What support is available for SEN children in the UK?
Finding support and knowing what’s available in the UK for SEN or SEND children can be a frustrating task and not always clear. This information is aimed at parents and guardians of special needs children looking for educational support in the UK. We have put together this helpful guide so you can access the current information a bit easier and point you in the right direction. Listed below are the different levels of support available for each age bracket.
Children under 5
SEN support in the UK for children under 5 includes the following:
- Written progress check when your child is 2 years old
- Health check for your child if they are aged 2 to 3
- Written assessment in the summer term of your child’s primary school
- Making adjustments for disabled children, for example, providing school aids
All nurseries and childminders that are registered with Ofsted will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. The EYFS framework is designed to make sure that there’s support in place for children with SEN.
Children between 5 and 15
If you are worried about your child's ability to learn, you can arrange a meeting with the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) or a teacher at your child's nursery or school. All publicly funded pre-schools and nurseries must take into account the 'Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs'.
If any of the following are applicable, you should speak to a SENCO or teacher as soon as possible to make sure your child doesn’t get left out or behind.
- Help and support for personal care difficulties, for example going to the toilet, getting dressed or eating food.
- A special learning programme
- Observation in class or at lunchtime
- Help with taking part in classroom and school activities
- Encouragement with their learning, for example asking questions or trying something they might find difficult
- Help interacting and communicating with other children
Young people aged 16 or over who are in further education
It’s best to contact the college before your child starts further education. This will help make sure that the college can accommodate for your child’s SEN needs before they start term.
What is an education, health and care (EHC) assessment and plan?
If a child’s development and progress is causing a concern, even after taking action to identify and assess the SEN of the child has been conducted, early years providers should request an EHC needs assessment. An EHC needs assessment should be done with consent of the parents.
After an EHC assessment has been undertaken, an EHC plan will be formulated. This plan identifies any educational, social and health requirements for the child. It will also set out the additional support needed to fulfill those requirements.
What is the Local Offer?
Local Authorities must publish a Local Offer. A Local Offer sets out all the information on the available provision in their area across education, social care and health for children and young people with SEND. This includes children and young people who do not currently have EHC plans.
If you are looking for a special needs nanny or carer who can offer respite care in your home, then speak to us today and see how our childcare agency can help you.
Read next: 10 common types of Special Educational Needs