Broad areas of SEN

Children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) may need extra help because of a range of needs.

The SEND Code of Practice set out four areas of special educational needs:

Communicating and interacting

For example, where children and young people have speech, language and communication difficulties which make it difficult for them to make sense of language or to understand how to communicate effectively and appropriately with others.

Cognition and learning

For example, where children and young people learn at a slower pace than others their age, have difficulty in understanding and/or organisation and memory skills, or have a specific difficulty affecting one particular part of their learning such as in literacy or numeracy.

Social, emotional and mental health difficulties

For example, where children and young people have difficulty in managing their relationships with other people, are withdrawn, or if they behave in ways that may hinder their and other children’s learning and/or that have an impact on their health and wellbeing.

Sensory and/or physical needs

For example, children and young people with visual and/or hearing impairments, or a physical need that can give rise to difficulties in accessing learning without appropriate support and equipment.

Some children and young people may have SEN that covers more than one of these areas.


Related links

SEND Code of practice: 0 - 25 years