Special Needs Assessment Service (SNAS)- Coronavirus
Wandsworth Special Needs Assessment Service (SNAS): COVID-19 update
This guidance note should be read in conjunction with the government’s official guidance on vulnerable children and young people. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people
As a service, we are committed to ensuring that our children with special educational needs and disabilities continue to be supported during the current circumstances as a result of the virus outbreak.
Following the government’s advice to socially distance, the team are working remotely until further notice. We are successfully using a range of technology to hold virtual meetings and access information and reports to inform our work.
If you have an enquiry, or would like to speak with a member of the Service over the phone please email to SNASparents@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk .
Please email with your child’s school in the subject bar and in the content of the email your child’s name, your contact details and brief details of your enquiry. We can then ensure the right member of the team gets back to you as soon as possible.
If your child does not have a school place currently, please write ‘no school place’ in the subject bar.
Our other email addresses continue as usual:
EHC Needs Assessment requests: EHCArequests@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk
EHCP Annual reviews: AnnualReviews@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk
New requests for statutory assessment of a young person’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs.
During these challenging times, we will be following government advice and continuing to process requests for EHC assessments. For new assessment requests the information submitted will be considered and outcomes communicated with parents/carers within the 6 week timeframe as usual. Schools and parents should email requests and accompanying evidence to the EHCArequests email. we will not be able to access hard copies received by post.
EHC assessments currently in progress
Where a child’s or young person’s assessment has already been agreed we will endeavour to complete the process within the 20 week timeframe. We know that there may be delays where, for example, it may not be possible to carry out an assessment by a paediatrician or an educational psychologist. The government has acknowledged this by stating that it will be ‘amending SEND regulations to change the timescales relating to EHC plan processes’ (COVID-19: guidance on vulnerable children and young people updated on 25th March). Specific details of this have not yet been announced, so in the meantime we will continue to process EHC assessments where we have already received the necessary information and with any further reports received.
School attendance for children and young people with EHC Plans
All pupils with an EHC Plan are eligible to attend school, however parents/carers may decide that it is in the child’s best interests for them to remain at home given the government’s advice on social distancing and shielding, especially for children and young people with medical needs. If you are keeping your child at home for their wellbeing or concerns about potential exposure to infection, then your child's school place will be maintained.
The government has passed new legislation in response to the outbreak. As a result, local authorities have been advised to use “reasonable endeavours to ensure that provision continues to be available to meet education, health and care needs and prioritise their efforts to support those with the most complex needs”.
We are in close contact with our schools and will make every effort to ensure that provision is available for eligible pupils, and we will discuss with parents and carers on an individual basis what support may be available for their child when we are aware of school closures.
Provision for children and young people with EHCPs
The expectation is that the provision described in a child’s EHC Plan will continue to be delivered as far as is possible and practicable. However, given the social distancing rules and current staffing challenges that all schools are facing, there are likely to be changes and schools will doing their best to ensure that children are supported, and that impact is minimised. In particular, therapy teams will be working with schools to try and meet the needs of individuals but this may be impacted by reduced staff or if NHS staff are directed to cover other duties. Many schools are setting online work, delivering virtual lessons and have resources and guidance available on their websites. We recommend discussing appropriate home learning resources with your child’s school.
Any changes or reductions to a child’s or young person’s provision during the outbreak will not be considered as a permanent change to what is described in their EHC Plan.
SNAS depends on information from schools and professionals in order to review and amend EHC Plans. The government has temporarily disapplied the duty for LAs to annually review EHCPs but we will encourage schools to electronically gather and share reports and views amongst the family and professionals and to hold a virtual team around the child meeting where this is possible. We appreciate that some schools and families are better skilled and equipped to do this than others and acknowledge that some reviews will need to be delayed. We will ask schools to prioritise reviews where there is a forthcoming transition e.g. for children in their nursery year, in year 5 and year 11.
The Special Needs Assessment Service (SNAS) is responsible for carrying out the statutory assessment process for individual children and young people with special educational needs to find out what their needs are, and what help they can be offered.
The service is for Wandsworth residents.
This service provides:
- information about your child's additional needs;
- extra support for your child's additional needs; and
- methods of improving your child's ability to learn.
Typically, a professional, such as a teacher, health worker or educational psychologist collects information about your child and completes a report about the support needed. Parents should discuss the process with the school SENCO/Learning Support where applicable. Parents and the child or young person will be invited to express their views.
You will be required to submit any other professionals' reports you may have to assist in the assessment.
Parents and carers can also request an Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment.
The attached SNAS Caseload and School Allocation documents, give the names and emails of the Case Managers along with which primary schools and nurseries, or secondary schools and colleges are in their allocations. They also list the Case Work Assistants and their telephone numbers. For general SNAS enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For EHC Needs Assessment requests EHCArequests@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk
For EHCP Annual reviews please email AnnualReviews@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk
For complaints please email SNAScomplaints@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk
Who to contact
- 020 8871 8061
Where to go
- Town Hall
Wandsworth High Street
- SW18 2PU
- Get directions
Time / Date Details
- When is it on
- Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm
- Age Ranges
- From 0 years to 24 years
To use this service you can request an EHC Needs assessment for your child or young person. If possible, consult the Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCO) at the child's school.
Last updated: 31 Mar 2020