Help is available so that children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) can achieve their best in education.
Support to help children and young people with SEND learn
All providers of mainstream education must support children and young people with SEND and help them to learn.
Mainstream education providers include:
- early years settings such as nurseries or preschools
- providers of further education such as colleges
The help children and young people with SEND get from mainstream education providers is called special educational needs (SEN) support.
Most children and young people with SEND get all the help they need from their education provider through SEN support.
To provide SEN support, education providers are given funds by the council and Education and Skills Funding Agency.
The SEN support they provide using these funds is known as ordinarily available provision (OAP).
Our aim is that all education providers in Buckinghamshire will give the same level of support to children and young people with SEND.
The SEN Support Toolkit has been co-produced and aims build upon the success of the Buckinghamshire OAP document by providing professionals with:
- Information on presenting needs
- Guidance on how to support young people
- Current best practices
Education providers may also work with other SEND support services to give children and young people any additional help they need to learn.
SEN support follows a graduated approach to help children and young people with SEND.
Using this approach, parents or carers – along with the child or young person themselves – work with an education provider to:
- assess the needs of a child or young person
- make a plan for how these needs will be met
- do what is in the plan
- review the support given to see if it was effective and if anything needs to change
The 4 stages of the SEN support graduated approach are:
If a child or young person is not making the expected progress in education, the first stage is to make an assessment.
The education provider will gather information from:
- parents or carers
- the child or young person
- staff working with the child or young person
This information will help the education provider to think about next steps.
Based on the assessment, the education provider will work with parents or carers – and the child or young person themselves – to make a plan.
This plan will be written by a teacher or special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO), who is responsible for making sure that children with SEND get the support they need.
The plan will be used by the education provider to help the child or young person with any additional needs they have.
When making the plan, education providers in Buckinghamshire often use a template called a SEN support plan.
You can see SEN support plan templates for schools and children in the early years foundation stage (EYFS) at SchoolsWeb.
A SEN support plan includes:
- goals for the child or young person to meet
- details on the results that the child or young person wants to achieve from SEN support (these results are known as ‘outcomes’)
The SEN support plan will also say how the education provider will help a child or young person to meet the outcomes they hope for.
Parents, carers or the young person themselves will get a written copy of the plan.
The education provider will also share the plan with members of staff who need to see a copy.
If an education provider needs extra help to support a child or young person, they can request this by:
The SEN support plan is put into action.
A class or subject teacher will work with the child or young person.
They will make sure the child or young person gets the support they need to meet the intended outcomes of the plan.
Teachers and SENCOs will regularly check to make sure the plan is working.
The education provider reviews the child or young person's progress, using the intended outcomes in the SEN support plan.
The review will also look at the help the child or young person has been given by their education provider.
All this information is recorded in the SEN support plan.
These reviews normally take place at least 3 times a year.
Parents or carers, or the young person themselves, will discuss the review with the education provider once it has taken place.
Many education providers use parents’ evenings to discuss reviews.
If a child or young person goes through the 4 stage process and meets the intended outcomes, the education provider may make changes to the plan to make sure they continue to make progress.
If all outcomes are met, the education provider may decide that a SEN support plan is no longer needed to make progress.
If a child or young person has not made enough progress, the education provider will adjust the plan’s outcomes and actions to help them improve.
Repeating this 4 step process will allow the education provider to understand how a child or young person is developing, and make changes to help them over time.
Full guidance on the Graduated Approach can be found on Schoolsweb.
Education, health and care (EHC) plans
If a child or young person does not make progress following cycles of assess, plan, do and review, they may need more support.
If this is the case, an education provider may talk to parents, carers or the young person themselves about ways to get more support.
This may be through asking for an education, health and care needs assessment
In some cases, this may lead to the creation of an education, health and care (EHC) plan.
To make sure that children and young people with SEND get all the help they need through SEN support, education providers may work with other SEND support services.
This additional help is arranged by education providers.
Parents and carers cannot contact these SEND support services directly. If a parent or carer feels their child needs additional help, they can speak to:
Education providers will look at the outcomes of the SEN support graduated approach to decide if a child needs extra support.
If they think additional support is needed, education providers can speak to services linked to the council and the Integrated Care Board to arrange this.
These services include:
The SEND support services education providers can access cover these areas:
- hearing loss
- sight loss
- multisensory impairment
- communication and interaction difficulties
- medical needs
- cognition and learning needs
- social, emotional and mental health needs
- physical skills
For more details on how a child’s needs are assessed, read this graduated approach page for teachers on SchoolsWeb.
The council and Education and Skills Funding Agency give education providers money for each pupil.
The money an education provider gets depends on the number of pupils it has. This is called the Age Weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU).
Some of this money is used to help pupils with SEND, and to provide SEN support.
Extra funds are also available to schools to help pupils with SEND.
Parents, carers and young people with SEND cannot apply for these additional funds. Only education providers can apply for extra funding.
But parents, carers and young people with SEND can speak to their education provider and ask them to apply for the funding. An education provider's SENCO is the best person to talk to.
Schools get extra funding to help children and young people with SEND. The money they get depends on the number of children in the school who:
- get free school meals
- are not doing well in English and maths
A school can choose to spend additional support funding however it chooses, based on the needs of its pupils.
The government says schools should provide £6,000 of support for each pupil with SEND every year.
But this does not mean that schools will spend £6,000 on each pupil with SEND, and sometimes funds will be used to help groups of children.
If a school feels that it needs more than £6,000 to help a pupil with SEND, it can ask the council to give it extra money from High Needs Block Funding.
The council will decide if top up funding is needed, and award funds based on the needs of the pupil.
High Needs Block Funding is for education providers to help children and young people with complex needs.
A group of local school and council professionals decide if a child or young person's needs meet the criteria for High Needs Block Funding at our iSEND Surgery.
If a child qualifies for High Needs Block Funding, payments will be made to their school each term. The funding is set for allocated time periods.
Special schools get at least £10,000 for each pupil. This figure depends on the number of pupils that are predicted to join the school in the next year.
Most special schools can also get top up funding for pupils.