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Information & advice
The thought of having to appeal against a decision made in your EHC Plan by your Local Authority can seem daunting. This guide will take you through the process to help you understand what to expect.
Special educational needs, often referred to as SEN or SEND (Special educational needs and disabilities), is a term used to describe learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for a child to learn compared to children of the same age.
All children may experience challenges with their learning at some point and for most children, these difficulties overcome with support from teachers and home. However, children with SEND are likely to need extra or different help to be able to learn.
Some children may have SEND because of a medical condition or disability, other children may have SEND without a diagnosis or disability.
Children are not considered to have SEND just because their first language is not English. Although some children for whom is English is a second language may also have SEND.
A child or young person has SEN if:
A child or young person has a disability if:
Children may have difficulties in one or more of these areas:
Special education is any educational or training provision which is extra to or different from what is needed by other children or young people the same age. This covers many different things including communicating through sign language, having worksheets in a larger font and needing one-to-one or small group support.
Some children and young people may need extra help which is not special educational provision such as having medication at school. As this is not support with education or training it would not be classed as special educational provision.
We have more information about about SEND support in School on this website.
If you are worried about any part of your child’s learning or development, you can talk to your child’s class teacher or school SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator). You can also talk to any other professionals involved with your child such as medical or social care professionals.
This website has lots of information and resources related to SEND and support available, you can search or browse all our topics.
Children with SEND related to cognition and learning often have a learning difficulty. Learning difficulties are classified in the following ways:
There are lots of abbreviations used when talking about SEND, you can find an explanation of the most common ones in our Glossary.