How schools and educational settings support children with SEND

All children and young people are individuals. They make progress at different rates and learn in different ways. Teachers are expected to take this into account when they organise their lessons and choose materials and activities to help each pupil learn. This is known as “differentiation” of learning materials.

Teachers regularly assess progress for all pupils. These assessments should seek to identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and circumstances. This can be described as progress which:

  • is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
  • fails to match or better the child or young person’s previous rate of progress
  • fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  • widens the attainment gap between the child and their peers.

The ‘graduated approach’

Where there is a question about whether a child or young person may have SEND, a four-part cycle known as ‘the graduated approach’ is used. The four stages of the cycle are:

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Do
  • Review

This cycle is designed to ensure that earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised, and to build up a fuller understanding of the pupil’s needs and what will enable them to make good progress.

Learn more about the 'graduated approach'

Brighton & Hove SEND guide for professionals

To ensure a consistent approach, we've developed a guide to support Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCos) in schools to fulfil their strategic role in meeting the needs of children with SEND. This includes identifying, planning and monitoring the needs of children and how to support their progress, making best use of available resources. Schools can use this guide to help bring together all of the information needed to get a more detailed picture of the child’s needs.

It is intended to help all schools and settings have an increased consistency of approach across Brighton & Hove. It is also an assurance to parents that their child will be given as much support as another child with a similar need in a school or setting elsewhere.

View the Brighton & Hove SEND guide for professionals (PDF 2.34MB)

SEN support

Where a child or young person is identified as requiring additional support in relation to a special educational need or disability, an appropriate programme of short-term, focused teaching will be used to target the area of need identified. This programme is usually called SEN support.

Once the teaching programme has been delivered, the child’s progress will be reviewed to see whether the programme of support has helped. If so, the additional SEN support may be stopped or a further plan and additional support and advice may be needed.

Most children will receive the extra help they need from their early years setting, school or college to progress. But, if necessary, as part of SEN support they can also call on a range of specialist local services for further assessment or support. These services include:

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)

If a child or young person has been getting SEN support for a while and is still not making progress, the school or setting (or you) may consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.

Read more detailed information about EHCPs

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The law around SEND

All schools, colleges and other educational settings must offer help to improve the outcomes of children and young people with special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND). There are a number of legal requirements that must be followed where a child or young person has SEND. Read more about the legal framework for SEND here.


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