What to do if your child has SEND
Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can affect a child or a young person’s ability to learn. They can affect their:
- reading and writing, which could be because they have dyslexia
- ability to understand things
- concentration levels
- behaviour or ability to socialise, for example, they struggle to make friends
- physical ability.
Support in education
Most children and young people with SEND have their needs met in mainstream education settings (early years, schools and colleges) and will be given support.
Every education provider has a duty to support children and young people with SEND.
Schools will use a graduated response to make sure that the child’s needs are properly identified and a plan is in place to meet them. This will be a cycle of assessing and reviewing your child’s needs and the school is expected to fully involve you in this process.
Education, health and care (EHC) assessments are carried out where it is felt that extra support might be needed. An EHC plan will only be needed if:
- a child or young person's needs cannot be met through the support they are currently receiving in their mainstream educational setting, where the education setting has done everything it can, and they still require additional support
- despite the support provided, the child or young person isn't making progress in their learning or development, or when the progress they are making is due to significant levels of support.
Who to talk to first
The first step is to talk to the child or young person's education setting to share any concerns and discuss support that can be put in place.
Speak to your child’s class teacher first to get their view on how your child is doing in class. You don’t need to wait for a formal parents evening to do this. Try asking for the teacher before or after school to arrange a time to talk to them.
Every nursery and school will also have a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) whose job it is to make sure everyone’s needs are met. Your child’s class teacher will be able to tell you who the SENCO is or it should be on the school website.
You may be able to access support from local community services: