SEND support in schools

Every education setting has a special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) policy. It sets out how they will identify the special educational needs (SEN) of their pupils. To read your school's policy visit their website.

All mainstream schools (not specialist) can provide support from their own resources. They can also ask for further resources from:

Identifying your child's needs

If you have any worries about your child or young person, you should talk to their teacher or the school's special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO).

If they have not been identified, they may be showing characteristics under the 4 broad areas of need (as set out in the SEND code of practice). The 4 broad areas of need are:

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

The graduated approach

If they feel that your child or young person has SEN, the education setting should plan extra learning support for them. They should also talk to you about this support which may include:

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

Overtime your education setting will complete a 4 part process called the 'assess, plan, do, review cycle' (the graduated approach) to:

  • develop a greater understanding of your child
  • learn what works well for your child
  • determine how best to support their progress.

Read the Nasen SEN Support and the Graduated Approach to find out more.

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

  • looking at work and reports
  • observing your child in lessons or during break and play times and carrying out assessments
  • discussions with you.

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.

The plan is put in place.

How has the support worked and what should we do now?

This cycle is repeated and provision changes over time as an understanding of what works well for your child develops.

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

If you have spoken to the SENCO and you are still worried about the support in place, contact us. One of our Provision Evaluation Officers (PEOs) will be able to help.

Services to support 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.

Our Provision Evaluation Officers are qualified teachers who work with schools where they:

  • make sure your child is receiving the highest standard of support and provision
  • monitor and evaluate the provision of those with an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • check any pupil receiving high needs funding is progressing towards their identified outcomes
  • provide expert advice and legal guidance.

To contact your local PEO email tania.lawrence@kent.gov.uk who will pass on your contact details to the relevant PEO.

Our Specialist Teaching and Learning Services offer advice and training for pre-schools, mainstream schools and academies on how to meet the needs of children with SEND.

Find out more about our Specialist Teaching and Learning Services.

An Educational Psychologist (EP) is a qualified practitioner who has had training in psychology to understand more about how children learn, think and behave.

They have an important role in assessing your child or young person's special education needs and giving advice to education settings.

Specific SEN need support

If your child or young person has specific SEN needs, the education setting can put in specific support to help them. Learn how education settings can help if they have:

Education standards and policies

We want to ensure all education settings are able to provide inclusive education.

All schools put support in place for your child taking into account their individual needs. The mainstream core standards explains how schools should put in place support to help include your child in all aspects of school life, make progress and to be happy.

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