supporting pupils with medical conditions at school - GOV.UK (




Where a pupil is identified as having SEN, settings should implement support to prevent them from struggling. 


Settings should:

  • Assess the child's needs
  • Make plans to meet a child's  needs
  • Carry out the plans
  • Review the progress


This is known as the graduated approach.  


Settings must use their ‘best endeavours’ to support children and young people with SEN.  This means doing everything that could reasonably be expected of them.


Funding SEN Support

Information about settings are funded to provide SEN Support can be found by clicking the links below:


  • Schools  -  click here


  • Early Years Settings - click here


  • Post 16 Settings - click  here


Parents of children whose needs are being met through SEN support should be invited to regularly meet with the school SENCO. 


The Graduated Approach should help parents understand what support is in place and how school are using their SEN budget to support their child. Schools should provide parents with a costed provision map.


A costed provision map is a document which school should provide to show what provision is in place, when and how often it happens, who delivers it and how much of the SEN Budget each bit of provision costs. 


For more information please click here to view our resource pack

Fixed period/fixed term suspensions

 Fixed period or fixed term suspensions were formally known as a fixed period/term exclusions.


A fixed period/term suspension is where your child is temporarily removed from school i.e. for a specific amount of time (2 days, 3 days, etc).


A fixed period suspension can also be for parts of the school day. For example, if a pupil’s behaviour at lunchtime is disruptive, they may be excluded from the school premises for the duration of the lunchtime period


If a child has been suspended for a fixed period, schools should set and mark work for the first 5 school days.

If the suspension is longer than 5 school days, the school must arrange suitable full-time education from the sixth school day, e.g at a pupil referral unit (PRU).

The law does not allow for extending a fixed period suspension or ‘converting’ a fixed period suspension into a permanent exclusion. In exceptional cases, usually, where further evidence has come to light - further fixed-period suspension may be issued to begin immediately after the first period ends; or permanent exclusion may be issued to begin immediately after the end of the fixed period.


Permanent Exclusion

Permanent exclusion is the most serious sanction a school can give. It means that the child is no longer allowed to attend the school and their name will be removed from the school roll. Permanent exclusion should only be used as a last resort.


If your child has been permanently excluded, the local authority has a duty to provide suitable full-time alternative education from day 6. This is most likely to take place at a pupil referral unit or other alternative provision.


Unlawful suspensions 

A suspension is unlawful/unofficial when schools do not formally record the process or do not follow legislation and guidance.

It is also unlawful for schools to extend or lengthen any formal suspension for a non-disciplinary reason such as:

  • school saying it can’t meet a child’s needs. It should look at putting more or different support in place instead.
  • because of something you have done as a parent.
  • not allowing a child back into school after a fixed period suspension unless they meet particular conditions. Once the suspension is ended your child must be allowed to go back. For example, the head teacher can’t extend the suspension because your child won’t admit they are guilty.

Sending a child home to ‘cool off’ is unlawful, even if parents/carers agree.

All suspensions should be formally recorded.

Schools who unlawfully suspend children are not fulfilling their obligation to provide a full education for your child, You may be able to use suspension as evidence that your child needs more or different support in school.

Pupils can only be suspended/excluded for disciplinary reasons: not because a school cannot meet their needs.

Unlawful suspension/expulsion of a pupil with a disability may amount to disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.


Process to be followed when a suspension/exclusion is given

Step 1

When a head teacher suspends/excludes a pupil, they must without delay let parents know the type of suspension/exclusion and the reason(s) for it. They must also, without delay, provide parents with the following information in writing:

  • the reason(s) for the suspension/exclusion;
  • the length/type of the suspension/exclusion;
  • the parents’ right to put forward their case about the suspension/exclusion to the governing board (appeal), how they should go about doing this and how the pupil can be involved; and when relevant
  • what alternative provision will be provided from the sixth day of a fixed-period suspension.

Step 2

The head teacher should inform the governors/Local Authority of the suspension/exclusion if

  1. it is a permanent exclusion
  2. it is a suspension that would bring the pupil's total number of school days out of school to more than 15 in a term; or
  3. it would result in the pupil missing a public examination or national curriculum test.

