Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

2. Special educational needs support

Your child will get SEN support at their school or college.

Your child may need an education, health and care (EHC) plan if they need more support than their school provides.

Children under 5

SEN support for children under 5 includes:

  • a written progress check when your child is 2 years old
  • a child health visitor carrying out a health check for your child if they’re aged 2 to 3
  • a written assessment in the summer term of your child’s first year of primary school
  • making reasonable adjustments for disabled children, like providing aids like tactile signs

Nurseries, playgroups and childminders registered with Ofsted follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. The framework makes sure that there’s support in place for children with SEND.

Talk to a doctor or health adviser if you think your child has SEND but they don’t go to a nursery, playgroup or childminder. They’ll tell you what support options are available.

Children between 5 and 15

Talk to the teacher or the SEN co-ordinator (SENCO) if you think your child needs:

  • a special learning programme
  • extra help from a teacher or assistant
  • to work in a smaller group
  • observation in class or at break     
  • help taking part in class activities
  • extra encouragement in their learning, eg to ask questions or to try something they find difficult
  • help communicating with other children
  • support with physical or personal care difficulties, eg eating, getting around school safely or using the toilet

Young people aged 16 or over in further education

Contact the college before your child starts further education to make sure that they can meet your child’s needs.

The college and your local authority will talk to your child about the support they need.