Special educational needs (SEN) support
Your child will get SEN support at their nursery, 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 do not 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, for example to ask questions or to try something they find difficult
- help communicating with other children
- support with physical or personal care difficulties, for example 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.
How do I ask for SEN Support for my child?
If you feel that your child needs extra support in class or nursery the first port of call would be their teacher, key worker or nursery manager. It’s a great way to voice your concerns and get the view of those that work with your child and observe their learning. You can also ask them if you can have a meeting with the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator) or invite them to the first meeting.
What is a SENCo?
The Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCo) has special responsibilities to ensure that children are receiving any additional support they need. They can arrange any necessary assessments and monitor and interventions that are decided are needed. The SENCo could also be a teacher or nursery staff.
My child is already recieving SEN Support but I think they may need more.
If your child it receiving SEN Support and it doesn’t seem to be making a positive change you could talk to your provider about an assessment for an EHC Plan. An EHC Plan is an Educational and Health Care Plan. It is there to provide extra support for your child if the nursery, early years provider, school or college needs more funds to provide the support your child needs.
“An education, health and care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support. EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.” – HM Government
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