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Resources page for SENCOs, SEND professionals and others

Since the reforms each local authority has been required to put all relevant SEND information in one place. In Hackney this is here on Hackney's Local Offer website. 

SEND services are changing rapidly in response to new requirements. We aim to have the most relevant and up to date information publicly available here on Hackney's Local Offer website. 

As part of the continuing development of the site we have made a SEND documents library. We hope this is a better way of helping you find SEND guidance, strategies, templates, forms, planning tools. 

A link to the Documents Library is available at the top of every page on the website. 

Useful information about mainstream services: 

Hackney Learning Trust's website (education services )

Hackney schools / Pupil benefits

Primary Schools / Admissions

Secondary Schools / Admissions

Education and careers - 14 - 19


Parents and young people can also access and make use of this information and there is a resource page dedicated to information for them too. 

Find out more: Parent and carers resource page

We may be able to help with a specific enquiry if the relevant service is unavailable and we can be contacted via the 'contact us' button available at the top of every page of this website. 

Page last updated: 24/10/18

Hackney Local Offer Strap-line...

If you work in Hackney supporting those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) please promote Hackney's Local Offer as the boroughs source of SEND information by adding this strap-line to your e-mail signature...

Local Offer - information on local services and support for children

and young people 0-25 with SEND:

Information and Local Offer link for schools to add to their Schools SEN Information report:

The SEND Code of Practice requires schools to link to their local authorities Local Offer website within each schools SEN Information Report see CoP 6.81. Below we have provided a very brief paragraph including a link that schools are very welcome to use to do this.

Parents and carers can find out what SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) services across education, health and social care are available on Hackney’s Local Offer website. See:

Find out more: What is the Local Offer?

City and Hackney Safeguarding Children’s Board

City and Hackney Safeguarding Children’s Board

CHSCB provide training for those working with children and vulnerable people.

Find out more:

If you are worried About a child or young person contact;

Hackney and City of London Children & Families Team

0207 332 3621

Hackney First Access Screening Team (FAST)

0208 356 5500

For out of hours (5pm – 9am), please contact the Emergency Duty Team

0208 356 2710

Safeguarding in Education Team

Who we are:

This Safeguarding in Education Team help to ensure school staff and others working in education are promoting the welfare of the children in their settings.

“Protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of children's health or development, ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care; and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. Children includes everyone under the age of 18”

Source: Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016)

What we do:

Safeguarding in Education Team can provide information, training, advice and guidance including:

  • Advice and guidance to educational establishments and early years settings on safeguarding and child protection concerns, including allegations against staff
  • Safeguarding and child protection training for all early years settings, schools and Hackney Learning Trust staff
  • Training for nominated safeguarding children’s advisers
  • Bespoke training for early years and educational establishments upon request

Other available training includes:

  • safe practice training, e-safety training, managing allegations training and safeguarding training for parents
  • Disseminating best practice regarding safeguarding by drawing on latest safeguarding guidance and research
  • Safeguarding audits in Hackney educational and early years establishments
  • Contribution to and delivery of City and Hackney Safeguarding Children’s Board training packages

This service helps provide an overview of the relevant legislative, statutory and advisory guidance that those who come into contact with children and their families must be aware of.

Everyone has a role to play in safeguarding children. School and college staff are particularly important as they may be the first to notice something concerning and provide help for children, to prevent concerns or situations from escalating.

Schools and colleges and their staff are part of the wider safeguarding system for children and should work with:

  • social care
  • the police
  • health services

…and others to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm.

The Safeguarding in Education Team can provide practical guidance in relation to safeguarding policies, record keeping and referrals to Children's Social Care. The team have also produced a range of useful resources. 

Hackney Learning Trust - Safeguarding in Education Team

HLT Revised Positive Handling guidance for Schools and Settings

The revised guidance document sets out Hackney Learning Trust’s position in relation to the use of reasonable force and physical restraint in schools and settings across the borough.  It details the legal position and best practice in this area.

Hackney Learning Trust believes everyone has a right to:

  • Recognition of their unique identity;
  • Be treated with respect and dignity;
  • Learn and work in a safe environment;
  • Be protected from harm, violence, assault and acts of verbal abuse.

This latest version of the document seeks to provide comprehensive guidance to schools and settings. The guidance also considers best practice, de-escalation strategies, non- verbal techniques, and issues to avoid when effectively managing challenging behaviour. This guidance should also prove essential in reducing potential allegations made against education staff if physical interventions can be proven to be supported by effective training and guidance.

You can find Hackney Learning Trust - Positive Handling Guidance for Schools and Settings in the download section of this page.

Included in this document are model policies.

To use the model policies copy and paste the relevant information and insert your settings name. 

Access Arrangements (extra help for students during exams and assessments)

Access Arrangements are pre-examination adjustments for candidates based on evidence of need and normal ways of working. Access Arrangements fall into two distinct categories: some arrangements are delegated to schools, colleges and centres. Others require approval from JCQCIC.

Access Arrangements allow candidates/learners with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to access assessments without the assessment being changed.  

