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SEN in schools

Your child’s educational entitlement

The special educational needs and disability code of practice 0-25 years (SEND code) sets out the entitlements of all children and young people “to an education that enables them to make progress so that they achieve their best, become confident individuals living fulfilling lives, and make a successful transition into adulthood”.

In Barking and Dagenham, the majority of children who have SEN or are disabled, go to their local mainstream school.

We are determined to offer the best possible education opportunities for all children, no matter what special educational needs they have.

Children and young people with SEN or who are disabled and are resident or attend an education setting in Barking and Dagenham can access the full range of provision.

If you child has SEN and/or is disabled, these should not be reasons for them to be refused admission to a school, unless there are clear reasons (as listed here).

The SEND code confirms the legal entitlement of children with SEN to be educated in a mainstream school and the law (Equality Act 2010) provides protection from discrimination for everyone.

SEND Code of practice on GOV.UK

If your child has medical needs

Your child is entitled to have their medical needs met.

The SEND code sets out legal duties for early years settings and schools to make arrangements to support pupils with medical conditions.

Where children and young people also have SEN, “their provision should be planned and delivered in a coordinated way with the healthcare plan”.

If your child is disabled

The Equality Act sets out the legal obligations that schools, early years providers, post-16 institutions, local authorities and others have towards disabled children and young people:

  • they must not directly or indirectly discriminate against, harass or victimise disabled children and young people
  • they must make reasonable adjustments, including provision of auxiliary aids and services, to ensure disabled children and young people are not at a substantial disadvantage compared with their peers. This duty is anticipatory – it requires thought to be given in advance to what disabled children and young people might require

If your child has SEN

Education settings must:

  • consider applications from parents of children who have SEN who do not have an EHC plan
  • not refuse to admit a child who has SEN but does not have an EHC plan because they do not feel able to cater for those needs
  • make sure that a child with SEN gets the support they need

If your child has a statement or an education, health and care (EHC) plan

As a parent, you have the right to request a particular school, college or other institution, and the local authority must comply with this 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 would be incompatible with the efficient education of others or the efficient use of resources

Specialists in your child’s education Toggle accordion

Educational psychologists

Community educational psychologists are trained psychologists who work with children and young people in schools and other settings.

See information about the educational psychology service

The Education Inclusion Team

The Education Inclusion and Special Educational Needs Teams work closely with the School Improvement Service to develop joint approaches to special educational needs.

These teams offer guidance and support, so that inclusive policies, systems and practices are established, to:

  • all schools
  • the pupil referral unit
  • special schools
  • special educational needs bases
  • other local authority institutions.

The Education Inclusion Team is formed of staff, managers and special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) in a variety of settings.

The purpose of the team is to:

  • support developments in teaching, learning and behaviour in order to promote inclusion and reduce exclusions
  • provide a substantial range of training courses for all school-based and council staff to support and contribute to school improvement and promote inclusion
  • operate in partnership with a range of other agencies in order to promote collaborative working practices.

You can access this service through:

  • the named inclusion adviser for each school
  • the named inclusion officer for each school’s special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) locality cluster meetings
  • direct requests to senior advisers
  • a request to the inclusion adviser for specialist teacher support
  • a request for behaviour outreach support


How schools support pupils with SEN Toggle accordion

Most children and young people will have their SEN met by school staff.

Your child may be given special materials or computer programmes, or extra help from staff.

All children have their learning planned and evaluated by the class teacher.

The teacher oversees a teaching assistant, and decides how they will work with your child (in and out of the classroom).

If your child is identified as having special educational needs, the school will put additional support in place to help their learning.

Interventions to support learning will be matched to your child’s particular needs.

There are four stages:

  • assess – the class teacher will work with the SENCO and you to find out what your child’s needs are
  • plan – your child’s teacher and the SENCO will agree with you and your child the support to be put in place, as well as the expected impact on your child’s progress and a clear date for review. You will be formally notified that your child has a special educational need, and you would need to consent to the additional support
  • do – your child’s teacher remains responsible for any of the interventions or additional staff working with your child
  • review – your child’s progress will be reviewed. The SENCO will support your child’s teacher in assessing progress and adaptations to support; your views and your child's will be central

SEND reforms - letter for parents (PDF, 98.91 KB)

Your child will be included in all discussions. Communication could be verbal or non-verbal (eg via pictures).

Support in the classroom for under-achievers Toggle accordion

Funded maths and literacy projects are open to all local authority schools for pupils in KS1, KS2 and KS3 with high needs.

The funding allows the council to offer considerable support and resources to schools to help children who have fallen behind in reading and mathematics.

The project is run in partnership with Edge Hill University who provide training for school staff and assist with data collection on pupil progress.

Consideration is given to how well pupils:

  • make progress relative to their starting points
  • learn, the quality of their work in a range of subjects and the progress they have made since joining the school
  • develop a range of English and maths skills and how well they apply these
  • are prepared for the next stage of their education, training and / or employment

Schools can request this support from the council.

Support in exams Toggle accordion

If your child has SEN, is disabled, or has a temporary injury, they can take exams with support.

For example, support can be provided by readers, scribes and Braille question papers.

These are considered to be ‘reasonable adjustments’ under the Equality Act so that they are not at a disadvantage.

Some support arrangements are agreed by the school and some have to be agreed by the exam awarding body.

There will need to be a professional report to enable this.

The school exams officer, inclusion manager and SENCO will be able to provide more information.