What SEN support can my child’s school provide?

If your child has special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities, your child’s school can give them extra support.

Most children with special education needs go to a mainstream school. Your child will receive extra help through the school’s SEN support system.

a child colouring at a desk in school

Working with your child's school

  • It is important that you keep talking to your child’s school. Make sure that they know about any important changes about your child’s additional needs.
  • Every school must publish information about how they support pupils with SEN. This is often called the School SEN information report.
  • Your child’s school must tell you if your child is receiving special educational provision through SEN support.
  • Make sure you meet the key staff who support your child. This includes the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo).

SEN Disability Code of Practice

The SEN Disability Code of Practice says:

  • “The School Admissions Code of Practice requires children and young people with SEN to be treated fairly. Admissions authorities:
    • must consider applications from parents of children who have SEN but do not have an EHC plan on the basis of the school’s published admissions criteria as part of normal admissions procedures;
    • must not refuse to admit a child who has SEN but does not have an EHC plan because they do not feel able to cater for those needs;
    • must not refuse to admit a child on the grounds that they do not have an EHC plan.”

What is your child entitled to?

  • Your child is entitled to a mainstream education if this is what you would like and feel is best.
  • Your child’s school has to make reasonable adjustments. There is limited guidance on what this includes. Either the school or the Local Authority pay for these. In most cases, this is decided on an individual basis.
  • Sometimes mainstream education may not be appropriate for your child. You can speak to your child’s doctor, the local authority and local schools about this.
  • There are other options for schooling, including special schools. These might be schools under Local Authority control. Or, it might schools which aren’t (academies).
  • If your child has an EHCP, then the process of choosing which school is best is different.

What else you can ask for or discuss

There are other options for SEN support which you can raise with your child’s school:

  • An IEP (Individualised Education Program). Read our article to find out more;
  • An EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) or support for submitting one yourself. Read our article to find out more;
  • Interventions from the school to support your child’s learning and social skills;
  • Referrals to an Educational Psychologist;
  • Diagnostic evidence reports for your GP, paediatrician or CAMHS, etc.;
  • Additional training for the staff who will be supporting your child;
  • An individual risk assessment and PIP;
  • Team around the family (TAF) or family support;
  • Support with school transport (if your child has an EHCP);
  • Shared strategies and home-to-school communication.
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