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Special Educational Needs Assessment Team (SENAT)

We are working hard to ensure children and young people who require statutory, or specialist help receive the right support at the right time. During the week of Monday 15 April to Friday 19 April, the SENAT will be working through outstanding EHC needs assessments. During this period, we will monitor urgent enquires through a dedicated inbox to determine if immediate support is needed by parent/carers or schools. Details of the inbox will be shared via the SENAT webpage from Monday 15 April. Please visit West Sussex SEN Assessment Team (SENAT) – West Sussex County Council

SENAT is responsible for children with Special Educational Needs who have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), are requesting one, or who are going through the process of an Education Health and Care Needs Assessment.  We also process the monitoring and review functions of EHCPs (the Annual Review process).

You can find information about the process for requesting EHC needs assessment on the Local Offer.

You can contact the team using the information available on the Local Offer. For more information see the West Sussex County Council SENAT web pages.

SENAT has two central contact routes – depending on whether the query relates to the North or South of the county:

  • SENAT is SOUTH: Covers the all southern areas in West Sussex including Chichester, Bognor Regis, Midhurst, Petworth, Worthing, Steyning, Littlehampton, Angmering, Shoreham, Portslade and Hove and is responsible for all children and young people living in this area. Contact Team SOUTH: Email: [email protected] Tel: 03302223120
  • NORTH: Covers the all northern areas in West Sussex including Crawley, Horsham, Burgess Hill, Cuckfield, East Grinstead and Haywards Heath and is responsible for children and young people who live in these areas.

Both teams consider and then co-ordinate EHC needs assessments for new pupils, as well as oversee the monitor and review of existing EHCPs for those in their own area. If you do not know which area you are in just use one of the routes and the team members will ensure an appropriate response from the right area of the team.

The service has a number of different roles – these are explained below:

Principal Service Lead (Jo Hill)

  • holds overall responsibility for the SEN Assessment Team
  • offers line management support to the team managers and operational lead
  • seeks to regularly monitor and review the service and its performance and develop and improve practice through careful analysis
  • represents SENAT in strategic work associated with the support of children and young people with SEND in West Sussex.

Operational Lead (Kim Clayton)

  • offers line management to a team of staff who primarily offer countywide support to children and young people with EHCPs
  • offers tasks management support to team managers and special needs officers
  • oversees the delivery of SENAT’s core functions and operational responsibilities including analysis of performance and feedback with a view to developing whole service practice as required.

Senior Planning Coordinators – North and South

There are five senior planning coordinators (SPCs). They work across the two larger North and South teams.
Senior planning coordinators offer day-to-day support to the planning coordinators and caseworkers. This includes:
• progressing pupils’ assessments and reviews
• providing oversight and guidance, as appropriate.
They may also deputise for the team manager, as required.

Senior Planning Coordinators – Preparation for Adulthood
There are five senior planning coordinators (SPCs) who focus on preparation for adulthood.
Senior planning coordinators:
• are annually allocated caseloads of older young people approaching adulthood
• are primarily focused on supporting the review and amendment of EHCPs for older young people
• may also support new assessments.

Planning Co-ordinators
There is a large team of planning coordinators, each situated either within the North or South team and line managed by a team manager. Each pupil who is either being considered for assessment, being assessed or has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be allocated a planning coordinator (or senior planning coordinator to help them prepare for adulthood). Planning co-ordinators:
• coordinate the assessment or annual review process
• draft EHCPs, seeking advice where required
• liaise with settings to secure placements.
They do this with the support and guidance of the SPCs and team managers.


There are five caseworkers on the team. They who give specialist administrative support to all the work that SENAT undertakes.

Special Needs Officers

There are six special needs officers who:
• are qualified teachers
• offer support and guidance to schools in meeting the needs of learners with EHCPs
• provide a link between the service and our settings
• will offer training and support, as required.

Post-16 Officer
SENAT’s post-16 officer supports:
• a range of processes specifically related to young people over the age of 16, such as helping with high-needs funding in colleges
• the more complex assessments and reviews.

Tribunal Officer
The tribunal officer:
• offers specialist support associated with the SEN appeal process
• liaises with relevant partners