Schools use criteria about expected progress to decide when the child isn’t making enough progress so they can arrange extra support. The criteria are used to make it fair when schools are deciding which children should have more or less help.
Sometimes children don’t make enough progress or continue to have difficulties managing in school, even with extra support. In these cases schools will get advice from other professionals. This might include further more detailed assessment so that good advice can be given to the school and family. You will always be given copies of any reports written about your child and be able to discuss them.
Examples of additional and extra help for pupils with SEND:
- Individualised targets set for the pupil following discussion between school, pupil, parents and other professionals.
- the SENCO involved in assessing, planning and reviewing progress.
- making a task different so it is manageable, for instance a pupils with literacy difficulties might show learning by making a poster rather than writing an essay.
- regular planned support from the teacher, teaching assistants and the SENCO.
- flexible group work to support individual learning targets.
- individual sessions or small groups for literacy and numeracy.
- social skills groups*
- changes made to the classroom such as a quiet study area, reducing glare by putting up blinds or putting soft feet on chairs to reduce noise.
- access to ICT solutions and specialist materials and equipment.
- specialist support or advice from other professionals like an educational psychologist or speech and language therapist or
- a programme to improve handwriting or other physical skills.
This support is usually provided by the school using its delegated budget. For pupils with greater needs which cannot be met within this budget, schools and parents or young people can request a top up through an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.
Reasonable Adjustments - Bitesize Video
Enhanced SEN Support
Local authorities can provide funding as an alternative to an EHC needs assessment, with parents’ agreement. This does not affect parents’ statutory right to request an EHC needs assessment.
If the school or nursery believes that your child’s needs are complex or severe they can suggest requesting an EHC needs assessment.
What to do if you have an issue with SEN Support for your child
The publication, ‘Special educational needs and disability: a guide for parents and carers, contains a wealth of information about rights of appeal and the support services available – see the ‘Challenging or disagreeing with decisions’ section in the guide. There is also guidance on "SEN Support in Schools" and "Decision Making and what to do if you disagree with a decision" in the Golden Binder on this website.
SEND Guide for Parents and Carers (gov.uk)
Many issues can be resolved through local conversations with your child’s school. This could be with either, or both, the class or form teacher and the SENCo and could involve senior school leaders if needed. Where a pupil is receiving SEN support, schools should talk to parents regularly to set clear outcomes and review progress towards them, discuss the activities and support that will help achieve them, and identify the responsibilities of the parent, the pupil and the school.
The SEND Code of Practice is clear that schools should meet parents of those identified at SEN Support at least three times each year (paragraph 6.65), but parents can request more meetings than this if needed.
A copy of every school’s complaints procedure should be easily available and is often published on the school’s website and the school’s SEN Information Report should include arrangements for handling complaints. Parents can also ask the local authority to use their disagreement resolution service to help resolve issues with a school, if the school complaints route doesn’t resolve things.
If you decide that you would like your child to have an Education, Health and Care needs assessment
You can read the guidance and the forms which you can use to request an EHC needs assessment, and the forms which can be used to contribute information to an Education, Health and Care Plan here on this website.
For children in an education setting, i.e. a school or nursery, it is usual for the setting or school to make the request, however parents can also make this request although advice from the educational setting will still be needed to support this.