The SEND system is the system that supports children and young people with additional needs throughout their education. This includes children and young people with a learning disability

What is SEND?

Some children and young people may require more help to learn and develop than children and young people of the same age. If this is the case they may be classed as having special educational needs (SEN) so they can get extra support. This could include anything from more accessible information to one to one support at school or college.

Some children and young people with SEN may also have a disability which does not affect their ability to learn but might stop them from being able to do certain day-to-day things

How is SEND identified?

Every local area must identify which children and young people have SEND so that it can plan how it will go about meeting their needs.

Children and young people with SEND will be identified through many different ways. Some may have their SEN identified by a health worker or a Paediatrician in their early life and some children and young people’s needs may become evident later on in life, for example when they enter a certain stage of education.

Some children’s SEND can be predicted in early age. For example, certain conditions may mean it is more likely that they will require more support to learn and develop.

In all situations, the families of children under the age of 16 must be told about their child’s needs and families of young people over the age of 16 should ordinarily be involved in this process as well.

Who can get support in the SEND system?

The SEND system applies to all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities aged 0-25, as long as they are in education or training.

The support received by a child or young person with a learning disability will vary significantly depending on their needs. It may involve a range of professionals across the education, health and social care systems.


What is SEN Support?

SEN Support is the process schools and other settings use to identify and meet the needs of children with SEN. They should alter support where necessary.

This used to be called Early Years/School Action and Early Years/School Action Plus.

Who can get SEN Support?

Education settings must make sure they meet the “reasonable” special educational needs of children. This means that education settings – early years settings, schools and colleges – should be able to meet the needs of most children with a learning disability.

How to get SEN Support

If a child or young person has SEN, or a setting thinks that they might have SEN, they must follow this process:

  1. Assess: they must talk to a child’s parents or the young person to work out what support might be needed.
  2. Plan: once a child or young person’s needs have been identified, settings must decide what outcomes they want the child or young person to achieve and what support should be put in place to help them achieve those outcomes. There should be a clear date set to review whether these outcomes have been achieved. Parents/the young person must be involved in agreeing these outcomes.
  3. Do: The staff, supported by the SENCO where relevant, should put this support into practice.
  4. Review: The support received by the child or young person should be reviewed by the setting and families/the young person to see if it is working or have been achieved. If it is, it might continue. If it is not or the outcomes have been achieved, some of the arrangements might be changed.

Schools must set out their arrangements for supporting pupils with SEN in an online policy. You will be able to view this policy via your Local Offer