What do we mean by “SEN”

The term special educational needs (SEN) has a legal definition which is set out in the Education Act 1996. It applies to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it significantly harder for them to learn or access education than most other children of their age.

What do we mean by “disability”

The Equality Act, 2010, defines a child with a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial or long term effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities. The definition of disability includes a broad range of needs, and research suggests that about 6-7% of children are disabled.

Essex holds high aspirations and expectations for children and young people with SEND and expects all schools and educational settings to adhere to, and reflect the values of, the new SEND Code of Practice by:

  • Developing high quality and effective leadership for SEN at all levels; including careful consideration about the appointment, development and effectiveness of the SENCO;
  • Having an outcomes focussed approach to making progress where the child or young person and their family at the centre of planning and evaluation;
  • Championing a person-centred approach; in Essex this is called the One-Planning Environment;
  • Having clear processes for effective identification, assessment & monitoring ;
  • Addressing identified concerns with high quality teaching as a first response;
  • Using evidenced based interventions that are regularly evaluated against impact;
  • Applying an inclusive and integrated approach to school effectiveness for SEN; threading through performance management and professional development for all staff
  • A commitment to developing a high quality schools SEND Information Report; ideally demonstrating effective development with a range of partner schools, services and organisations
  • Working closely with the Local Authority and the wide range of providers within the Local Offer to improve outcomes

Useful Documents