How education settings support children with special educational needs

If you think your child may have special educational needs or has a disability that is impacting on their learning it is important you understand what your child is entitled to and the steps to take if you think your child needs extra help in their education setting.  The South Glos Way Inclusion Toolkit section 2 also sets out how education settings should be meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND. 


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How special educational needs are identified 

Teachers regularly assess the educational progress of all pupils.  If your child is falling behind or is not making the progress expected, you should be told as soon as possible. You should also be involved in discussions about help your child may need and how their progress will be reviewed.  All schools should have a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEN. Identifying need as early as possible and then making effective provision improves long-term outcomes for your child.  

Not all children who are falling behind or not making the expected progress will have SEN.   It might be that they have gaps in their learning for a variety of reasons and just need some further work to help their understanding.  A process of assessment, planning and help for your child, as well as reviewing their progress, will enable the class teacher to see if your child can make the expected progress or if they need further input from the school SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator).  The identification of SEN should be built into the overall approach to monitoring the progress and development of all pupils.  

The process can include progress in areas other than attainment – for instance where a pupil needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs in order to make a successful transition to adult life. 

The first response to ensure such progress should be high-quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness. Where progress continues to be less than expected, the class or subject teacher, working with the SENCO, should assess whether the child has SEN. While informally gathering evidence (including the views of the pupil and their parents) schools should not delay in putting in place extra teaching or other rigorous interventions designed to secure better progress, where required. The pupil’s response to such support can help identify their particular needs. 

Who to speak to about any concerns 

If you are concerned that your child is not making expected progress and you think that your child may have a special educational need you could: 

1. Ask to meet with the school:  

To begin with, you should approach your child’s teacher.  They work closely with your child and are in the best position to be able to discuss your concerns with. You could ask to involve the school’s SENCo.  

Before the meeting, think about why you feel your child may have additional needs and how they compare to other children of a similar age.  You may want to discuss your child’s progress or lack of progress by referring to work being done at school or school reports. 

At the meeting, ask how the school can support your child and what you can do to help at home.  Make a note of what was discussed, particularly when and how any support that is agreed will happen. 

2. Talk to other parents:

This is often a useful form of support. Ask if your child 's school has a parent support group that you can join.  

Our parent carer support section on our SEND local offer has details of how to find parent groups that you can join locally.  

Support you should expect from schools and education settings  

The SEND Code of Practice outlines the duties that schools and education settings must adhere to.  

It states that every education provider is required to identify and address the SEND of all learners.   

Schools MUST:  

  • do everything they can to meet children and young people’s needs, ensuring that they get appropriate support   

  • provide an inclusive environment for children and young people with SEND, engaging in activities alongside learners who don’t have SEND 

  • have a designated teacher who is responsible for co-ordinating SEND provision (SENCo)  

  • inform parents and carers when they are making special educational provision for a child  

  • have a SEND information report  

  • have a member of the school’s governing body or a sub-committee with specific oversight of the school's arrangement of SEND  

Find information about SEND support in your setting or school 

Each school will produce a SEND information report sometimes known as the SEND offer. This will give clear and meaningful information for you and your child, including: 

  • how their SEND policy is used  

  • how support for children with SEND works 

To access the SEND information report, visit the website of your school or setting website or ask the school office for a printed copy.  

You can learn more about the school SEND information report in the SEND code of practice (pages 106-107).

SEN Support and the graduated approach  

If your child is identified as requiring further or additional support please read our article on SEN Support and the graduated approach. This explains the next steps in supporting your child in their education setting. 

Further information 

Supportive Parents provide the SEND information, advice and support service (SENDIASS) for children, young people and families in South Gloucestershire  

IPSEA is the Independent Provider of Special Education Advice. They provide information about how nursery schools, schools and colleges should be helping children with SEND which includes SEN support  

Contact is a national charity who support families with disabled children. They provide information about SEN support on their website.  

Contact details

For general enquiries regarding SEND, including SEN Support Services, please contact Will Pritchard, Strategic Lead for inclusion and SEND: