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Together for Children - Special Educational Needs (SEN) Team

Together for Children's SEN Team carries out the statutory functions on behalf of the Local Authority in relation to Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments and Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).

The team:

  • delivers the Council's statutory responsibilities for SEND in relation to the legislation, regulations, statutory and non-statutory guidance contained in the Children and Families Act 2014, The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, the Special Educational Needs (Personal Budgets) Regulations 2014 and Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 - 25 years. 
  • co-ordinates, administers and manages the statutory EHC assessment of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
  • co-ordinate and share summative assessment
  • produce EHCPs arranging provision and placement for children & young people, with appropriate resources, in line with their EHCPs
  • co-ordinate the annual review process of EHCPs across all educational settings, including schools and colleges
  • manage and facilitate the process of parental appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (SEND) representing the Local Authority at appeal hearings
  • provides information, advice and guidance to parents, carers and school and other key partners on the statutory processes regarding EHCPs, annual reviews and other matters relating to SEND in line with the SEND Code of Practice: 0 - 25 and other legislation and regulations regarding SEND

Criteria for access

The eligibility criteria to be considered for an EHC (Education, Health and Care) needs assessment and be considered for an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) refers to sSection 36(8) of the Education Act 1996 'The Local authority must secure an EHC assessment for a child or young person if, after having regard to any views expressed and evidence submitted under subsection (7), the authority is of the opinion that:

  • the child or young person has or may have special educational needs
  • it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan'  

A referral is usually made by the school or other setting requesting that the Local Authority consider whether or not to carry out an EHC needs assessment for your child.

A referral can also be made by a parent requesting the Local Authority to consider whether or not to carry out an EHC needs assessment for your child.

A referral may be made by a young person over the age of 16 but under the age of 25.

In addition, anyone else can bring a child or young person who has (or may have) SEN to the attention of the Local Authority, particularly where they think an EHC needs assessment may be necessary.  This could include, for example, foster carers, health and social care professionals, early years practitioners, youth offending teams or probation services, those responsible for education in custody, school or college staff or a family friend.

When the Local Authority considers whether or not an EHC needs assessment is necessary the decision is made in line with the following principle legislation, regulations and guidance:

Section 36 of the Children and Families Act 2014; and regulations 3, 4 and 5 of the SEND Regulations 2014 and Including All Children and Young People: Guidance for Implementing the SEND Code of Practice: 0 - 25, 2014

Further information regarding EHC needs assessment and EHCPs can be found in the Special Educational Needs & Disability Code of Practice: 0 - 25 years.

Referral forms can be accessed from the Local Offer site.

Universal services
Advice regarding the SEN process is available to all schools, colleges, parents and young people from the SEN Team.  the service can also be contacted by email:

Specialist services
The service is for those children and young people who are identified as having SEN.  Therefore, the Local Authority must conduct an assessment of EHC needs when it considers that it may be necessary for special Educational Provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC Plan.

Who to contact

Main contact: 0191 561 2234

Where to go

Stanfield Business Centre
Addison Street

Local Offer

Local Offer Age Bands
0-4 (Birth to Pre-School)
5-10 (Primary School)
11-16 (Secondary School)
16-18 (Transition into Adulthood)
18-25 (Young Adults)
SEN Provision Type
Sunderland City Council and Together for Children Sunderland do not recommend or endorse any providers or services listed. Please read our full Disclaimer here.
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