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How schools can support children

All schools have a duty to inform and include you as parents during the identification, assessment, planning and review process of special educational needs and/or disability provision for your child.

Your child's teacher, key worker or tutor and the SEN coordinator (SENCO) are the first people to speak to about these processes. 

SEN information report and policy guide

All maintained nurseries and schools must publish an SEN information report and policy. This should include information about a setting's SEN provision and should be published on the setting's website, along with a link to our website, SEN and disability Local Offer

What schools should do to help children learn

All children have a right to an education. 

Schools must provide each child with the help they need so that they can do well. This helps them to become confident adults. 

Schools can help all children by making sure that they:

  • provide high quality teaching
  • assess children's progress often and target areas of difficulty
  • adjust work for children who are struggling

Schools must also help children and young people with disabilities or medical conditions. 

SEN Information Report

All schools have to publish an SEN Information Report every year. It explains:

  • what kinds of SEN they support
  • how they identify and assess children with SEN
  • what help they offer to children with SEN

Many schools have written their own Local Offer explaining how they provide for children and young people with SEN. You can find this information on their Family Information Directory record.

Contact the school if you want to read a school's annual SEN Information Report.

What a school should do if a child is still struggling

Some children may still struggle. If so, the school should think about whether they have special educational needs (SEN).

The class teacher and the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) should:

  • gather information about the child's progress
  • talk to the parents to get their views
  • talk to the child

The class teacher and SENCO decide whether the child needs special educational provision. This is different from, or as well as, provision available to other children. They will involve parents when they decide this. They will talk about:

  • what the child finds easy
  • what the child finds hard
  • what they want for the child in the future

The school might be able to adapt the support they give to all children. Or the child might need special educational provision because they have an SEN. This is known as SEN support.

The school must tell parents if this happens. They will also review this support and the child's progress regularly. 

Other schools

All schools are required to be inclusive and most children and young people with SEN attend a mainstream school. 

Sometimes a special school or specialist resourced provision might be the best option for your child. You can talk about this with the people supporting your child. Usually, children and young people only attend one of these settings if they have an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

Special schools in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole include:

We place children in our own maintained special schools and work with neighbouring authorities, to make sure children and young people are educated in a provision that's both appropriate for their needs and within their wider communities where possible.

Section 41 list

The government provides a list of specialist independent schools across the country that are approved by the Secretary of State. This is known as the Section 41 list. Most children and young people attending these settings have an EHC plan. 

Find local schools on our Family Information Directory

Search the Family Information Directory to find local schools, including special schools. Each school record links to their SEN Information Report.

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