SEND support in schools

All mainstream schools, not specialist ones, can support your child. They will use their own resources. They can also ask for further resources from:

Identify your child's needs

If you're concerned about your child's progress, you should talk to their teacher or the SENCO. They'll discuss with you whether your child falls into one of the four broad areas of need:

  1. communication and interaction
  2. cognition and learning
  3. social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  4. sensory or physical needs.

The school will then plan extra learning support if they think your child has SEN. They will discuss with you:

  • additional support from a teacher or teaching assistant
  • special classroom materials and equipment
  • observations throughout the day and keeping records
  • support to overcome challenges by finding different ways to engage
  • support with personal care like eating and dressing.

Here's a great conversation starter toolkit to get you talking to your school.

Find out how your child's school will identify children with special needs (SEN) in its SEN policy. To read your school's policy, visit their website or ask the SENCO.

Asses, plan, do and review (Graduated Approach)

Over time, your school will finish a 4-part process. It's called the 'assess, plan, do, review cycle' (The Graduated Approach). This process helps them understand, learn, and decide. It helps them find what is best for your child's progress.

Part of the graduated response What happens
1. Assess

The SENCO and teachers will look into the barriers. They will also look into the difficulties your child is experiencing in school. This may involve:

  • looking at work and reports
  • observing your child during lessons, breaks, and play times. As well as carrying out assessments.
  • discussions with you.
2. Plan

Working with you, the SENCO will:plan the support they will

  • put in place to help your child
  • agree the targets for your child’s learning or development
  • decide when the plan will be looked at again to see if it’s working.
3. Do The plan is put in place.
4. Review How has the support worked and what should we do now?

This cycle is repeated. The support may change as they understand better what works for your child.

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s support in school, you should arrange to speak to the SENCO. Or, contact IASK for independent guidance.

If you have spoken to the SENCO and you are still worried about the support in place, contact us. One of our SEN Inclusion Advisers (SEN IA) will be able to help.

Services supporting your education setting

All education settings must put support in place taking into account your child or young person's needs. They can also ask for additional guidance from one of our SEND services:

Education health and care (EHC) plans

If your child isn't making the expected progress despite the support put in place, ask your education setting to request an EHC needs assessment.

Find out about:

Specific support in the classroom

Learn how your child's school can help if your child:

Education standards and policies

We want to ensure all education settings are able to provide inclusive education. For more help, read the Mainstream Core Standards. It explain how schools should support your family.

As part of inclusion work, we have also worked with education settings to create the SEND inclusion statement.