If staff at your child’s pre-school, school or college have identified a special educational need they must tell you. SEND law and guidance is clear that professionals “must have regard to”
- the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person, and the child’s parents
- the importance of the child or young person, and the child’s parents, participating as fully as possible in decisions
That means you and your child (where possible) must always be involved in the discussions and decisions – that’s the law.
Once it’s clear that your child has a special educational need, they should get support to help them manage. Special educational support (provision) in schools is called SEN Support.
SEN support in nurseries, schools and colleges is based around the specific needs of each child or young person. The staff, equipment, resources and support that help your child are decided using the graduated response. This is an ‘assess, plan, do, and review’ cycle. That means if your child special educational needs, the school or college should:
- assess what support they need
- plan the support
- do the support set out in the plan and then
- review how well it’s working
Information about your child’s needs, support and goals should be written down in a plan, which is used by staff and updated regularly. Schools and colleges use all kinds of plans, so your child’s plan may look different from one for a child from a different school. What’s important is that your child has a clearly written plan which lists all their needs, support and goals. For most children and young people with SEND the support the school gives works and they make progress.
This is what the legal guidance for local authorities, schools and colleges says about a schools duties:
“Mainstream schools, including academies, maintained nursery schools, 16 to 19 academies, alternative provision academies and Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), must:
- use their best endeavours to make sure that a child with SEN gets the support they need – this means doing everything they can to meet children and young people’s SEN
- ensure that children and young people with SEN engage in the activities of the school alongside pupils who do not have SEN.”