1. What is SEND?
What is SEND?
A child or young person has Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) if they have a learning difficulty or disability that calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A child has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or if they have a disability that prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools. Around one in five children has SEND at some point during their school years and will, therefore, require ‘SEND support’.
The SEND Code of Practice (2014) identifies four areas of special educational need and support:
• Cognition and learning needs (COG) - specific learning difficulty (SpLD), moderate learning difficulty (MLD), severe learning difficulty (SLD), and profound and multiple learning difficulty (PMLD);
• Social Emotional Mental Health (SEMH);
• Communication and interaction needs (CI) - speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), and autistic spectrum disorders (ASD);
• Sensory and/or physical needs (SIP) - visual impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI), multi-sensory impairment (MSI), and physical disability (PD). Pupils with medical needs are usually included in the sensory and physical needs section.
It is important to recognise that individual children often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time. For instance, speech, language and communication needs can also be a feature of a number of other areas of SEND, and children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder may have needs across all areas. It is also worthy of note that a child can have a disability but not have any special educational needs arising from that disability that may require additional support in school.
If you are concerned that your child may have SEND, in the first instance, please speak to your child’s class teacher. Alternatively, our SENDCo, Mrs Laws, can provide you with information regarding the process of gaining an official diagnosis and whether or not this is necessary in order to fully support your child.