School support

Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class, including where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff.

Identifying and supporting SEND

If your child has special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), they will be able to access help – called SEND support.

SEND support is part of what is known as the ‘graduated approach’. You can contact the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) to discuss any additional needs and support your child may need. You may be contacted by your child’s teacher or SENCO – if your early years setting, school or college think your child needs SEND support.

The SENCO should consider all of the information gathered from within the school about the pupil’s progress.

Will I have a say?

You will be involved and your views will be needed throughout the process, and you will be kept up to date with the progress made. Young people aged 16 to 25 will be fully involved in designing their own SEND support and provision.

SEND Register

If following a school based assessment, working in partnership with you, the school decides that your child has special educational needs, their name will be added to the ‘SEND register’. This is a record of all the children in the school in receipt of SEND support. A School SEND support plan will then be developed by the school and you and your child should be involved in this. If your child has a SEND support plan, this means that the objectives and strategies within in it should be discussed with you, and that your child’s progress should be formally reviewed with you at least once a year.  The plan will be developed using a process known as ‘assess, plan, do, review’.

Early identification and assessment

High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEND.

In deciding whether to make special educational provision the teacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) should consider all of the information gathered from within the school about the pupil’s progress. This information gathering should include an early discussion with the pupil and their parents. These early discussions with parents should be structured in such a way that the teacher and SENCO develop a good understanding of the pupil’s areas of strength and difficulty, the parents’ concerns, the agreed outcomes sought for the child and the next steps. A short note of these early discussions should be added to the pupil’s record on the school information system and given to the parents.

However support is provided a clear date for reviewing progress should be agreed and the parent, pupil and teaching staff should each be clear about how they will help the pupil reach the expected outcomes. Where it is decided that a pupil does have SEND the decision should be recorded in the school records and the pupil’s parents must be formally informed that special educational provision is being made.

Stages of SEND support 

The four stages of SEND support are:

  1. Assess

    Your child’s difficulties must be assessed so that the right support can be provided. This should include, for example, asking you what you think, talking to professionals who work with your child (such as their teacher), and looking at records and other information. This needs to be reviewed regularly so that the support provided continues to meet your child’s needs. That might mean getting advice and further assessment from someone like an educational psychologist, a specialist teacher or a health professional.

  2. Plan

    Your school or other setting needs to agree, with your involvement, the outcomes that the SEND support is intended to achieve – in other words, how your child will benefit from any support they get – and you need to be involved with that. All those involved will need to have a say in deciding what kind of support will be provided, and decide a date by which they will review this so that they can check to see how well the support is working and whether the outcomes have been or are being achieved.
  3. Do

    The setting will put the planned support into place. The teacher remains responsible for working with your child on a daily basis, but the SENCO and any support staff or specialist teaching staff involved in providing support should work closely to track your child’s progress and check that the support is being effective.
  4. Review

    The support your child receives should be reviewed at the time agreed in the plan. You can then decide together if the support is having a positive impact, whether the outcomes have been, or are being, achieved and if or how any changes should be made

Graduated approach to meeting SEND

Where a pupil is identified as having SEND schools should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place.

This SEND support should take the form of a cycle through which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the pupil’s needs and of what supports the pupil in making good progress and securing good outcomes.

This is known as the graduated approach. It draws on more detailed approaches, more frequent review and more specialist expertise in successive cycles in order to match intervention to the child’s SEND.

Additional support required?

If further support is required, find out what is available

Further information