The governing board must consider and decide on the reinstatement of a suspended or permanently excluded pupil within 15 school days of receiving notice of a suspension or permanent exclusion

The requirements are different for suspensions where a pupil would be suspended for more than five but less than 16 school days in a term. In this case, if the parents make representations, the governing board must consider and decide within 50 school days of receiving the notice of suspension

In the case of a suspension that does not bring the pupil's total number of days of suspension or permanent exclusion to more than five in a term, the governing board must consider any representations made by parents. There is also no deadline for this meeting to be arranged, however, if this does occur then it should happen within a reasonable amount of time

If the exclusion is permanent and if a parent does not agree with the governing bodies decision they can make a representation to the n independent reviewing panel, an application needs to be made within 15 school days of the notice being given to the parents by the governing board of its decision not to reinstate a permanently excluded pupil


Step 3

Schools should take reasonable steps to set and mark work for pupils during the first five days of a fixed-period exclusion.

For a suspension of more than five school days, the governing board (or local authority if the pupil is suspended from a Pupil Referal Unit) must arrange suitable full-time education for any pupil of compulsory school age.

For permanent exclusions, the local authority must arrange suitable full-time education for the pupil to begin from the sixth day, the duty is on the local authority for the area where the pupil lives

In addition, where a pupil has an EHCP, the local authority may need to review the plan or reassess the child’s needs, in consultation with parents, to identify a new placement

Note - For the first five school days of any exclusion, parents must ensure that their child of compulsory school age is not in a public place during school hours without very good reason. Parents must also ensure that their child attends any new full-time education


The following links provide additional further information:

- Exclusion from School

School suspensions and permanent exclusions - GOV.UK (

- Child Law Advice



A part time timetable is anything other than a child attending school full-time.

All children of compulsory school age (5-16 years), regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full-time education that is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude, and any special educational needs they may have. It could be deemed unlawful for a school to impose a reduced or part-time timetable. Schools have a statutory duty to provide full-time education for all school-age pupils (section 19, The Education Act 1996). However, there may be a need for a temporary part-time timetable to meet a pupil’s needs.

It is therefore important that the use of reduced timetables is kept to a minimum and that they are only used as an exceptional measure, when appropriate, when all other measures to support the pupil have failed, and that they are kept under regular review. There should be a consistent, inclusive approach to their use, focusing on early intervention and ensuring the right support is being put in place


Younger children who are not of compulsory school age (usually children who are 4 and in reception class) should have the same opportunities as their peers, to attend full-time. 



Can a school place a pupil on a part-time timetable?

As a rule, no.

All pupils of compulsory school age are entitled to a full-time education. In very exceptional circumstances there may be a need for a temporary part-time timetable to meet a pupil’s individual needs. For example, where a medical condition prevents a pupil from attending full-time education, and a part-time timetable is considered as part of a re-integration package. A part-time timetable must not be treated as a long-term solution. Any pastoral support programme or other agreement must have a time limit by which point the pupil is expected to attend full-time or be provided with alternative provision. In agreeing to a part-time timetable a school has agreed to a pupil being absent from school for part of the week or day and therefore must record it as an authorised absence.


Do I have to agree to a part time timetable?

No. If you do not feel that a part time timetable is the best thing for your child, you can refuse it. Schools cannot enforce a part time timetable without parents consent. 

For more information please click here to view our resource pack


Additional further information can be found by clicking the links below:

 Child Law Advice - Education for children out of school

 School attendance: guidance for schools - GOV.UK (

Informal exclusions | (IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special Education Advice



Transport for Children of Compulsory School Age

Local authorities are required to arrange free, suitable, home to school transport for children of compulsory school age who are ‘eligible’, to their nearest suitable qualifying school.


Compulsory school age refers to the ages at which a child must be in full-time education, usually at a school.


Eligible children fall within four categories, set out in S. 35 of the Education Act 1996:

  • Children with SEN, a disability or a mobility difficulty (who live within the statutory walking distance but whose SEND or mobility problems mean that they cannot reasonably be expected to walk to their school).
  • Children whose route to school is unsafe (the Local Authority should assess the route at the times the child would be using it. They should take into account various factors including the age of the child; whether risks might be less if the child were accompanied by an adult and whether that is practicable; and features of the route itself).
  • Children who live beyond the statutory walking distance (the statutory walking distance is 2 miles for children under 8 years old and 3 miles for children of 8 or over).
  • Children from low income families (A child will qualify for eligibility under the 'low income' provisions if he is entitled to free school lunches, or if his parents or carers receive working tax credit at the maximum rate).