For example:

  • extra time 
  • prompts
  • readers
  • scribes (someone who writes what the student gives as the answer)
  • braille question papers  

In this way Awarding Bodies will comply with the duty of the Equality Act 2010 to make 'reasonable adjustments'.

Reasonable Adjustments

The Equality Act 2010 requires an Awarding Body to make reasonable adjustments where a disabled person would be at a substantial disadvantage in undertaking an assessment.

A reasonable adjustment for a particular person may be unique to that individual and may not be included in the list of available Access Arrangements.

Find out more:  Access Arrangements - The Joint Council for Qualifications

Exam accommodations for Autistic Students...

Autistic students may face additional challenges when taking exams, such as sensory overload. 

Having recognised these challenges, the DfE commissioned the Autism Education Trust (AET) to develop guidance around accommodations[1] to help teachers and exam officers support autistic students to be able to fully demonstrate their knowledge and skills when taking qualifications.

The guide includes tips on "The availability of access arrangements". 

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) publishes requirements for the most common access arrangements for GCSEs etc. 

Access arrangements include reasonable adjustments that are needed to make exams accessible for candidates who have disabilities. 

Please note: A reasonable adjustment may be unique to that individual and may not be included in the JCQ’s list of available access arrangements.

Preparing the student

In order to prepare autistic students for taking exams, teachers should be familiar with the exam content and formatting so that they can provide individualised guidance and support.  It is good practice to make use of any available previous papers and practice material. 

The guide was written specifically to support autistic students being entered for GCSEs, but the principles and good practice examples can be applied to all public examinations.

Find out more: Autism Education Trust - Exam accomodations guidance to support students with autism at GCSE


Education Health and Care Assessments - Guidance

For those who are applying for an Education Health and Care needs assessment on behalf of a child or young person Hackney Learning Trust has produced some guidance. This is available in the documents library section of this website: Documents Library - SEND guidance, strategies, templates, forms, planning tools...

The SEND Code of Practice 2014 says:

"On deciding whether or not to carry out an EHC needs assessment, criteria and guidelines can be develop to help local authorities decide whether or not to carry out an assessment. However, the request for each child must be considered individually and on its merits and local authorities must not operate ‘blanket’ policies that exclude particular groups of children, particular age groups, or particular types of need."

Support in Hackney for children with SEND

How parents and schools can support children with SEND?

The 2014 SEN Code of Practice sets out how schools, parents and carers must work together to help children with special educational needs.


Parents can expect schools to:

  • answer questions about their child’s progress
  • show them the school’s SEND policy, SEN information report and School's Accessibility policy
  • explain how the school’s policy affects thir child
  • invite parents to all meetings to discuss your child’s progress and education plan
  • give you a chance to submit information for consideration
  • allow you to see copies of reports before your child’s statement/EHC Plan is reviewed.

Schools will expect parents to:

  • share any information which helps to plan your child’s education
  • attend meetings to discuss your child’s progress
  • make sure your child attends school regularly
  • support your child’s learning through activities at home

If parents still have concerns...

If parents still have concerns about the support their child is getting that can talk to:

  • their class teacher
  • the school's special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO)

Parents and young people can also get advice from Hackney SENDIAGS (SEND Information, Advice and Guidance Service)


Statutory Assessments

Parents and young people themselves have the right to ask Hackney Learning Trust to consider an assessment of their or their child’s needs.

If a parent or young person feels a needs assessment may be necessary thay are encouraged to talk to the school first. 

Personal budgets

Since September 2014 Statements of Special Educational Needs are being replaced with joined up Educational Health and Care (EHC) Plans.

By law all children and young people in receipt of an Education, Health and Care Plan are able to request a personal budget.

A personal budget is an amount of money that you can use to arrange and pay for your support agreed in your EHC Plan. The amount that you get depends on the needs and outcomes identified in your plan and can alter as they change.

Information on how to request a personal budget and eligibility criteria can be found on the Hackney Local Offer website:

What is a personal budget?


Disagreement resolution

If a parent or young person is not happy with the support they are getting in school they should first speak to the:

  • class teacher
  • special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO)
  • the Headteacher/Principal

Getting advice

You can also get advice from:

Hackney SENDIAGS who have an informal disagreement resolution service to help parents and Hackney Learning Trust reach an agreement.


Please see: What is mediation?

The mediation provider in Hackney is:KIDS London Special Educational Needs Mediation Service

Making an appeal

If a parent disagrees with a decision about their child's special educational needs, they can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Please see: What is a tribunal?

School Admissions for children and young people with SEND

School Admissions

The timescale and process for starting school for children with an educational, health and care plan (or a statement of special educational needs) is different at age 4 and in Year 6, when  moving from primary to secondary school.

A separate application form will be sent to parents to list the schools of preference for their child.

There are three special schools in the borough. Please see here: Special Schools in Hackney  

Each school also has their own website where you can find out more about how the  school would support children in their setting.

In-year transfers:

If a parent wishes to transfer a child to another school at any other time of the school year, they are encouraged to discuss this with the headteacher at the current school and then contact the team below to find out the process for an in-year transfer.

Further advice and information:

Special Educational Needs Administration Team

Phone: 0208 820 7000 / option 4

See also: Education Act 1996 

Support and development services for schools and settings...

