S.E.N. stands for Special Educational Needs and has a legal definition. (Section 312, Education Act 1996) Children with Special Educational Needs all have some form of learning difficulty and or disability that makes it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. These children may need extra or different help from that given to other children of the same age.
Children make progress at different rates and have different ways in which they learn best. Teachers take account of this in the way they organise their lessons and teach. Children making slower progress or having particular difficulties in one area may be given extra help or different lessons to help them succeed.
You should not assume that, because your child is making slower progress than you expected or the teachers are providing different support, help or activities in class, that your child has special educational needs.
If you have concerns about your child's educational progress please see the 'SEN - Information for Parents' page.
Special educational needs may mean that a child has difficulties with:
- reading, writing, number work or understanding information
- expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying
- making friends or relating to adults
- understanding and following rules and routines
- organising themselves
- a medical condition which impedes learning
- some kind of sensory or physical need which may affect them in school
The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2001 (you can download and view a copy of this document from the Teachernet website, the link can be found under the External Links panel on the right hand side) sets out the processes and procedures that schools, Local Authorities and others must or should follow to meet the needs of children. The code describes how help for children with Special Educational Needs in schools and early education settings should be made by a 'graduated approach'.
This approach recognises that children learn in different ways and can have different kinds or levels of SEN. So increasingly, step by step, specialist expertise can be brought in to help the school with the difficulties that a child may have. The level of involvement by 'outside agencies' will determine whether a child is supported through School Action or School Action Plus (S.A. or S.A.+) Where a child has demonstrated significant cause for concern, a request for statutory assessment may be made by a school to the Local Authority. See the 'S.E.N. – Assessment' page.
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- Special Educational Needs Enquiries
- Tel: 01803 208274