SEND – Special educational needs and disabilities

All children experience successes as they go through school; all children have some difficulties. A child with special educational needs is one who will require something additional to or different from what is provided for other children of the same age in order to make progress. Around one in five of all pupils may have special educational needs at some time.

Warwickshire’s Local Offer

The Children and Families Act 2014 requires all local authorities to make significant changes to their special educational needs and disability (SEND) services by September 2014.

Through the act the government is transforming the system so that services can consistently support the best outcomes for these children and young people.

The act extends availability of SEND support from birth to 25, giving young people and their families greater control and choice in decision making to ensure their needs are properly met. The changes include:

  • replacing old statements of special educational needs with a new birth- to-25 education, health and care plan;
  • offering families personal budgets;
  • improving cooperation between all the services that support children and their
    families, particularly requiring local authorities and health authorities to work

Local authorities are currently working with other health and social care services to review the support available and how it can be accessed through the development of ‘Local Offers’.

Warwickshire’s Local Offer will bring together all information relating to all services and support available across education, health, social care and the voluntary sector with the aim of making the information more accessible to families and the professionals who work with them.

More information about Warwickshire’s Local Offer and details about SEND services and
support offered by the county will be available on this page from 1 September 2014, including advice on;

  • the assessment process;
  • early years;
  • moving into adult life;
  • transport;
  • education.

What to do if you think your child has Special Educational Needs

Your first point of contact should be your child’s school. Discuss your child’s progress with the class teacher or tutor. If you feel that your child is not making adequate progress speak to the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). As a first step the SENCO will probably discuss your child’s performance and progress with class or subject teachers. This may reassure you that progress is being made and nothing additional or different is required.

However if there is agreement that progress is not adequate, the SENCO will discuss with you the arrangements it will make to support your child. This support is called ‘School Action’ and will be set out in an Individual Education Plan (IEP). You and your child will be involved in setting the targets set out in the IEP. This is important because the targets are more likely to be achieved if everyone pulls together.

In supporting children with special educational needs schools and the LA have to take account of the SEN Code of Practice. Your child’s school will have its own SEN Policy. This will detail how the school will implement the Code.

If you feel that you need further support and guidance, you can contact Warwickshire Parent Partnership Service. They are an independent organisation which will give help and information to parents and carers of children with Special Educational Needs.

Warwickshire Parent Partnership Service

Warwickshire Parent Partnership Service provides support for parents and carers of children with special educational needs.

The service can provide:

  • general information about special educational needs and disabilities
  • Impartial advice and support
  • one-to-one support through phone calls, home visits and attending meetings
  • support during statutory assessment (including understanding and filling in paperwork)
  • parents’ meetings, workshops and conferences
  • access to an Independent Parental Supporter
  • a termly newsletter
  • local drop-in advice sessions

Please contact:

Warwickshire Parent Partnership Service
Canterbury House
Exhall Grange Campus
Easter Way
Ash Green

024 76366054

Other related services

Educational Psychology

All children develop and learn at their own rate and in their own way.

At any point in their development a child may experience difficulties and therefore need more help than before. Children may show:

  • Problems with overall development
  • Problems with specific areas of learning e.g. learning to read
  • Medical problems that impact on their learning
  • Tantrums or angry outbursts
  • Anxiety or become withdrawn
  • Communication difficulties
  • Behaviour difficulties
  • A lack of motivation

If your child is showing any of these, or other difficulties, you may feel that you want extra help and support. This support may only be needed for a short space of time or it may continue to be needed over a number of years.

What can parents do?

There are many people and organisations that can offer help and support when your child is experiencing difficulties. Some of these organisations are part of the voluntary sector, others are part of the local Health Primary Care Trust and others are provided by the Local Authority (LA).

If your child is at school or goes to nursery or pre-school, it is best to talk to staff there first. Perhaps talk to your child’s class teacher, the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) or Inclusion Manager, or the Head of Year.

If your child does not go to school, nursery or pre-school, you can talk to your Health visitor, GP, Social worker, Family support worker, or other Children’s centre staff.

You will be able to share your concerns with them and they may offer you support and advice. Sometimes this will be enough to make things better.

If your child is at school, nursery or pre-school they will be able to get more help from staff there. The staff will follow the stages of the SEN Code of Practice, which will be explained to you. This help will aim to make things better and give your child the help they need to make progress.

Sometimes even with extra help and support over time, your child may still be experiencing some difficulties. At this point school/pre-school staff and other professionals may want to get further advice and support, and you will be asked to give permission for your child to be referred to a support service.

One of these support services is the Educational Psychology Service (EPS).

What is the EPS?

Warwickshire Educational Psychology Service (EPS) is a group of people, known as Educational Psychologists (EPs), who have an in depth knowledge and understanding of how the mind works, development, learning, human behaviour and relationships.

EPs work with children, young people and families, applying psychology, to help to make things better, usually through consultation on the concerns raised and agreeing an action plan.

When might an EP be involved?

An EP may become involved when your child is showing:

  • Problems with overall development
  • Problems with specific areas of learning e.g. learning to read
  • Medical problems that impact on their learning
  • Tantrums or angry outbursts
  • Anxiety or become withdrawn
  • Communication difficulties
  • Behaviour difficulties
  • A lack of motivation
  • Reduced or lack of progress

What will happen when an EP is involved?

You will need to agree that it’s OK for an EP to be involved with your child. You will be asked to sign a form to say that you agree to an EP discussing or meeting with you and/or your child.

You will be involved in any discussion about concerns regarding your child, their development, difficulties or progress.

An EP may:

  • Work individually with your child
  • Talk to you and your child
  • Talk to school/pre-school staff and other professionals
  • Plan and review agreed actions
  • Provide training activities for school/pre-school staff and/or you
  • Provide you with a written report

How do I get in touch with an EP?

If you have any worries or concerns about your child that you would like to discuss with an EP, please talk to one of the following people, who will be able to make contact with an appropriate EP:

  • Your child’s class teacher/the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCo)/the school’s inclusion manager/ your child’s Head of Year/Nursery/pre-school staff
  • Your Health Visitor/Social Worker/Family Support Worker/GP/Staff at your Children’s Centre

Please contact:

01926 742147

Integrated Disability Service (IDS)

The Integrated Disability Service brings together professionals from education, social care, health and Connexions to provide a range of services to support disabled children, young people and their families/carers at home, school and other settings.

Please contact:

01926 742240 or 01926 410410 and ask for IDS in North, East or South

Assessment, Statementing and Review Service (ASRS)

ASRS is responsible for co-ordinating the statutory assessment of pupils with special educational needs, issuing statements of SEN if appropriate and monitoring and reviewing the provision made in school for pupils with statements of SEN.

Please contact:

01926 742160

SEND – Special educational needs and disabilities was last updated on August 7, 2014.