We often get questions asking how the CENMAC referral process works. The following will help to explain the process. 

What is CENMAC? 

CENMAC is a unique person-centred support service offering assessments, reviews and the loan of assistive technology to help children and young people, aged 2 to 25 (usually with an ECHP), access the curriculum and/or to communicate.  

We look at the abilities and strengths of every child or young person we assess and focus on enabling their potential, giving them a voice, and increasing their independence. 

Our holistic approach involves a multi-disciplinary team of professionals working together with schools and families to achieve positive outcomes. 

CENMAC offers training and support to teachers, SENCOs, TAs and parents/carers to increase their confidence and knowledge so they can provide the best level of support. 

We are based at Charlton Park Academy in South East London and work across the Greater London area. 

Who can refer a pupil to CENMAC? 

Anyone working with the child or young person, or parents or carers can make the initial referral.  

We recommend that parents or carers work with a member of the school’s inclusion team such as the SENCO, Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) or Occupational Therapist (OT) to make the referral.  

For children who are home schooled the parent or carer can make the referral. 

How do I make a referral?  

Permission must be sought from the child or young person’s home Local Authority (LA) for funding before CENMAC can carry out the assessment, so think of this form as a “grant” application and provide as must information as you can. It will help the LA make a decision, and CENMAC to arrive at the assessment well informed. 

To make a referral the school’s inclusion team will need to complete a referral form. Read the Top Tips section as this will help to make the process smoother. 

Once the form is fully completed it should be emailed as an attachment along with the other supporting documents required (listed on the form) to mail@cenmac.com. 

If you would like to talk to us prior to completing it please call us on 020 8854 1019. 

Southwark and Merton based students 

If you need to make a referral for a Southwark or Merton based student, please email directly requesting you would like CENMAC involvement. The LA will then send you a referral form. 

Contact Southwark: sen@southwark.gov.uk  

Contact Merton: sen@merton.gov.uk  

How long does the referral process take? 

Generally, the quicker the school completes and returns the paperwork the quicker an approach to the pupil’s home LA can be made. This does depend on a number of variables so you can expect the process to take from a few weeks and in some cases a few months, while we await the decision from the LA.  

Initial Assessment 

Once the LA accepts the referral or the school takes out a Service Level Agreement, CENMAC will get in touch to arrange the assessment at a time that suits you. 

Who should attend the assessment? 

The school inclusion team should invite the relevant adults, parents, speech and language therapist, teacher, SENCO and class teacher to the assessment. There MUST be a member of the teaching staff present or CENMAC cannot assess the child or young person. The assessment will take 1 to 2 hours. 

What happens at the assessment? 

Using the SETT framework we identify the priorities and aspirations of the child/student in collaboration with their family.  

We seek input from the multidisciplinary team to gain a holistic view of the child/student’s life which enables us to consider how external factors can impact upon educational outcomes. 

We jointly identify and enable the child/student to use their individual strengths and abilities to fully realise their potential. 

As we appreciate the key role of the support network around the child or young person in the successful long-term implementation of Assistive Technology, our service relies upon commitment from the education provision to work in partnership.

The advisory teacher will talk to the adults first about what has already been trialled or strategies put in place and then demonstrate some of the equipment that CENMAC could loan and the supportive software available.  

The child or young person will join the adults and the equipment will be trialled. We can sometimes leave the equipment on the day and further training will be arranged if needed. 

Download ‘A Guide to when CENMAC comes to visit‘.

Does CENMAC cover the whole of the country? 

CENMAC works mainly within the inner London Boroughs. Most of these inner London Boroughs subscribe to the CENMAC service and children and young people living in a subscribing borough can access the full range of the CENMAC service (ie assessment and loan of appropriate equipment). 

Make a referral