Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

What is 'Special Educational Needs and Disabilities' ? 

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) describes a child / young person who has been identified as having a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or who 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 (Children and Families Act, 2014 ) .  

A child / young person identified as having a SEND needs SEND provision, namely provision that is different from or additional to that normally available to children /young people of the same age (SEND Code of Practice, 2015, 6.15)

In our schools, the majority of children and young people's needs can be met through good quality , well planned teaching where each child / young person can achieve the learning aim.  Provisions may be made for many children as part of such teaching such as providing writing prompts or small group work  and this does not mean that the child / young person has a SEND.  The Code of practice is very clear, 'Making higher quality teaching normally available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support. Such improvements in whole-class provision tend to be more cost effective and sustainable.'

Children / young people who are identified as having a SEND are recorded on the school system (SIMS) which can be filtered to show only those names.  This is known as the 'SEND register'.  Every child who is placed onto this register should have a support plan detailing small step targets to achieve a longer term outcome and the provisions that will be made to help achieve these targets.  These are known as different names in each school: learning keys, support plans, individual education plans, learning plans but they all mean the same thing. 

What is crucially important is that any child / young person is at the very heart of any plan and that they have an opportunity to shape their learning support. 

Any parent or carer of a child / young person placed on the SEND register MUST be informed by the school of this inclusion and there MUST be regular reviews with the parents / carers about the plan.  Parents / carers views should also be detailed.

Every school should have a process whereby children / young people can be assessed for SEND.  This will take the form of the Graduated Response and follows a strict ASSESS, PLAN, DO, REVIEW cycle.