SEN Support for children in education

Most children with special educational needs (SEN) go to a mainstream school.

The law says that schools must use their best endeavours to make sure children with SEN get the extra support they need to achieve as well as they can. Mainstream schools do this through a legally informed system called SEN support.


The school must publish information about how they support pupils with SEN. It must also have a policy setting out how it supports disabled pupils to be included in school activities.


Every mainstream school has a special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) who is responsible for organising extra help for pupils with SEN. The SENCO works with the class teachers to plan the help each child needs.


The school should give you clear information about the extra help your child is getting. It is a legal requirement to make parent carers aware that they are providing sen support to children. The school should meet with you at least three times a year to review how your child is progressing and what the next steps will be.


The SEND Code of Practice says that schools should use a 'graduated approach', or four-part cycle (Assess, Plan, Do and, Review) to support your child with SEN. This means that the SENCO and teaching staff should:

  • Assess and identify your child's difficulties.
  • Secure the extra support your child needs.
  • Put the support in place.
  • Regularly check how well it is working so that they can change the amount or kind of support if they need to.

You can find a parents SEND Code of practice in our downloads section.


These interventions should be documented and reviewed using a tool such as an Early Help assessment form, or an individual education plan. Some schools use "provision maps" to detail what they have been doing and how much it has cost. 


The school can ask specialist support services, for example, educational psychology, behaviour support, Ladyhood Outreach or speech and language therapy to carry out assessments and provide further advice and support if necessary.


All schools are expected to use their SEN notional budget to provide the support that a child needs, up to a cost of £6000. In Bolton, this equates to around 12 hours of 1:1 support. 


If you are concerned your child is not getting the support they need, you must talk to your child's school first. We would usually recommend  the SENCO. For more help, see Cheryls Blog for "going to a meeting at school" post, for tips and what to ask for. 


For more information about SEN support, get in touch via our website
For more information about SEN support, get in touch via our website