What to do if you think your child has special educational needs
Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can affect a child or young person’s ability to learn. They can affect their:
- reading and writing, for example because they have dyslexia
- ability to understand things
- concentration levels
- behaviour or ability to socialise, for example they struggle to make friends
- physical ability.
There are many ways in which you can get support for your child or young person and your family. We've put together 10 easy questions for you to find out who you can talk to, and what support they can offer.
Support in education
Most children and young people with SEND can have their needs met in mainstream education settings (early years, schools and colleges) and will be given support.
- best practice guidance (PDF, 808.5 KB) (for early years, including nurseries and childminders)
- mainstream core standards (for schools)
- preparation for adulthood core standards (for young people moving to adulthood).
- a child or young person's needs cannot be met through the support they are currently getting in their mainstream educational setting, where the education setting has done everything it can and they require additional support.
- despite the support provided, the child or young person isn't making progress in their learning or development, or when the progress they are making is due to significant levels of support.
Who to talk to first
The first step is to talk to your child or young person's education setting to share any concerns you have and discuss support that can be put in place them.
You may be able to access support from local community services via:
- our community directory - a directory of support groups and advice charities in Kent that can help you, often for free
- Information Advice and Support Service Kent (IASK) - impartial and confidential advice service
- Kent Parents and Carers Together (Kent PACT) - a Kent parent forum for children and young people with SEND.