SEND education and learning

Levels of support

The support a child with a special educational need (SEN) or disability will receive depends on the level of their need. For most children, support at the earliest opportunity is all they need to enable them to make progress.

Support from educational settings - Ordinarily Available Provision

A great majority of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities should have their needs effectively met through high-quality teaching and SEND support arrangements within mainstream settings. 

Hillingdon Ordinarily Available Provision (PDF) [727KB] outlines the indicative arrangements that should be ordinarily available for pupils with SEND (from within schools' delegated budget shares).

Early Support Funding

A small number of children and young people will need a higher level of support than early years, schools and post 16 settings feel they can provide from their normal budget. 

These will be children and young people who have already received a high level of support within the setting but they are not progressing / progressing sufficiently well.  

For these children, group educational settings can email our SEND Advisory Service at to apply for Early Support Funding, which will be used to deliver the outcomes in the child's 'My Support Plan'.

Education, Health and Care Plans

Some children and young people who have significant difficulties may require an Education, Health and Care Assessment (PDF) [184KB] (EHCP). The assessment is completed by a relevant professional in consultation with the parent/carer(s) and determines whether the child or young person needs an Education, Health and Care Plan.

An EHCP is a document that clearly sets out the special educational needs of a child or young person, what support they need, and who should provide it. 

It includes 3 key sections:

  • education - explains what is needed for the child to achieve the best they can in their learning and which school or college the child will go to
  • health - sets out any health services or health support that the child needs to ensure they can learn and participate fully in the curriculum
  • social care - explains any services that the council will provide to support your child and family to live as 'ordinary' a life as possible.

There is a requirement for all EHCPs to be reviewed by the local authority within 12 months.

EHCP Annual Review Guide (PDF) [731KB]

EHCP Annual Review Timeline (PDF) [118KB]

The video below developed by Council for Disabled Children is an easy-to-follow short animation for parents, practitioners and others who want to quickly learn about the education health and care (EHC) planning process.

If the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child's educational setting thinks an EHC Needs Assessment is necessary, they will speak to you about submitting one.

Before submitting this request, the school must provide evidence that they have been supporting your child consistently within their own resources and monitoring your child's progress. 

Alternatively, you can request an EHC Needs Assessment on your child's behalf by completing the Parent and Young Person Request Form (PDF) [176KB] and emailing it to

You can also send a completed form to:

Stronger Families Hub
Hillingdon Council
Civic Centre (2 South)
High Street

The whole process of completing an Education, Health and Care Plan can take up to 20 weeks. Download the  EHCP - timeline of process (PDF) [146KB] to see timescales for each phase.

Your views are important to us

We invite all parents and young people to complete a short online survey about their EHCP experience, so that we can continue to review and improve the way we work.

Tell us about your EHCP experience

Transition between phases of education

A transition is a change from one thing to another, whether it be a major change (eg moving schools) or a minor change (eg a change from a scheduled lesson). To many children with SEND, both transitions can be equally challenging.

A key message in transition planning is to make the unfamiliar familiar, so that anxiety and confusion can be reduced as much as possible. 

SEND admissions for children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (PDF) [382KB]

Page last updated: 22 Mar 2023