What is SEN support?

The SEND Code of Practice defines Special Educational Needs (SEN) as:

  • A child or young person who has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her:
  • A child of compulsory school age or young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • Has a disability, which prevents or hinders him/her making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream educational settings.

The vast majority of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) are supported in local mainstream schools.

When progress continues to be less than expected the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) may be involved to ensure that needs are identified accurately and that appropriate support is put in place.

Once the special educational need (SEN) is identified it is very important that special educational provision is made.  The provision should be evidence based, focused on the identified need and its impact should be monitored over time.  The assessment process and information gathering should include early discussion with the child/ young person and their family. In Bath and North East Somerset, children and young people will have an SEN Support Plan.

The SEN Support is known as the graduated approach and it adopts 4 stages - Assess Needs – Plan – Do – Review (see page 4 ‘What Action Should be taken when a Special Educational Need has been identified?’ in Guidelines for Educational Settings for initiating a Statutory Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment.


How can I request SEN support for my child?

If at any time you are concerned about your child please arrange an appointment with your child’s class teacher/ form tutor or the Special Needs Coordinator as soon as possible; an initial phone call or letter might also be a good start.

If you require any extra advice and information, there are a number of sources of information, advice and support available – (link to information, advice and support page). 

More information about SEN Support can be found in the following SEN Support fact sheet (see documents)


Where can my child access SEN support?

SEN Support is provided at the school level and should be documented in an SEN Support Plan that the school will share with you and review. This could take a number of forms, including:

  • a special learning programme for your child 
  • extra help from a teacher or a learning support assistant 
  • making or changing materials and equipment 
  • working with your child in a small group 
  • observing your child in class or at break and keeping records 
  • helping your child to take part in the class activities 
  • making sure your child has understood things by encouraging them to ask questions and to try something they find difficult 
  • helping other children work with your child, or play with them at break time 
  • supporting your child with physical or personal care, such as eating, getting around school safely, toileting or dressing. 
  • advice and/or extra help from specialists such as specialist teachers, educational psychologists, and therapists. 

Involving children / young people

We want encourage all children/young people, including those with SEN, to make decisions about their education. All children/young people are expected to evaluate their own learning success and discuss their needs with their teacher; this may be achieved by asking questions in lessons or setting targets.

​Children/young people with SEN support have a plan that outlines the support needed to achieve additional agreed outcomes and to help them become better prepared for adulthood. These outcomes are decided with the child/young/person and with parents and recorded on the support plan.


Information, Advice and Support

If you require further advice please visit our information, advice and support section.