Special educational needs (SEN) support in schools and education settings

2. How support is provided

For most children and young people, their needs will be met by universal strategies and high quality teaching within the classroom. Some children and young people will need targeted provision that’s additional to or different from what is normally on offer within the classroom. Very few pupils will need highly personalised provision which may be part of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Some children will start school with special educational needs or a disability already identified. For some, difficulties with their development will begin to emerge while they're at school. Research shows that responding to these difficulties quickly will help to reduce their impact on a child’s learning and development as they grow older. This is often referred to as ‘early intervention’.

Universal provision

The universal provision is available to all pupils and includes quality first teaching or high quality teaching. Needs that can be met through practical adaptations may sit at this level. The Stockport Entitlement Framework defines the expectations of settings to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Targeted provision

Children whose needs cannot be met through universal high quality teaching may need more targeted support and provision. These children may be placed on the special educational needs (SEN) register and identified as needing SEN support.

The graduated response

SEN support should follow a 4 part cycle called the graduated response. The 4 parts are:

  • Assess: analyse the child or young person’s special educational needs
  • Plan: identify the additional and different support needed
  • Do: put the support in place
  • Review: regularly check how well it's working so that the amount or type of support can be changed if needed

Schools should work with the child's family to plan and review the support put in place at least every term. If the child has not made the expected progress, then the cycle will start again. The length of each cycle will vary according to the needs of each child. Following this process, some children will make progress and will no longer need SEN support. Some children and young people with more long-term, complex needs will need several cycles to make good progress.

Support plans

When a school thinks that a child might have special educational needs, they need to plan actions to help improve outcomes. The SEND Code of Practice (2015) states that:

  • the provision made for pupils with SEN should be recorded accurately and kept up to date
  • schools should particularly record details of additional or different provision made under SEN support
  • schools should make sure that they have accurate information to show the SEN support that's been provided during the pupil’s time in the school, as well as its impact

In response to this guidance, many schools choose to create a support plan which aims to identify and review actions that will help to remove barriers to learning by putting effective provision in place.

A support plan should be co-produced by the school or setting and the child or young person and their family. It should address concerns that the child or young person is making less than expected progress in their education, wider development and/or social needs, despite high quality teaching and universal strategies being put in place.

Schools must:

  • inform parents when they are making special education provision for a child
  • listen to the views and feelings of the child or young person and their family

One page profiles

A one page profile is a document that should be created by the early years setting, school or college and you and your child. The one page profile should capture all the important information about your child on a single sheet of paper to support anyone teaching or supporting them.

The one page profile should include information under the following headings:

What people like and admire about me

This section explores all the child or young person's strengths.

What is important to me

This section helps all adults to understand the child or young person's key interests and relationships.

How best to support me

This section includes:

  • the best ways to support the child or young person
  • the strategies to use
  • what is helpful and what is not

This will include advice from families and outside agencies about day to day strategies.

If your child does not have a one page profile, yo can ask their class or form teacher about developing one together.

Personalised or individualised provision

Some children have needs that are wide ranging and more complex and they may need more individualised and specialised packages of provision. Some of these children may need an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).