What is SEN?

A child is considered to have Special Educational Needs (SEN) if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.  They do not have to have a specific diagnosis or disability.
Special educational provision means:

a) for children of two or over, educational provision that is additional to or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in mainstream schools in the area.

b) for children under two, educational provision of any kind.

Taken from The Education Act 1996 Section 312 and now amended by the Children & Families Act 2014

To read more advice about SEN, click on this link.

It has been estimated that around 20% of children have
some special educational needs at some time in their school life, but only a small percentage of between about 2 to 5%, depending on what area they live in, will have difficulties of such complexity that they need the extra protection and provision that a 'Statement of SEN' provides.

Children with special educational needs may need
extra help because of a range of difficulties, such as;

  • thinking and understanding
  • physical or sensory (hearing or sight) difficulties
  • emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • difficulties with speech and language
  • difficulties with literacy or numeracy
  • social understanding and relating to other people, e.g. an autistic spectrum disorder.

Some children will have a medical diagnosis of a disability or learning difficulty, some will not and some children will have a combination of the above difficulties