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What is SEN support?

sen-diagramIt is a staged approach to identifying needs, and providing support which will involve conversations with school / setting, parents / carers, children and young people. This graduated approach within SEN support is
known as Assess, Plan, Do, Review.


Teaching staff will look at individual development and progress. 
As part of any assessment your views should be taken into account.

In some cases, outside professionals may already be involved and should help to inform any assessments and planned support.  The SENCo may wish to contact services not already involved and should seek your agreement to do so.  You must be told if SEN support is needed.


The plan of support will be agreed with you, detailing interventions and support to be put in place. The school/setting should agree with you, the desired outcomes, what help will be provided and a date for it to be reviewed. SEN support should be provided by staff with sufficient skills and knowledge.

The plan should consider what approaches and strategies can be used at home (or elsewhere) to enhance SEN support.

The plan will be in writing, shared with you and appropriate staff to ensure everyone is aware of individual needs, the support required and agreed strategies or approaches.


The teacher/tutor/early years practitioner is responsible for implementing SEN support on a daily basis, even if this means working away from the main class or group.  They should also work closely with teaching assistants or specialist staff involved to link the interventions and plan of support to classroom teaching.  The SENCo will provide further support to staff.

SEN support can take many forms and, dependent on age, may include:

  • a special learning programme
  • extra help from a teacher or a learning support assistant
  • making or changing materials and equipment
  • supporting in a small group
  • observations in class or at break and keeping records
  • supporting participation in the class activities ensuring understanding by encouragement to ask questions and to try things that are difficult
  • supporting and encouraging social skills and friendships
  • supporting with physical or personal care, such as eating, getting around safely, toileting or dressing
  • Advice and /or extra help from specialists such as specialist teachers, educational psychologists, and therapists

In post 16 settings, SEN support may include:

  • assistive technology
  • access to personal care
  • specialist tuition
  • note takers
  • interpreters
  • 1:1 and small group learning support
  • habilitation and independent living training 
  • accessible information such as symbol based materials
  • access to therapies for example speech and language therapy


The school/setting should review the plan regularly with you in line with the agreed date. The review should evaluate the effectiveness of the support, the quality and impact on progress towards meeting the identified outcomes. Teachers, with the SENCo, should consult you for your views before deciding on any changes to the support plan and next steps. Reviews should take place three times a year.

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