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The definition of SEN under the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice is:

‘A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • Has a significant greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • Has a disability which 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’

Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 defines any child with a disability as a “child in need”.

Since the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 was repealed in 2011 by the Equality Act 2010 it remains unlawful to discriminate against a disabled person in relation to the provision of services. This includes making a service more difficult for a disabled person to access or providing them with a different standard of service. The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (DDA) and the Equality Act 2010 define a disabled person as someone who has:

“a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day to day activities”

The Local Offer

A video by the Department for Education explaining the Local Offer.

The Children and Families Act 2014 requires every local authority in England to publish a ‘Local Offer’.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice states that “Local authorities must publish a Local Offer, setting out in one place information about provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in their area who have SEN [Special Educational Needs] or are disabled, including those who do not have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.”

Havering’s Local Offer provides information on local services and support available for families including children and young people aged 0-25 years with special educational needs or disabilities.

Havering SEND Local Offer (Parent/Carer’s version)

Havering SEND Local Offer (Young People’s version)

You can find out more about what to do if your child has special educational needs by clicking here

To find out about Education, health and care (EHC) plans please click here

Final-MCA-16-to17-years-7-Minute-Briefing (1)

Children & Adults with Disabilities (CAD) Service, LB Havering

The CAD support team provide specialist support to promote early intervention and inclusive practice for children aged 0-5 with special educational needs and/or disability. The team consists of early years specialists who support children and families within the home and early education settings in the private, voluntary, independent (PVI) sector and maintained nurseries.

The team work with children with a range of developmental difficulties, including those with complex needs either directly or indirectly through the offer of advice, support, modelling strategies and techniques, contributing to assessments, liaising with other support services, transitions and training.

Within CAD Support, there are two teams, the Early Support Service which includes support for children with social communication and interaction difficulties and the Area Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo) /Advisory teacher team.

Contact Details

Telephone: 01708 434080


The 5-19 team is a multi-disciplinary team consisting of Specialist Teachers, Specialist Assistants, and Educational Psychologists

The teachers are specialists in the following areas: Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, ICT and Access, Language and Communication. 

They work at different levels. The team supports schools develop children and young people through regular Senco meetings.

They also work in schools and colleges where we advise these about inclusive practice for individual children and young people following assessment. This is done through either consultations and through individual work with children and young people.

In addition they visit the Havering children and young people with an Education, Health and Care plans who are educated outside London Borough of Havering to advise about their further development and transitional periods.

They focus on the most vulnerable children and young people with the most complex needs. These are typically the young people without a school placement, with complex learning, social and emotional needs which can sometimes be compounded by social care service needs, so circumstantial needs.

Contact Details

Telephone: 01708 433936



A video by the Council for Disabled Children explaining what an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan is.


The EHC Assessment Team are responsible for the statutory assessment process of children and young people (0-25 years of age) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

A request for an EHC assessment would usually be made by an education setting with parental agreement, but can be made by the child’s parent or carer, a professional, or by the young person themselves.

The EHC process is divided into three key statutory phases:

  • 0-6 weeks (a request for an EHC assessment is made and a decision panel will review the request. The local authority (LA) determines whether an assessment will be carried or not; this decision must be made by week 6)
  • 6-16 weeks (if an EHC assessment has been agreed by the LA then an assessment will be undertaken, once completed, a decision panel will review the assessment and the LA will decide if an EHC plan will be issued or not; this decision must be made by week 16)
  • 16-20 weeks (if the LA has agreed to issue an EHC plan, the plan must be issued by week 20).

EHC plans that are issued following the completion of an EHC assessment are for those children and young people whose needs have been assessed as requiring support from the local authority, in addition to the support that can be provided by their education setting.

If a child or young person has been assessed as needing additional support in accordance with an EHC Plan then a decision panel will consider how the needs can be planned for and the LA will agree a level of resource to meet the assessed needs. Information about the support that is needed will be recorded in a legal document, which is the Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

The EHC Placement Team are responsible for the monitoring and review of EHC plans issued. EHC plans must be reviewed every year, with the SEN Code of Practice recommending every 6 months for children under the age of 5. EHC Placement Case Officers manage a caseload and provide advice to education settings, parents/carers, professionals and young people.

Both teams are supported by Senior Case Officers, who also hold and manage a complex caseload of EHC Plans. There is oversight from the Assessment and Placement Team Manager. Senior Case Officers and the Team Manager also represent the local authority (LA) at Disagreement Resolution meetings and SEN and Disability Tribunal hearings.

Contact Details

Telephone: 01708 431885


Havering Council has a Social Care & Preparation for Adulthood Team, consisting of a team social workers who specifically work with children and young people with disabilities.

Contact Details

Telephone: 01708 432488


Short Breaks


A video by Kids Charity explains what a short break is.

