A Guide to SEND education

This article is the first part of a series on SEND education, covering topics and advice that we hope will help you.

Use these links to navigate to other pages or use the links at the bottom of each page.

  1. Introduction
  2. Support in Early Years
  3. Moving on to School
  4. Extra Support in School
  5. Post 16 transition
  6. Additional topics – transport, exclusion, advice on school absence

If you are looking for a link to a particular service please also look at our support links page. If you would like more information, or if you spot an error please contact us.

Some children and young people need more support than others to achieve their full learning potential.

All children deserve and have a legal right to be treated fairly in the education system. We meet regularly with local authorities and other partners to improve educational provision for children with (SEND) special educational needs and disabilities.

Here is some useful information about what support might be available for your child.

Introduction to SEN

How the system that supports children and young people with SEN or disabilities, and their parents, is intended to work

In any classroom, children learn at different speeds and in different ways. Teachers will plan their lessons and choose different types of lesson materials to help each child learn best.

Some children need more help than this and may have difficulty with:

  • reading, writing, numbers
  • talking and listening
  • developing social skills
  • physical skills
  • emotion, mental health and behaviour.

A child who needs a lot of extra help in any of these areas has special educational needs (SEN). Some children may have SEN because of a medical condition or a disability. Other children may have SEN without a diagnosis or a disability.

How can schools help children with special educational needs?

A child with SEN may go to a mainstream school, where there are pupils with and without SEN, or a special school, where there are only pupils with SEN.

In a mainstream school it is the responsibility of the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) at the school to arrange extra help for those who need it. Most children with special educational needs will go to mainstream schools, and the law gives parents a right to say that they prefer this option for their child.

In a special school there are only pupils with special educational needs, and they will usually have needs that are more complex. The school may have specially trained teachers, therapists or special equipment to support them.

The government has produced a very useful guide for parents and carers around Special Educational Needs and Disability, please click here to download.