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Support in school and college

Support in school and college

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Wherever possible, children with special educational needs will be educated in a mainstream school. 

Schools must do everything they can to make sure children with special educational needs get the support they need.

Some children need extra support and might go to a: 

  • Mainstream school which has been adapted or has specialist teaching and therapists
  • Special school

Every school must publish information about how it supports children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities - this is known as its Local Offer.

Visit our children with additional needs directory to view each school's Local Offer information.

Who to talk to about support 

The first person you should speak with is your child's teacher. 

You can also speak with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (usually referred to as a SENCO). Each school has one. They: 

  • Are a qualified teacher who helps to identify children who have special educational needs
  • Make sure children are getting the right help and support
  • Make sure they they keep the parents up to date with what's going on

Sometimes a teacher will identify concerns about a child's progress and speak to the parent about it.

What happens next?

There are discussions between the parents, teacher and SENCO to put together an Individual Education Plan. This will set out targets for the child and the help they will get to achieve them.

Sometimes more help might be needed. This might be from an Educational Psychologist or the Learning Support Service.

There are regular review meetings to see how the support is helping. This gives parents, teachers and other professionals a chance to talk about how the child is progressing.

Parents will be included in discussions about any decisions.

Exceptional needs funding

If a child needs some extra support, the school can request extra funding from their local cluster group. They can use to this to pay for additional resources - this could be a support assistant or access to out of school activities.

Read the Exceptional Needs Funding (PDF document) to find out more.

Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment

If a child or young person needs more support than is in the Individual Education Plan, then the parents or the school can ask us to carry out an Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment.

Young people between the ages of 16 and 25 years can ask us to carry out an Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment.

Parents and young people can ask for advice and support from the special educational needs and disability information advice and support service (SENDIASS) during the assessment process.

Find out more

Find out more by reading:

Schools which have been adapted

Some schools have been adapted to provide for specific needs. The are known as extra resource schools.

The schools below have acoustic ceilings and sound field technology for children with hearing impairment:


Extra support is given from Learning Support Assistants, a Teacher of the Deaf, and a Speech and Language Therapist to meet the individual needs of each child.

Schools which have specialist teachers and therapists

These schools provide extra support for specific needs and are known as schools with attached resource bases.

Support for children with Autistic Spectrum Condition:

Support for children with moderate to severe physical disabilities:

Support for speech and language

Some children will only be able to develop and make educational progress at a special school.

These schools use specialist methods to help children access a full curriculum.

Addington Special School

Addington Special School is for children aged 3 to 19 years who have significant learning difficulties. Many children also have additional needs such as medical problems, physical disabilities or challenging behaviour.

The school provides small class teaching and specialist teacher input, as well as additional services such as physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and sensory therapies. 

Northern House School

Northern House School is for young people aged 10 to 16 years with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Find a school

You can  search our directory to find:

  • Schools with extra support resources
  • Special schools
  • Further education and training 

The Government publishes a list of approved special schools on the UK Government website.

Applying for a school place

You can find out how to apply for a school place in the school admissions section.

If you want to educate your child at home you need to let the school know first.

Visit the home education page to find out more.

You can find out about options and available support when leaving school on the becoming an adult:

Visit our services directory to view college's Local Offer information

There is a Virtual School Education Team for Looked After Children. The main responsibilities of the team is to ensure that the appropriate range of professionals are engaged in looking at the issues facing Looked After Children, with regard to care and school placements, attendance and educational progress.

Statutory guidance

In January 2010 local authorities (LA) were issued with guidance for looked after children with special educational needs (SEN) placed out of authority.

The guidance aims to outline LA's responsibilities and explains how these responsibilities operate.

Visit the UK Government website to read the statutory guidance for local authorities: promoting the education of looked after children. 

For an summary of the policy and guidance that specifically relates to children in care in the UK visit the NSPCC website.

Visit the Wokingham Children in Care Council website where young people in care can have their say on issues that matter to them.

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