2. Types of support

There are stages of support to try and help children with special educational needs.

If your child is getting the help they need and they’re learning well, there’s no need for them to go on to the next stage.

If your child has high needs, they won’t need to go through earlier stages of support and can get an assessment straight away. The stages are:

  1. Early Years Action/School Action.

  2. Early Years Action Plus/School Action Plus.

  3. Assessment.

  4. Statement of special educational needs.

Early Years Action/School Action

Your child’s teachers or SENCO will discuss your child’s needs with you and decide what help to give. You should be asked about the help your child is given and its results.

This could mean a different way of teaching certain things, or some help from an extra adult.

Early Years Action Plus/School Action Plus

This is extra help from an external specialist, eg a speech therapist.


An assessment of special educational needs is carried out by the local council. Experts and people involved in your child’s education will be asked about your child’s needs and what should be done to meet them.


A statement of special educational needs describes your child’s needs and how they should be met, including what school they should go to.

Further education

If your child has a statement of special educational needs, he or she will have a ‘transition plan’ drawn up in Year 9. This helps to plan for their future after leaving school.

The transition plan gets reviewed each school year.

Your local authority will make sure that your child gets the support they need and will work with social services before your child leaves school.

They must also make sure your child gets any education and training they need when they leave school if they’re 16 to 18, or 19 to 24 if they’ve had a Learning Difficulty Assessment.

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