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Special Educational Needs (SEN)

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The SEN team work with schools to develop inclusive practice and provide support for children and young people with SEN (special educational needs). They aim to ensure that children and young people with SEN get the most out of their school life and maximize their achievements.

What are SEN?
The law says that a child has special educational needs if he or she has learning difficulties which call for special educational provision to be made for them.  Children have a learning difficulty if they:
  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
  • have a disability which prevents or hinders the child from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age
  • are under compulsory school age and fall within the above groups or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them.
Teachers have a responsibility to identify children with SEN and provide them with the extra support they need. This might include help with;
  • Learning and communicating
  • Behaviour
  • Hearing, visual or physical needs
I think my Child has SEN, who can help?
If you think that your child has SEN speak to the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) at school.
If your child is below school age speak to your health visitor or doctor. If they are attending school, or a pre-school provision such as a nursery, speak to the special educational needs coordinator.
What will the School SENCO, Health Visitor, Doctor, SEN Nursery Coordinator do?
Depending on your child’s needs they will;
  • Provide additional support known as School Action. An individual education plan will be put in place and this will be regularly reviewed with you.
  • Ask for advice from specialists such as an educational psychologist or a specialist teacher, for example, specialist teachers and inclusion workers who can support children who are hearing or visually impaired. This is known as School Action Plus.
  • Refer your child for a statutory assessment of SEN, with your permission. This may lead to a statement of special educational needs which would outline your child’s educational needs, what support should be provided and a suitable school placement.
Will my child need to attend a specialist school or nursery?
Most children with SEN will attend their local mainstream school. Others may attend a specialist inclusive learning centre (SILC). This could be full time, or part time in one of our mainstream secondary school, primary school or children’s centre partnerships. Some mainstream schools have additional resources for children with hearing or visual difficulties or with speech and language difficulties. The assessment process is targeted to individual pupils and reflects the severity of needs, and the provision that needs to be put in place to meet those needs.
I think my child is Dyslexic?
If you think your child is dyslexic speak to their teacher and the SENCO at school.
Dyslexia can be identified by anyone with appropriate specialist training and qualifications, which could include teachers and SENCOs. Staff in schools will often find it helpful to discuss children whose progress causes concern with outside agencies such as an officer from the SEN support team or their educational psychologist. The primary purpose of an assessment will be to suggest objectives for an appropriate teaching programme and to secure better progress, rather than to arrive at a ‘diagnosis’.
The details of Primary and Secondary SEN Conferences 2014 for head teachers, senior leaders and SENCOs can be found under the Documents section on this page.