Providing information, advice and support to parents, children and young people about SEND since 1989

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What is SEND?

A pupil has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability needs special educational provision, which is different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age.

A child with SEN has significantly greater difficulty in learning than their peers, or a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of the facilities in the setting and requires special educational provision.

Special educational provision should be matched to the child’s identified needs. Children’s SEN are generally thought of in the following four broad areas of need and support (see Chapter 6 of the SEND Code off Practice, 0 - 25, paragraph 6.28 onwards, for a fuller explanation):

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health
  • Sensory and/or physical needs

In practice, individual children or young people often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time.

Slow progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that a child has SEN. However, they may be an indicator of a range of learning difficulties or disabilities.

Equally, it should not be assumed that attainment in line with chronological age means that there is no learning difficulty or disability. Some learning difficulties and disabilities occur across the range of cognitive ability and, left unaddressed may lead to frustration, which may manifest itself as disaffection, emotional or behavioural difficulties.

A child’s difficulties may be caused by recognised conditions such as:

  • Autism
  • Dyslexia and/or Dyspraxia
  • ADHD
  • Physical disability e.g. Cerebral Palsy
  • Hearing and/or visual impairment
  • Learning disability e.g. Down’s syndrome
  • Medical conditions e.g. epilepsy

 For futher information:

New SEND Code of practice 0-25 years

SEND -  guide for parents and carers