Short Breaks for children and young people with disabilities in Havering

A child or young person may be eligible for short breaks if they have:

  • a diagnosed disability or impairment that would define them as a disabled person under the Equality Act 2010 including a physical or sensory impairment, learning disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, challenging behaviour as a result of a disability, complex health needs and those with palliative, life-limiting or life threatening conditions
  • is a resident in Havering
  • is aged 0-18 years

Short Breaks provide children and young people with disabilities the opportunity to:

  • have fun
  • make friends
  • try new activities
  • build independence
  • develop new skills

It also gives families an opportunity to:

  • have a break from their caring responsibilities
  • rest and relax
  • spend time with other members of their family

Short Breaks may include arrangements for a child or young person to access:

  • universal services
  • Short Breaks

To apply for short breaks please click here

To read Havering Council’s eligibility criteria for short breaks please click here

To access a flowchart of the application process please click here

Further advice is available on the Havering SEND Local Offer for Short Breaks


Information, Advice and Support Service (IAS) for SEND


A video by Council for Disabled Children explaining what an IAS is.

Havering SENDIASS provide free, impartial and confidential information, advice and support on matters relating to education, health and social care.

They offer support to parents/carers of children with SEND aged 0-16 years

They offer support to young people themselves with SEND aged 16-25 years.

They offer support to parents/carers of young people who are 16-25 years old, if the young person would prefer for Havering SENDIASS to discuss with them rather than themselves.

Havering SENDIASS can:

  • Provide impartial advice and information
  • Give practical support
  • Explain the different stages of the Education Health and Care Needs Process
  • Read through draft Education, Health & Care Plans and assist parents/carers/young people with any suggested amendments that need to be made
  • Accompany parents/carers/young people to meetings to support them and ensure their voice is heard.
  • Negotiating on behalf of parents/carers and young people in appropriate circumstances
  • Providing advocacy for parents/carers and young people between the place of education or Local Authority or other parties if necessary
  • Liaise with other professionals including Social Services
  • Signpost parents/carers and young people to relevant services such as support groups or professional agencies
  • Provide information on education transfer stages
  • Preparation for Annual Reviews for Education Health and Care Plans

For more information please visit their website by clicking here

National Autistic Society

A national charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families. They provide support, guidance and advice, as well as campaigning for improved rights, services and opportunities to help create a society that works for autistic people.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7833 2299



Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (IPSEA)

IPSEA offers independent legally based advice, support and training to help get the right education for children and young people with special educational and disablities (SEND)

Telephone: 01799 582030 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm)


ADD-UP – ADHD Information Support Service

ADD-UP was setup to bring families together, to guide parents in the right direction to find the practical help they need for their children and to promote both public and professional awareness of ADHD.  For more information, you can call contact them on:

Telephone – 01708 454040

Website – 


First Step – Early Years Support (0-5 years) 

First Step offers families the opportunity to meet in a welcoming and understanding environment.  A range of support services and sessions are provided offering an holistic approach, aiming to assist with the well being of the whole family.  Pre-school and Promoting Attention Communication & Co-operation (PACC) sessions follow the principles outlined by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).  To find out more, you can contact them on:

Telephone – 01708 556355

Website –


Positive Parents – Havering Parent/Carer Forum 

Positive Parents are an Independent Group for parents and carers of children and young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and disabilities living in the London Borough of Havering. They provide information, advice, support, training and the opportunity to meet other parents and carers in order to improve and make positive changes to the lives of their families. Through the forum you are also able to give your views on the services you use and work with providers to improve them. Becoming a member is free and a membership form can either by downloaded from their website or request one via email. For more information, you can contact them on:

Telephone – 07858 406933

Email –

Website –


Romford Autistic Group Support (RAGS) – Autism Support Service

RAGS provide help and support for families who have a child/ren with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
For more information, you can contact them on:

Telephone – 01708 564871

Website – 


Special Needs and Parents (SNAP) – Information Support Service

If you have a child between 0-25 years who has any special need or disability and you live in Essex, then SNAP can offer some Information Advice and Support. No formal diagnosis or professional referral is necessary to access SNAP Services. You can contact them on:

Telephone – 01277 211300

Website –


Sycamore Trust – Autism Support Service

Sycamore Trust supports the needs of families, carers and friends of children with Autistic Spectrum & Asperger Disorders.  With Young People’s Services, Adult Services & Family Services; Sycamore Trust offers a range of support. You can contact them on:

Telephone – 0208 517 9317 / 0208 262 5330

Website –


Revellers S.E.N.D. Youth Club

Social club for young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities to make new friends and take part in fun activities

Tuesdays @ MyPlace (34 Dagnam Park Drive, Romford, RM39EN


Telephone: 01708 376004

Reporting concerns