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Placement in Mainstream Schools

Children with SEN all have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. These children may need extra or different help from that given to other children of the same age.

Children with SEN may need extra help because of a range of needs, such as:

  • in thinking and understanding, physical or sensory difficulties
  • emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • difficulties with speech and language
  • how they relate to and behave with other people.

Many children will have SEN of some kind at some time during their education.
Schools and other services can help most children overcome their difficulties, but a few children will need extra help for some or all of their time in school.

Identifying children’s needs

Early education settings and schools place great importance on identifying special educational needs early so that they can help children as quickly as possible.

The graduated approach recognises that children learn in different ways and can have different kinds or levels of SEN. If it has been decided that your child has SEN specialist expertise can be brought in to help the school with the difficulties that a child may have.

The school will tell you when they first start giving help to your child because your child has SEN. In early education settings this help is called Early Years Action and in schools this is called School Action. Your child might need help through the graduated approach for only a short time or for many years, perhaps even for the whole of their education.

Your child’s teacher is responsible for working with your child on a day-to-day basis but may decide to write down the actions or help for your child in an Individual Education Plan (IEP).

The IEP will say:

  • what special help is being given
  • how often your child will receive the help
  • who will provide the help
  • what the targets for your child are
  • how and when your child’s progress will be checked
  • what help you can give your child at home.

Your child’s teacher should discuss the IEP with you and your child if possible.
The SEN Code of Practice (see link below) is very clear about the importance of early education settings, schools, Local Authorities and parents working together.