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities services available to nurseries, school’s and other education or training settings:

Hackney Learning Trust provides a wide range of services for schools and other settings to help them support pupils with additional needs and disabilities. These range from training for individuals and school staff to bespoke packages for specific children.

Many of these services have some free access to help support parents and schools to support children with SEND. They can be accessed by parents through drop in sessions if available or by schools through a core offer.

Find out more: Support and development SEND services for schools

Person Centred Approaches and Planning

What is Person Centred Planning?

Person centred planning, sometimes referred to as PCP, aims to…

  • Put the parent and child or young person is at the heart of the process
  • Highlight the child or young person’s strengths and interests
  • Take a ‘tell us once’ approach to families sharing information with control of what’s shared.
  • Listen and respond to the importance of their views, wishes and aspirations
  • Focus on what outcomes (goals) families and young people are seeking for their futures.
  • Collaboratively plans the support needed to achieve them.
  • Education, Health and Social Care, services and professionals work together to discuss and agree an overall approach
  • Give families, children and young people better choice and control over their futures.

All professionals and people working with them should ensure that parents, children and young people are genuinely involved in all aspects of planning and decision making. Read more...

You can also find some useful documents to help plan and hold Person Centred reviews in the download section of this page.

Outcomes - What they are and help thinking about them

Hackney Learning Trust has produced some useful guidance on "Outcomes" for children with SEND. This is available in the download section of this page. 

Outcomes can be defined as the changes we can see being made to an individual, based on something done to create that change and not only related to academic achievement or progress.

The SEND Code of Practice 2014 / 15 makes it clear that all children should be empowered to achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes.

What do children and young people and their parents see as the key outcomes to be working towards?

Providing real and meaningful engagement of children and young people and their parents is key. This can be achieved through person-centred working and taking a partnership approach with the help of everyone involved in a child’s education to identify and decide what  positive outcomes to focus on.

Good outcomes are created by building on something that is working well and changing what doesn’t work well, addressing the needs of that person in order to focus on and make progress towards achieving their future aspirations.

Outcome that do not address fundamental aspects of a young person’s future are not ideal outcomes to focus on.

Do look for something that is specific to the individual and measurable, as well as personal to them.

Don’t embed the solution or provision into the outcome. Often you will see outcomes that describe the solution as part of the outcome itself, or that describe the provision that will help the outcome to be achieved.

Outcomes should be specific enough to be able to measure whether they have been successfully achieved. For example “to improve my independence”, as an outcome statement, is not specific to the individual and there is no way of measuring if it has been achieved.

Where longer term outcomes are expressed, they should describe the smaller steps needed to reach that outcome.

See more on “outcomes” and here…

Hackney's Education, Health and Care Team - Templates, guidance and forms:

EHC Planning documents, forms and templates

The 2014 SEND Code of Practice sets out how schools, parents and carers must work together to help children with special educational needs.

Hackney Learning Trust has co-produced some useful guidance, forms and templates for SENCO’s.

You can find these and other relevant documents in the download section of this page. 

You can find Hackney's transition plan in the download section of this page or by clicking on the link below...

Documents available from the download section of this page:

  • Hackney EHC Plan template 0-13 
  • Hackney EHC Plan  template 14-19+ Preparing for Adulthood 
  • New Requests-Professionals Form
  • Person centred annual reviews and transfer reviews
  • Person centred reviews agenda
  • Person centred annual review and transfer reviews guidance
  • Annual review/transfer review form 0-13
  • Annual review/transfer review form 14-25
  • Children and young peoples ‘All about me’
  • Parent/carer views
  • Education staff views

Guidance, forms and templates can also be located on the EHC planning Team wiki website:

Getting advice

Hackney's Education, Health and Care Planning Team are also able to provide advice relating to applications and EHC plans.

 Links to useful national information...

We hope you find this helpful.

School exclusions

Being excluded from school even for a short time (a fixed term exclusion) can be very distressing for a child or young person and for their parents or carers.

Certain procedures must be followed when a child or young person is excluded from a school or education setting.

Some of these procedures relate directly to pupils and students who have or may have special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND). 

It is important for schools and parents to understand the laws around school exclusions and that an exclusion must not be given to a child for behaviour related to or arising from having a disability. 

Hackney Learning Trust is working with schools to reduce schools exclusions and offers a range of services and alternatives. 

Find out more: School exclusions

CAMHS Disability - new ASD offer for schools

What is the new service being offered to schools?

CAMHS Disability are pleased to introduce a new offer for schools. 2 x ASD Assistant Psychologists have recently joined the team at the Hackney Ark to offer school staff and families support to complement and collaborate with existing ASD services in the borough

This short-term work of up to 6 sessions, aims to help families directly with difficulties (for example, issues with communication, behaviour, eating, or sleep).

The 2 x ASD Assistant Psychologists are able to organise and run ASD specific workshops and to provide consultation, teaching and training to schools, other staff and parents/carers, to develop an shared understanding of ASD by offering practical advice and signposting to local resources.

Find out more: CAMHS Disability Service

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