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Services in Christchurch

What is SEN support

Special educational needs (SEN) support is a category of support for pupils with SEN. These children will receive special educational provision. 

The school will:

  • have identified that they have an SEN
  • note this in their records 
  • tell parents or carers that their child will now receive SEN support
  • check that they're putting the right support in place for these children.

To do this the school uses the graduated response

The graduated response

The graduated response is a 4 stage cycle that helps the school learn more about:

  • the pupil
  • what helps them make good progress

The graduated response has 4 parts:


The school assesses the child's needs. They listen to the views of the child and their parents or carers. They also ask for advice from other specialist support services if needed. 


The teacher and special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) plan how to support the child. They consider what outcomes they want to achieve. They involve the child and their parents or carers and agree a review date. 


The SENCO helps the class teacher support the child. They think about the child's strengths and weaknesses and how best to help them. The teacher also works with the teaching assistants and specialist staff involved. They assess how helpful the support is. 


Everyone discusses how effective the support has been. The school adapts the support depending on the child's progress. The child's views and those of their parents or carers are an important part of the review process. 

If the child isn't making good progress the school should involve a specialist. Schools involve parents or carers in decisions to involve specialists. 

Schools should meet with the parents or carers of children with SEN support at least 3 times a year. 

Help for your child through SEN support 

SEN support can take many forms; it will be different for each child to suit their needs. 

SEN support could include:

  • a special learning programme for your child
  • extra help from a teacher or teaching assistant
  • working with your child in a small group
  • helping your child take part in class activities
  • encouraging your child to ask for help
  • helping other children work or play with your child

The school will tell you as parents or carers what support they're developing for your child. This might be through:

  • a provision map
  • an SEN Support Plan
  • something similar to these 

School funding for SEN support

All mainstream schools have funding to support pupils with SEN and disabilities. This is called the notional SEN budget. 

Schools can decide how to use their notional SEN budget to support pupils with SEN.

Progress with SEN support

Schools should adapt the support given to a pupil depending on how effective it's been. 

If a pupil doesn't make progress with SEN support, the school and parents may consider requesting an EHC needs assessment.

SEN support in early years settings and further education (FE)

SEN support is available for early years settings and FE but the amount of support may differ.

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