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My child's education

SEN Support

If you believe your child may have special educational needs (SEN) you should contact their teacher or the school's Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) to discuss your concerns and the appropriate support to put in place.

SEN Support is the support that a school or college should put in place for a child/ young person with SEN. A pupil does not need to have an official diagnosis of a learning difficulty in order for support to be given. However, a Diagnostic Assessment can ensure that any additional support is targeted to the pupil's specific areas of weakness and strength.

There are 4 stages of SEN Support:

1) Assessing your child's needs

You should talk to your child's teacher or the school's SENCo about your concerns. Alternatively, if a teacher or SENCo has concerns they should contact you to discuss you child's difficulties and the appropriate support to put in place. If the young person is over the age of 16 they should be fully involved in designing their own SEN support and provision.

The SENCo should spend time with your child to work out what kind of extra support they might need. Every child's SEN Support needs are different, depending on what kind of difficulties they have and how serious these are. If necessary, other specialists, such as an educational psychologist, may be involved.

2) Planning SEN Support

You and your child's educational setting, for example, preschool/school or college need to agree how your child will benefit from any SEN Support they get. You should be fully involved in discussions about the support that should be put in place for your child. If your child is 16 or over, they should be involved in this process.

3) Putting the plan into action

Your child's educational setting will put the planned support into place. Their teacher remains responsible for working with your child on a daily basis. However, the SENCo and any support staff or specialist teaching staff involved in providing support should work closely to track your child's progress and check that the support is working.

4) Review the outcomes of the support

The SEN Support should be reviewed at the time agreed in the initial plan. Teachers and parents should work together to decide whether the support is having a positive impact, whether the agreed outcomes are being met and if any changes need to be made.

If SEN Support is not sufficient to meet a child’s educational needs, they may need an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). A parent or school can ask the local authority for an EHC Needs Assessment to see whether they are eligible for an EHCP. If the young person is over the age of 16 they can request one themselves.