If a child meets the criteria for any one of these categories, they could be entitled to home to school transport. 


Transport for 18 year olds

When it comes to transport arrangements for those aged 16-17 (and sometimes 18), the Local Authority's duty to provide transport for eligible children stops, and becomes a more general duty under S. 509AA of the Education Act 1996.


Every Local Authority in England has a duty to prepare and publish an annual Transport Policy Statement (TPS) specifying the arrangements for the provision of transport or otherwise; to  facilitate the attendance of all persons of sixth form age receiving education or training. This TPS will always be the starting point for a young person seeking transport from the LA.


Transport for adult learners (over 19's)

The LA's duty in respect of 'adult learners' is covered by s.508F of the Education Act 1996. 'Adult learners' will usually be those young people who are over the age of 19, but it is worth noting that if a young person has started a course of study before they reach the age of 19, they will not be considered to be an 'adult learner' until that course is complete and they have started a new one (s.509AC Education Act 1996) 

When considering adult learners, the LA must make "such arrangements for the provision of transport, as they consider necessary" and must do so for 2 purposes - the first of which would be relevant in most cases and is expressed as follows: 

The first purpose is to facilitate the attendance of adults receiving education at institutions— 

(a) maintained or assisted by the authority and providing further or higher education (or both), or 

(b) within the further education sector. 

Any transport arrangements provided under this duty must be free of charge.


The following links provide additional further information:

Home-to-school travel and transport - GOV.UK (

School and college travel assistance - Bury Council

Transport to education and training for people aged 16 and over - GOV.UK (



For more information please click here to view our resource pack 

An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is a legal document which describes a child or young person’s special educational needs, the support they need, and the outcomes they would like to achieve.


An EHCP can only be issued after a child or young person has gone through the process of an EHC Needs Assessment.


Test in Law for an EHC Needs Assessment

The Local Authority (LA) must apply a legal test when considering whether or not to carry out an EHC Needs Assessment. This test is contained in section 36(8) of the Children and Families Act 2014 and has two parts.

Part one of the test is whether the child or young person has or may have special educational needs.

Please see below the definition of special educational needs as detailed in Part 3 Section 20 of the Children and Families Act 2014:

  • Your child has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age or
  • has a disability that prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
  • A child under compulsory school age has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she is likely to be when of compulsory school age

 Part two of the test is that it may be necessary for Special Educational Provision (SEP) to be made for the child/young person through the issuing of an EHC plan.


The Local Authority should not apply a higher threshold in law for assessing an EHC needs assessment.


Most children and young people with SEN or disabilities will have their needs met within local mainstream early years settings, school or colleges; however, some children and young people may require an EHC needs assessment in order for the Local Authority to decide whether it is necessary to make additional provision through an EHC. 


If an EHC Needs Assessment takes place, the LA will decide as to whether an EHCP is needed for the child or whether the child's needs can be met in a setting without it.


EHC Needs Assessments

If they agree to carry out an EHC Needs Assessment, the LA must seek information and advice on a child or young person’s needs, the provision required to meet those needs, and the outcomes expected to be achieved by the child or young person. This advice must come from a range of different people, described below:

The LA must seek advice from a range of people. The list is set out in Regulation 6(1) of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 (the “SEN Regs”):

  1. the child’s parent or the young person;
  2. educational advice (usually from the head teacher or principal);
  3. medical advice and information from a health care professional;
  4. psychological advice and information from an educational psychologist;
  5. advice and information in relation to social care;
  6. advice and information from any other person the local authority thinks appropriate;
  7. where the child or young person is in or beyond year 9, advice and information in relation to provision to assist the child or young person in preparation for adulthood and independent living; and
  8. advice and information from any person the child’s parent or young person reasonably requests that the local authority seek advice from.

The LA is legally required to seek all of this information as a minimum.


