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Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

“Children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities can face additional safeguarding challenges. Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure their child protection policy reflects the fact that additional barriers can exist when recognising abuse and neglect in this group of children. These can include:

  • assumptions that indicators of possible abuse such as behaviour, mood and injury relate to the child’s disability without further exploration;
  • being more prone to peer group isolation than other children;
  • the potential for children with SEN and disabilities being disproportionally impacted by behaviours such as bullying, without outwardly showing any signs; and
  • communication barriers and difficulties in overcoming these barriers.

To address these additional challenges, schools and colleges should consider extra pastoral support for children with SEN and disabilities.” (KCSIE, DfE 2018)

Staff should be extra vigilant when working with young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The designated safeguarding lead should liaise regularly with the special educational needs co-ordinator, the behaviour lead and the attendance lead, maintaining a culture of vigilance and being alert to any relevant new information or concerns.

All schools must have regard to the principles of the SEND code of practice 0-25 years.

  • The Code of Practice (2014) covers the 0-25 age range.
  • It includes guidance relating to disabled children and young people, as well as those with special educational needs (SEN). Disabled children and young people may not have SEN but are covered by this guidance as well as by the Equality Act 2010.
  • There is a clearer focus on the participation of children and young people and parents in decision making at individual and strategic levels.
  • There is a strong focus on high aspirations and on improving outcomes for children and young people.

The principles of the code of practice are:

  • Children, their parents and young people are involved in discussions and decisions about their individual support and local provision and have the information, advice and support they need to enable them to participate in such discussions and decisions.
  • Children, young people and parents are involved in planning, commissioning and reviewing services.
  • The needs of children and young people are identified early and there is early intervention to support them.
  • Parents and young people have greater choice and control over their support.
  • There is greater collaboration between education, health and social care services to provide support.
  • There is high-quality provision to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND.
  • There is a focus on inclusive practice and removing barriers to learning.
  • Young people are supported to make a successful transition to adulthood.

It is the right of every child and young person to receive an education that enables them to make progress so that they:

  • Achieve their best.
  • Become confident individuals leading fulfilling lives.
  • Make a successful transition into adulthood.

Every school is required to identify and address the SEND of the pupils it supports by:

  • Building the identification of SEND into the school’s overall approach to monitoring the progress and development of all pupils.
  • Doing everything they can to meet pupils’ special educational needs.
  • Ensuring that pupils with SEND engage in activities alongside their peers.
  • Designating a teacher (a SENCO) to be responsible for coordinating SEND provision.
  • Informing parents when they are making SEND provision for a child.
  • Publishing an up-to-date SEN information report on their website about the implementation of the school or setting’s policy for pupil with SEND.
  • Identifying a governor with specific oversight of the school’s arrangements for SEN and disability.
  • Making the quality of teaching and progress for pupils with SEND a core part of the school’s performance management arrangements and professional development for teaching and support staff.
  • Ensuring they have structured processes in place to identify any underlying needs such as learning or social communication needs, in addition to any environmental factors such as bullying, home factors, which may be impacting on a child’s behaviour.

Definition of SEND provision

Special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for others of the same age, ie provision that goes beyond the differentiated approaches and learning arrangements normally provided as part of high-quality, personalised teaching.

Broad areas of need

Four broad areas of need give an overview of the range of needs that should be planned for, not to fit a pupil into a category.

The broad areas of need are:

  1. Communication and interaction
  2. Cognition and learning
  3. Social, emotional and mental health
  4. Sensory and/or physical needs

Special educational provision and support

  • Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class, including where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff.
  • High-quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEND. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching.
  • The identification of SEND should be built into the overall approach to monitoring the progress and development of all pupils.
  • Schools and settings can take their own approach to record keeping but SEND provision should be recorded accurately and kept up-to-date. Ofsted will expect to see evidence of pupil progress, a focus on outcomes and a rigorous approach to the monitoring and evaluation of any SEN support provided.
  • Class and subject teachers, supported by the senior leadership team, should make regular assessments of progress for all pupils, where pupils are falling behind or not making expected progress given their age and starting point, they should be given extra support.
  • Once a potential special educational need is identified, schools should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. This is “SEN support” which should take the form of a four-part cycle – assess, plan, do, review. This is known as the graduated approach.

