If your child has SEN, they will be able to access help – called SEN support – from their early years settings, such as nurseries or childminders; schools, and further education/post 16 -education settings e.g. colleges and sixth forms.
If your early years setting, school or college think your child needs SEN support they may contact you-– for example in schools, this will be by your child’s teacher or Special Educational Needs coordinator (SENCO). Or you can approach your child’s school or other setting if you think your child might have SEN.
You will be involved, and your views will be needed throughout the process, and you will be kept up to date with the progress made. Young people aged 16 to 25 will be fully involved in designing their own SEN support and provision. If your child's needs are severe or complex, they may miss out SEN support and start an Education Health and Care (EHC) assessment.
The four stages of SEN Support are:
1. Assess: Your child’s difficulties will be assessed so that the right support can be provided. This should include, for example, asking you what you think, as well as asking your child what they think, talking to professionals who work with your child (such as their teacher), and looking at records and other information. This needs to be reviewed regularly so that the support provided continues to meet your child’s needs. That might mean getting advice and further assessment from someone like an educational psychologist, a specialist teacher or a health professional - with your permission.
2. Plan: Your school or other setting needs to agree, with your involvement, the outcomes that the SEN support is intended to achieve – in other words, how your child will benefit from any support they get – and you need to be involved with that. All those involved will need to have a say in deciding what kind of support will be provided, and decide a date by which they will review this so that they can check to see how well the support is working and whether the outcomes have been or are being achieved. This will be written as a SEN Support Plan, so that you, your child and teachers and other professionals involved know what the outcomes are and what support is needed to help your child achieve these.
3. Do: The setting will put the planned support into place. The teacher remains responsible for working with your child on a daily basis, but the SENCO and any support staff or specialist teaching staff involved in providing support should work closely to track your child’s progress and check that the support is being effective.
4. Review: The support your child receives should be reviewed at the time agreed in the plan. You can then decide together if the support is having a positive impact, whether the outcomes have been, or are being, achieved and if or how any changes should be made.
If my child has SEN Support in school, what kind of support might this be?
The type of SEN support will depend on the needs of your child: This support could include:
- Teaching differently according to their learning needs.
- A special learning programme.
- Extra help from a teacher or assistant. --The teacher will always be responsible for the assistant.
- Making or changing materials and equipment.
- Making sure your child has understood things by encouraging them to ask questions and to try something they find difficult.
- Sometimes your child or young person may get help from a specialist, or their teacher might get advice. This may include:
- Educational psychologists
- Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
- Specialist teachers or SEND support services – such as teachers qualified to work with specific needs such as visual impairment, deafness, communication problems, etc.
- Therapists - such as speech therapists or occupational therapists
- My child is not making progress, what could I do?
- What does 'special educational needs' (SEN) mean?
- What does 'disability' mean?
- What can I expect for my child if they have a SEN or disability?
- If my child has SEN, how will their support be decided?
- What types of school places are available if my child has SEN?
- My child does not have an Education, Health and Care Plan. Can they attend a special school or special post-16 setting?
- My child has an Education, Health and Care Plan. What type of school can I choose for them?
- How will I know what a school's offer is for children and young people with SEN?
- My child is in youth custody. How will their special educational needs be met?
For Further information:
You can find out more about SEN support by:
- Looking at detailed descriptions by Contact and Ipsea
- Contacting your child’s education provider.
- Contacting Bracknell Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS).
- Tel. 01344 354011
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/informationadviceandsupportservice
- Reading the guide on which this information is based- ‘Special educational needs and disability: A guide for parents and carers.’ August 2014-see the section: ‘Support for children and young people with special educational needs’