Locality SEND processes

Mainstream schools are split into seven locality areas in Sheffield. The localities give advice to schools and SENCOs about children with complex needs. They give advice for:

  • next steps
  • agencies and professional to engage with
  • provision that can be put in place to meet needs

This helps schools follow a graduated approach to meeting a child’s needs.

This support happens through two types of meeting.

The locality processes (stage 1 and 2 meetings) are not statutory. This means they are not required by law and do not give rise to any legal rights. Schools are encouraged to follow them.  This is so they receive support.  It also helps with consistency across Sheffield in how children/young people are supported.

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Stage 1 meetings – Consultation and quality assurance of Extended Support Plans

These meetings are for SENCOs to:

  • Discuss how a child’s special educational needs are being identified. Talk about how best to put the right support in place for them
  • Be supported to review Extended Support Plans

SENCOs, Locality Lead SENCOs, City Wide SENCOs and Educational Psychologists take part in the meetings. They give advice and recommendations about further support and next steps.  This can include agreement to submit a child’s case to a Stage 2 meeting.

Stage 2 meetings – Consideration for request to assess

These meetings are to review cases where a request for an EHC needs assessment is being considered.  This is before sending to the local authority as part of a graduated approach in meeting the child’s needs. 

SENCOs, Locality SENCOs, Citywide SENCOs, Lead SEND Headteachers, Senior Educational Psychologists and SENDSARS take part in the meetings. They give advice about:

  • Other support that might benefit the child
  • Whether a request for an EHC needs assessment should be made.

What you can do

Often schools will not need parental consent to take part in the locality processes.   This will already be covered by their privacy policies. There is an expectation that the school will inform parent/carers before a child is discussed.

Ask your child’s SENCO or teacher if you have any questions. You should arrange to speak to them after the meeting takes place.  This is to find out how it went and what the next steps are.

It is important that parents/carers understand the difference between decisions made by locality meetings and those made by the local authority:

  • A locality meeting can only make non-statutory recommendations.
  • A decision made by the local authority’s EHC Panel is a statutory decision. If you do not agree with it you can appeal. This must be done within specific time limits.
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