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SEND support in education

A young child with a blue backpack and stripy t-shirt

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
  • schools
  • 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.

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.

Graduated approach

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 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.