Information for professionals

Find useful information and advice relating to working with children and young people with SEND.

In this section


SEND Advisory Service

We welcome referrals from early years providers, schools and post-16 settings for one-to-one support for children and young people with SEND who require support in the setting environment.

Our SEND Advisory Service (SAS) also accepts referrals from all relevant professionals to support children and young people with SEND and their families in the home environment through our SEND Keyworking Service.

We provide non-statutory funding (where applicable), have a robust training offer for professionals and parents/carers, and provide whole school/setting development through the SEND Review and Inclusion Commitment.  

The SEND Advisory Service is made up of the following SEND professionals: 

  • principal SEND advisors 
  • ASD advisors  
  • social, emotional, mental health advisor  
  • language advisor  
  • early years SEND advisors  
  • SEND keyworkers 
  • hearing impairment specialist teachers / support practitioners 
  • visual impairment specialist teachers / support practitioners 
  • Multi-sensory impairment specialist teacher 

My Support Plan

Where a pupil is identified as having SEN, educational settings should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. This SEN support should take the form of a 4-part cycle of 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' (SEND CoP 2015; 6:44), implemented using a 'My Support Plan'. 

The purpose of a 'My Support Plan' is to help families and professionals identify the Special Educational Needs of a child/young person and how these may be met, and to use this knowledge to coordinate a plan of support.

The 'My Support Plan' is a non-statutory holistic assessment for children between the ages of 0 and 25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). It was developed as a tool to identify and respond to children and young people's special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) at the earliest possible point. In order to do this effectively, we need to understand and capture hopes and aspirations for the child/young person with SEND and their families to support planning of shared outcomes.

My Support Plan is completed following a TAC, TAYP (Team Around the Child/Young Person) meeting and should include the child, young person's and family's views.

It should be used as a setting's graduated approach to meet a child/young person's SEND. It is a 'live document' - shared and updated as circumstances change, with the aspiration of achieving a 'tell us once' approach.

Key documents


Referrals for support from SAS

If you are a professional wanting to request support for a family or an educational / early year provider requesting setting-based support or a  EHC Needs Assessment for a child/young person with SEND, make a referral through our Stronger Families Hub.

Please note: After Saturday 18 September, the SAS referral form will not be accepted. All referrals for support from the SEND Advisory Service will be made through this single point of access portal, using the revised and abridged Early Help Assessment. 

 All referrals and applications for early support funding will be reviewed at the SAS multi-disciplinary panel, which meets weekly on a Thursday morning.

SEND Advisory Service Panel Terms of Reference [111KB]


Non-statutory funding

The leaders of early years settings, schools and colleges should establish and maintain a culture of high expectations that encourages those working with children and young people with SEN or disabilities to include them in all the opportunities available to other children and young people, so they can achieve well (SEND CoP 2015; 1.31).

Where support is required over and above what is expected to be provided for all children and young people, including those with SEND (expectations are outlined in the Ordinarily available document), then additional funding may be requested from our SEND Advisory Service, where specific criteria is met.

SEND non-statutory funding guidance and advice [491KB]

Early Support Funding (ESF)

Most children and young people in Hillingdon with SEND have their needs met within local mainstream early years providers, schools or colleges from within the resources normally available to them. To do this, educational settings must make a range of 'ordinarily available' provision for all children and young people, including those with SEND from the totality of financial resources available to them.

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 (SEN support) but are not progressing - or not progressing sufficiently well. 

For this group, all educational settings can apply for Early Support Funding.

All applications for ESF must:

  • be made through the application form.
  • have in place an effective My Support Plan that demonstrates the Assess, Plan, Do Review (APDR) process.
  • have a clearly costed provision map in line with Hillingdon's expectations (see Non-Statutory Funding Guidance for further details)

Key documents

SEND Exceptional Funding (SENDEX)

Educational settings may ask the local authority to provide urgent and immediate financial assistance to help educate a pupil who requires immediate support for the short to medium term for accessing the curriculum, and where such access is likely to be at additional cost to the school's budget.

This assistance may be needed due to exceptional circumstances in which the setting cannot access support through regular pathways, such as Early Support Funding or special educational needs provision through the Education Health and Care Plan (usually where there is no specific evidence of Assess, Plan, Do, Review).

Exceptional funding can support a pupil who is not the subject of an EHCP but is likely to meet the threshold for needs assessment or those whose Educational Health Care Needs Assessment has been just initiated.

SENDEX is allocated to the setting on the short-term basis and does not move with the pupils when they change setting.

Apply for SEND Exceptional Funding

Key documents


Education, Health and Care Plan assessments 


    Useful information

    Page last updated: 16 Sep 2021