Special Educational Needs support in mainstream schools

Information from SENDIASS for parents and carers about schools providing support to children with Special Education Needs.

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Every child with special educational needs (SEN) should have SEN support.

This means help is provided in addition to the support given to all children of the same age.

What to expect from your child's school

Schools should identify pupils not progressing as expected and decide whether SEN support is appropriate. Sometimes you may be the first to notice that your child has special education needs.

If your child needs SEN support talk to your child's teacher or to the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) in the school.

SEN support is provided to help children achieve the outcomes or learning objectives set by school. Schools should involve young people and their parents in this ongoing process of assess - plan - do - review, outlined in the SEND Code of Practice (6.45 to 6.56).

All mainstream schools have money for special educational needs support and resources which they decide how to spend. Read our leaflet on funding for special educational needs in mainstream schools (PDF, 411KB) to find out more.

The SEND Code of Practice says:

Consideration of whether special educational provision is required should start with the desired outcomes, including the expected progress and attainment and the views and wishes of the pupil and their parents. This should then help determine the support that is needed and whether it can be provided by adapting the school's core offer or whether something different or additional is required. (6.40)

Some children need more intensive and specialist help. If your child does not make progress despite SEN support an Education, Health and Care needs assessment (EHC) might be the next step. See also Support for EHC assessments and plans.

Schools must publish a SEN information report about the SEN provision the school makes and this should be on their website. The Suffolk 'Local Offer' sets out what support it expects early years settings, schools and colleges to provide.

Where can I get more information, advice or support?

You can:

  • look at the SEN information report on the school website
  • talk to your child's teacher or the SENCo in school
  • view support available via the 'Local Offer'
  • read chapter 6 of the SEND Code of Practice 

Contact SENDIASS in Suffolk

Call our helpline on 01473 265210 during office hours Monday to Friday.

You can leave a message and we'll get back to you.

Email sendiass@suffolk.gov.uk or get latest advice and news on our Facebook page.