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All local authorities must have a SENDIASS (under section 32 of the Children and Families Act 2014), who offer an impartial, confidential service to young people (16+) and parents of children with SEN needs.


A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A child of compulsory school age or young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • Has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.


If your child is identified as having a SEN then there is a process the school will follow, called the graduated or SEN response.

School will follow a model identified in the Code of Practice 2015 and the procedures will also be laid out in their own SEN policy which you can find on their school website.


Speak to your child's class teacher, or the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at school.


SEN provision is support that is additional to or different from that normally available to children or young people of the same age, which is designed to help them be able to access the National Curriculum, at school or to study at college.

All settings should adopt a Graduated approach with the four stages of action: Assess-Plan-Do-Review.


If a child or young person is not making expected progress over a period of time the school may decide at the review stage to consult with external professionals such as an Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Inclusion Team etc.  They will give advice and suggestions on ways to support your child. During this time, you should be informed what is happening.


An EHC needs assessment is an assessment of the Educational, Healthcare and Social Care needs of a child or young person.

Where, despite the school having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the SEN of the child or young person, they have not made expected progress, the school or parents should consider requesting an Educational, Health and Care needs assessment.

To inform its decision the local authority will expect evidence of the action taken by the school as part of SEN support.

A statutory EHC needs assessment is a required step towards the obtaining of an EHC Plan.

A Plan cannot be issued unless the child or young person has been through the assessment process. A child's school or parents can apply for this. A young person over 16 can apply themselves.


An SRP is attached to a mainstream school offering specific support. It can offer additional and intensive support while being able to integrate children and young people into the mainstream setting for appropriate percentages of time.