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How schools support children and young people with SEND

If there is a concern about your child or young person’s progress at school, the school will provide additional support and monitor their progress. Where progress is not made and concerns remain, schools should provide SEN support interventions and resources. This should involve an educational support plan.

The school will work with you, and may also work with other agencies, to support your child or young person’s learning journey so they are able to progress.

Our identification flowchart (PDF) is a guideline for parents and carers, which captures the principles of identification outlined in the SEND Code of Practice. The process may vary across schools, however the above flowchart will support your conversations with your SENCo and education setting.

This educational support plan is part of the 'assess, plan, do, review' cycle that is used to assess and understand your child or young person’s needs. The plan should be implemented and reviewed in partnership with you at least termly. Holistic assessments can include observations, group work and in-school assessments.

You can view an assess, plan, do, review diagram (PDF) which explains the cycle.

Following school assessments, your child or young person may receive additional support. In most cases, this will be provided by the school from within the funding they receive to support children with SEND.

The SEND information report on each school's website will tell you how they support children or young people with SEND. This may include:

  • language and social skills to help children
  • nurture groups to support emotional development and help confidence, so children and young people can begin to learn successfully in a mainstream classroom
  • Place2Be, which provides time out for children, individually and in groups, to address their emotional needs
  • tiger teams to help children with their motor skills, so they have more control over writing, playing instruments, artistic expression and craft work
  • literacy and maths interventions e.g. Catch Up Literacy and First Class at Number

If at the end of two termly reviews your child or young person is still not progressing as expected, then the school or parent may request a needs assessment from the Local Authority. 

An Educational Psychologist (EP) must be consulted by the school as part of the 'assess, plan, do, review'. However, an EP can be involved at any point in the journey towards identification of need. 

The school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) or Inclusion Manager will help you through this. Assessment of SEND means gathering information from you, your child or young person, teachers, and other professionals involved with you and your family.

Following the assessment, your child may be issued with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which allows the school to access further funding to support their progress and meet their outcomes. An assessment does not always lead to an EHCP, though it may provide a clearer understanding of your child or young person's needs, and support that can be put in place. 

For more information about EHCPs and how to apply for one, visit our Education, Health and Care Plan page.

Every school is required to have a SENCo, who is a qualified teacher. SENCos who are new to the role must complete the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination within three years of appointment.  

The SENCo works in partnership with families whose children have been identified as requiring SEN support. They also liaise with teachers and support staff, help to coordinate provision for children, organise training for staff and liaise with outside agencies.

To find out what schools do to support pupils with SEND, visit the school’s website and look for their SEN information report. This explains how each school identifies and meets the needs of children with SEND and provides detailed information about how they identify, assess and support your child to make progress. 

The SEN information report should be written in partnership with parents. 

School roles and responsibilities

Schools and educational settings should try to remove or reduce barriers against disabled pupils, by making reasonable adjustments designed to ensure there is no discrimination.

The local authority has produced a range of documentation and support materials to enable schools to meet the special educational needs of pupils. We also have an inclusion handbook for all educational settings, which provides information and support for schools to meet these roles and responsibilities.

Funding children and young people receive to support their SEND

Within every school’s budget, there is some funding to support the school to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND. This will vary from school to school and is based on the level of need in each school setting.

Specific learning difficulties include a range of conditions, such as dyslexia and dyscalculia. The process for identification, and how children and young people should be supported in educational settings, can be found in our guidance for schools and parents (PDF).

Our Voice Parent Forum have put together a useful glossary of terms (PDF) which explain the different specialist terms and acronyms you are likely to come across in discussions relating to your child or young person. It is also available in Turkish (PDF) and Somalian (PDF)

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