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What is SEND?

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can affect a child or young person’s ability to learn. These difficulties could affect their:

  • behaviour or ability to socialise, for example they struggle to make friends
  • reading and writing ability
  • ability to understand things within the classroom
  • concentration levels, for example because they have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • physical ability

The council is responsible for the special educational needs of all children and young people living in the borough from the age of 0 to 25 under the Children and Families Act 2014. However, we expect the needs of the majority of students with special educational needs to be met within a school’s SEN Support resources. This will mean that most schools and colleges can meet those needs, without any additional funding.

Assessing for SEND

If your child is in school or nursery, you should firstly speak to your child's teacher if you feel your child is learning more slowly than they should. They will let you know what they are going to do to address and support your child's area of weakness.

If your child does not progress despite well-targeted teaching, you or the teacher should speak to the person in your child's school or nursery responsible for special educational needs (the SENCO).

The SENCO will work with your child's teacher to assess whether your child has special educational needs. They will do this by talking to you and your child and looking at your child's work, progress and behaviour. This is not the formal education, health and care assessment.

The school or nursery must tell you if they think your child has special educational needs and discuss with you what action they plan on taking.

If your child is not in school or nursery, contact our special educational needs team or your doctor.

If health problems are affecting your child's learning, contact your doctor (for example hearing loss).

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