The graduated approach

The four stages of the cycle are:-

  1. Assess
  2. Plan
  3. Do
  4. Review

The graduated approach starts at whole-school level. Teachers are continually assessing, planning, implementing and reviewing their approach to teaching all children. However, where a potential special educational need has been identified, this cyclical process becomes increasingly personalised.

  • Individualised assessment leads to a growing understanding of the barriers to and gaps in the pupil’s learning.
  • Continual reflection on approaches to meeting the pupils’ needs leads to a growing understanding of strategies that enable the pupil to make good progress and achieve good outcomes.

The SEND code of practice makes it clear that class and/or subject teachers are directly responsible and accountable for all pupils in their class(es), even when pupils are receiving support from a teaching assistant or other specialist staff, within our outside the classroom.

The responsibility and accountability for the progress and development of pupils with SEN lies with the class or subject teacher, not with the SENCO or the learning support department.

Solihull Health Visitors service works in partnership with families and other key professionals from a variety of agencies and organisations, including the voluntary sector to deliver the healthy child programme (0-5 years). Promoting and safeguarding the health and well being of all children; including the unborn child, is a high priority of this service. Maternal mental health and providing support for parents and other family members antenatally and within the first year of their baby’s’ life is another key priority for the service. When a child starts school, their care will be transferred to the school nursing service who will continue to offer support, if required and appropriate.

Any client and professional can refer to this service:
Chelmsley Wood Primary Care Centre  0121 329 0118
Hurst Lane Clinic Team  0121-747 2977

Solihull School Nursing service comprises qualified community nurses (and school nurse assistants who work under the direction of school nurses) who are trained in a public health approach to deliver early interventions which are preventative in nature. The service is available to all children (excluding those attending nursery who are supported by the health visiting service) and young people attending local authority schools within the borough of Solihull.

Tel: 0121-746 4459 (south)/0121 770 1919 (north)

Children’s Community Nursing Service

Tel: 0121 746 4436

The children’s community nursing service assess and manage the health needs of children and young people aged 0-18 years with:

  • Short –term conditions e.g. nasogastric management
  • Long term conditions
  • Complex health care needs requiring nursing interventions
  • Life-limiting and life threatening illness, including those requiring palliative and end of life care

The child must be registered with a Solihull GP

Children’s Learning Disability Service

Tel: 0121 746 4436

The Children’s Learning Disability Nursing Service assesses and manages the health needs of children and young people aged 0-18years with:

  • Moderate to severe learning disabilities and an additional health need
  • The child must be registered with a Solihull GP

Community Paediatrics

Tel: 0121 746 4476

Community paediatricians are doctors who specialize in developmental, behavioural and social difficulties of children. Referrals can be made to the community paediatrics service by GP’s, health visitors, school nurses and in some circumstances school staff or social workers.

The conditions assessed and treated by community paediatricians include:

  • Communication/Interaction disorder/autistic spectrum disorder
  • Global/developmental delay
  • Neurodevelopment disorders such as cerebral palsy
  • A variety of syndromes
  • Microcephaly/macrocephaly (small or large head)
  • Gross motor delay
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Speech and language concerns
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Dyspraxia

Paediatric Physiotherapy

Tel: 0121 746 4422

Paediatric physiotherapists treat children and young people who have physical conditions which affect normal childhood development. Paediatric physiotherapists use techniques which contribute towards the overall development of children with physical conditions/development needs in order that they can become as independent as possible in childhood and onwards to adulthood.

Paediatric Audiology Service

Tel:0121 424 1846/7

The Paediatric Audiology Service assess and manage the hearing needs of children and young people aged 0-18 years.

Updates and changes


These pages are updated regularly and should be used as the main source of information.  Printed versions should be used with care as they can become out of date.