Educational provider requirements

Information about support available for children and young people with special educational needs

All children and young people who have special educational needs will be able to receive SEN support in their educational setting and if your child's needs are severe or complex, they might need an EHC needs assessment and plan.

Early years

All early years settings (nurseries, playgroups and child-minders) that are registered with Ofsted must have arrangements in place to support children with SEND. They must provide you with a written progress report on your child when they are two years old and a written assessment during the summer term of their reception year in school.

Your health visitor will also complete a health check when they are about two and a half.

If your child does not attend early years settings and you think they may have SEND, talk to your doctor or health visitor who will consider what kind of support might help your child and let us know.

Children of statutory school age

If you think your child may have SEND, you should talk to your child's class teacher, SENCo or headteacher. Every school has an SEN Co-ordinator who will be able to help you with your concerns.

If your child's school thinks he/she may have SEND, they must tell you and let you know what provision should be put in place. 

If your child's school cannot meet your child's needs, an Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment and plan should be considered. For more information go to EHC Needs Assessment and Plans.

Most children with an EHC plan will receive support in their local mainstream school but some may be taught in a special school. 

If your child has an EHC plan, you can ask for your child to attend a non-maintained or independent special school or independent specialist college. 

We must comply with that preference and name the school or college in the EHC plan unless it would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEN of the child or young person, or the attendance of the child or young person there would be incompatible with the efficient education of others, or the efficient use of resources. 

More information on these topics is available in the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice (2015).

Young people aged over 16 in further education

All further education (FE) settings, college, sixth form and 16-19 academy, must discuss your child’s needs, wishes and aspirations directly with them. The setting will also need to regularly discuss the young person’s progress both with you and them and review the help they get. 

Preparing for adulthood

Schools and colleges will start having discussions with your child about moving into adulthood from around the age of 13 or 14. You will be included in planning as well. 

Our information, advice and support services will be able to provide help to you and your child along with services such as independent living, employment and adult social care. Your child can also take an Adult Care Transition assessment.

For further information relating to SEND please go to the People's Information Network website​.