Special and additional education
We want children
of all ages in Kent to get the most out of their education,
regardless of what learning difficulties or needs they have. There
are many types of special or additional educational need, and we
want to make sure that if your child needs additional support with
their education they get the most appropriate help from us and our
If your child needs more help with learning than most other
children, they may have a special educational need. This is not
unusual. Many children are classed as having some form of special
educational need (SEN) at some point while they are at school.
Having SEN is not always a lifelong problem. Equally, not all
children who learn more slowly than their classmates have SEN.
If your child does not speak English as a first language, this
on its own is not considered a special educational need. You may
like to discuss your child's situation with our minority and ethnic learners team.
What to do if you think your child may have SEN
If you are worried about the progress your child is making at
school or pre-school, you should speak to your child's teacher
first. They will be able to give you an opinion on whether they
think your child could have SEN. Schools are always keen to find
out if children have additional needs as early as possible.
If they agree that it is possible your child needs additional
help, they will take steps to provide a support plan within school
for your child and they will monitor how your child progresses with
this extra support.
If you think your child needs more support
If you and the school are not happy with the progress your child
is making even with the extra support, the school may contact us
here at Kent County Council. Our SEN team may then arrange to have
your child assessed to find out precisely what your child's
particular needs are and what further support they should be
Not many children need to be formally assessed, as their needs
can be met in ordinary mainstream schools. We may refuse to assess
your child and if we do, we will write to you and tell you why, as
well as telling you how you can make an appeal against our
Find out more about the assessment
Statements of special educational needs
If we assess your child and decide that they have further needs
that should be met, we will write a statement of special
educational needs. This is a document that sets out exactly what
your child's needs are and how they should be met. You will be able
to tell us what you think about the statement and whether you
disagree with any of it. We review statements every year to make
sure they are still suitable for your child.
Find out more about statements