Statutory Time Scales for the EHC Process

Click image to view in large scale. 


What will be included in an EHC plan if the LA agrees to issue it?

An EHC plan has sections A- K, three of which are legally binding Section B needs Section F provision (support), and section I the naming the setting or type of setting and it will be tailored to meet the particular needs of each child or young persons. The EHC plan will include information about your child/young person's views and aspirations, Information regards your child’s needs and support to be put in place to meet your child's needs, and outcomes will be also set for your child to aim to achieve


For more information please click here to view our resource pack


Further information can be found using the links below:

EHC needs assessments (

Children and Families Act 2014 (

SEND_Code_of_Practice_January_2015.pdf (

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 (

SEND Myths

Council for Disabled Children

Once an EHC plan is in place for a child or young person, it is unlikely to remain the same over time. As they grow up, it may become out of date, and they may move to a different school or college. This is why there is a requirement for all EHCP's to be reviewed by the local authority at least annually. This is usually referred to as the Annual Review.


Parents/carers, children and young people should be involved in the annual review process. 


The Annual Review Process

What happens before an annual review

  1. Setting should collect information from all relevant professionals as well as the parent and child/young person
  2. Setting should circulate all reports and invite people to the annual review (this should happen at least 2 weeks before the date of the meeting)


What to expect in an Annual Review meeting

Parents/carers, children and young people should be involved in the Annual Review process.  There should be a meeting to attend and other ways for views, wishes and feelings to be heard; such as paperwork to fill out. The annual review is a chance to look at:

  • What is working well?

  • What needs to change?

  • Changes in SEN

  • Preparing for Adulthood (Year 9 onwards)

  • Aspirations


Timeline following an Annual Review

After the Annual Review has taken place the Local Authority have 4 weeks from the date of the meeting to make a decision.

There are only 3 decisions the LA can make:

  • To maintain the plan (No changes)
  • To amend the plan
  • To cease the plan

If the local authority agree to amend the plan you should receive a draft copy of the amended plan with the letter. The LA then have a further 8 weeks to finalise the plan. 


Transitional years

Transitional years are the years between Nursery to Primary School, Primary to Secondary School and Secondary School to College.

If a child is within 12 months of transferring from nursery to primary school or primary to secondary school; there always has to be a review. Any amendments should be made by 15th of February of the calendar year your child is due to make the transfer.

If your child is moving from secondary school to post 16 education or an apprenticeship, there should also be a review, and it should happen by 31st of March of the calendar year.


For more information please click here to view our resource pack


For additional further information about annual reviews please click the link below: 

SENDiass can provide advocacy.  


Advocacy means getting support from another person to help you express your views and wishes and help you understand and exercise your rights.


SENDiass do not fulfill the role of statutory advocates. A statutory advocate is a different type of advocate than SENDiass. Statutory advocates are advocates who are specially trained to support people under the Mental Health Act, the Mental Capacity Act and the Care Act. 


Further information about Statutory Advocates can be found by clicking the link below:

Guide to Advocacy


SENDiass can:

  • listen to your views and concerns
  • help you explore your options and rights (without pressuring you)
  • provide information to help you make informed decisions
  • help you contact relevant people, or contact them on your behalf
  • accompany you and support you in a meeting


SENDiass will not:

  • give you their personal opinion (tell you what they think)
  • solve problems and make decisions for you
  • make a judgement about you

BURY2GETHER is a forum for parent/carers of young people (aged 0-25) with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) who access services in Bury.

BURY2GETHER aims to work with education, social care, health and other services to ensure parent/carer voices are represented, when designing services for children/young people and their families. 

You can sign up as a member at to:

  • Socialise with other parent/carers

  • Shape future services in Bury and be involved in the latest SEND consultation

  • Find activities and services, information share and access workshops and training sessions
    Find out about our regular family events, coffee mornings, wellbeing sessions and clubs 

  • Or simply to enjoy the posts, and join in the chats on our Social Media.

Facebook information page:


Facebook group chat parents/carers only):






BURY2GETHER are hosting a number of online questions and answer sessions with Bury services for parent/carers.

For more information please visit the BURY2GETHER website.


The Bury Directory

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