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I think my child might have special educational needs

I think my child might have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)

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There may be times when your child seems to be having difficulty in learning a new skill or developing in a particular area.

As a parent you will want to know whether this is something you should be concerned about. It is important to remember that all children develop at different times.

If you think your child may have special educational needs talk to their teacher or contact the ‘SEN co-ordinator’, or ‘SENCO’ at your child’s school or nursery.

If your child is not at school or nursery speak to your GP or a Family Support Worker at your local children centre.

A child or young person has special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) if he or she has learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for him or her to learn than most other children and young people of about the same age.  

Special educational needs and/or disability could mean that a child or young person has:

  • Difficulty with reading, writing, number work or understanding information
  • Communicating problems - difficulties in expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying
  • Social, emotional or mental health difficulties - struggles to make friends, difficulties in managing their emotions
  • Sensory or physical needs - such as hearing or visual impairment, mobility issues
  • Medical or health conditions which affects their education
     

Watch the National Association of Special Educational Needs (nasen) short video clip below on what the definitions of disability includes. 

Go to the nasen website for the further information and resources.

Definition of special educational needs and disabilities under the law

Section 20 of the Children and Families Act 2014 states that a child or young person has Special Educational Needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

For further information go to the UK Government legislation website.

The Equality Act 2010 definition of disability is that a person has a disability if:    

  • A physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on a persons ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities

For further information go to the UK Governments legislation website.

If you think your child may have special educational needs talk to their teacher or contact the ‘SEN co-ordinator’, or ‘SENCO’ at your child’s school or nursery.  

If your child is not at school or nursery speak to your GP, Health Visitor or a Family Support Worker at your local children centre.

For further information please go to our web pages:


Every education setting must do everything they can to make sure children or young person with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) get the support they need. Every setting must publish information about how it supports children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities; this is known as their Local Offer.

Visit our directory to view each educational settings Local Offer information.

Find out about the support from the council and specialist education provision by going to:    

   

For further information read the: 

At the end of an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment the EHC panel decides whether to issue an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or a Summary of Assessment.

The Summary of Assessment is similar to an Education, Health and Care plan in that it still contains information directly drawn from the advice that the professionals who assessed your child provided. It will therefore include recommended strategies that will help your child access the curriculum. It is however not a ’ statutory’ plan as all the provision can be made from the resources which are normally available to schools and colleges

For information on what an Education, Health and Care plan contains go to the IPSEA website.

Most children and young people have their learning needs met within their education setting. Our special educational needs (SEN) support document set out what we expects should be available in all mainstream settings to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities who do not have a need of an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.

To find out more read the:   

 

Funding for nurseries and pre schools

If a child needs extra support a nursery or pre-school can make an application to the council for early years inclusion funding (EYIF).  

Before applying for the EYI funding a setting has to have evidence of strategies that have already been used to support the child's needs. EYIF is only available to children receiving the free childcare entitlement and will only cover support required for the funded hours that the child attends for.    

Funding for academies and free schools

Funding to academies and free schools is made direct to them by central government.

Maintained schools and nurseries

The funding available to maintained schools comes into the local authority as the Dedicated Schools’ Grant (DSG). 

If a child needs extra support a maintained school and nursery can request extra funding from their local school cluster group. They can use this to pay for additional resources to support a child's learning.

To find out more read the: 

Funding for colleges

Colleges are expected to meet the special educational needs of a wide range of students from within their core funding, providing appropriate, high quality SEN support. 

Colleges can receive top-up funding for a student without the need for an Education. Health and Care plan until a young person is 19 and beyond via the Education Funding Agency.

Education Health and Care Plans

If a child or young person needs more support than the SEN school based plan a parent, nursery, school or college 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 also ask for an EHC needs assessment. 

An Education, Health and Care Plan provides additional funding for the child or young person.  

Read the Funding to support Learners who have Special Educational Needs (PDF document) to find out more about how funding is allocated.   

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Capital funding for pupils with EHC Plans

In 2018, the Department for Education provided all Local Authorities (LA) additional funding capital that LAs could use in developing or expanding education provision for children with additional needs.

You can find out how we are using that money below:   

   
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