What SEND support you can expect from schools

Most children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) can be supported to go to a mainstream nursery, school or college without an educational health and care (EHC) plan.

All schools have a SEND policy which will be on their website. The policy will describe their approach to identifying special educational needs and putting provision in place to support these needs. Use our school search to find schools in Kent, including contact details and links to their websites.

Schools must put provision in place to support your child, whether or not a medical diagnosis has been made. Most children with SEND have their needs met through high quality teaching, sometimes called Quality First Teaching.

SEN support

If the support normally available for pupils with SEN is not helping your child to make progress, they may be identified as requiring ‘SEN Support’.

If this is the case, the special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) will meet with you to discuss:

  • the support that will be put in place for your child
  • agree the outcomes to be achieved as a result of this support
  • arrange a date to meet again to look at how things are going.

SEN Support will include some additional help and support in the classroom. This may not be individual support, sometimes this support is delivered in small groups. Sometimes a child or young person will require individual support.

What schools can do

Here are some examples of the support schools can provide for their pupils, without the need for an EHC plan.

  • Give extra help during lessons (this can be help from a teacher or a teaching assistant).
  • Make sure teaching and materials are adapted to support individual or groups of pupils learn and make progress.
  • Provide physical support and personal care for your child if they need it. For example, this could be help with eating, dressing and changing or toileting.
  • Meet with you more regularly than might be needed for most pupils. These meetings mean you can share information about your child and regularly talk about how they are getting on, what’s helping and what’s not.
  • Schools can ask for help and advice from other professionals about understanding and meeting your child’s needs. For example, this could be by asking advice from health professionals or by attending the Local Inclusion Forum Team meetings.
  • Provide a quiet place for pupils during break and lunch times.
  • Help your child to develop socially and emotionally so that they can form positive relationships with others. This could be through supporting play, modelling social communication or through small group activities.

The graduated approach

The graduated approach means that over time the school will develop their understanding of what works well for your child and how best to support them to make progress.

This approach is a 4 part process called the ‘assess, plan, do, review cycle’.

Assess: the SENCo and teachers will look in to the barriers and difficulties your child is experiencing in school. This may involve:

  • looking at work
  • observing your child in lessons or during break and play times
  • carrying out assessments
  • looking at reports from other professionals such as doctors or speech and language therapists
  • discussions with you.

Plan: working with you, the SENCo plans:

  • 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.

Do: the plan is put in place.

Review: 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.

If despite speaking to the SENCo, you are still worried about the SEN provision in place for your child, contact us and one of our SEND Provision Evaluation Officers (PEO) will be able to help.