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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

We’re aware that children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) might need extra support, and that learning in school can be more difficult for them. That’s why we work collaboratively with other professionals to make sure we follow the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice and support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The SEND Code of Practice identifies four areas of Special Educational Needs:

  • Communicating and interacting
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Sensory and/or physical needs

Some children and young people might have SEN in just one area while others might have needs in more than one area. And some children and young people who have SEN might also have a disability. (The Equality Act 2010 describes disability as ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term (a year or more) and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’)

Your child’s nursery, school or college will often be able to meet your child’s SEN through the SEN support within the school. This could include their own resources as well as external professionals, such as speech and language therapists or educational psychologists, coming in regularly.

Sometimes a child or young person needs a higher level of specialist support. If this is the case, the nursery, school or college can apply to their local authority for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). As a trust, we’re asked regularly to contribute to the assessment and development of EHCPs for children and young people.

If you think your child has a special educational need or disability, your child’s nursery, school or college or your local children's centre is a good starting point for initial discussions. They will be able to offer advice and/or refer your child on to other services for additional support.

Your local authority will also have a 'Local Offer', detailing all the services, charities and organisations that offer information advice and support. See the section below for a link to your area. You might also want to speak to your child’s GP.

Local authorities in England are required to publish information about the provision they expect to be available in their area for children and young people from 0 to 25 who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

It includes information about how to access health care services for children and young people with SEND such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy services, and mental health services. It will also include health and care provision that might be needed by children and young people with SEND such as wheelchair services, continence services or physiotherapy.

The Local Offer describes what arrangements will be made in schools for identifying and assessing SEND, modifying teaching methods, involving parents and carers, and securing additional services and equipment as needed. It also contains information about how an education, health and care assessment can be requested and how how parents will be involved, any support that will be available, and timescales.

View the Local Offer for your area: