What are Special Educational Needs (SEN)?

Special Educational Needs (SEN) is a legal term. It describes the needs of a child who has a difficulty or disability which makes learning harder for them than for other children their age.

Around one in five children has SEN at some point during their school years. Some children have SEN right through their time in school.

SEN covers a broad spectrum of difficulty or disability. Children may have wide-ranging or specific problems. Eg, a child might have difficulty with one area of learning, such as letters or numbers. Or they might have problems relating to other children, or to adults.

Having English as a second language is not considered by law to be a SEN.

What if I think my child has SEN?

You know your child better than anyone else. If your child is pre-school, don’t wait for their next routine health check – visit your GP and ask for their opinion. If your child attends a pre-school speak to their teacher or key worker.

If your child is already in school (including nursery) talk to their teacher. Ask also to speak to the school’s Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), who organises extra help for children with SEN.

Talk to the teacher/SENCO about:

  • why you think your child has SEN
  • whether your child learns at the same rate as other children their age
  • what the school can do to help
  • what you can do to help

Your child’s teacher and the SENCO will use the SEN Code of Practice to work out whether your child has SEN.

What will the school do?

Schools are required by law to provide an education for all pupils, regardless of their ability or special needs. Every child’s education is equally important.

If the SENCO and your child’s teacher agree that your child has SEN, the school will probably take a ‘graduated approach’ – this means ‘step-by-step‘. They will offer your child extra support, with the possibility of more support if needed.

Whatever the school decides to do, you have the right to be informed and for your views, and your child’s views, to be taken into account. (taken from bbc website 2016)

View the SEN information report from the downloads section at the bottom of this page.

St Paulinus Catholic Primary School’s Vision

We aim to create a happy, safe and secure environment for all children in order to help them develop a positive and realistic self-concept and to feel valued and worthwhile.

  • Every child is unique – we understand and appreciate the importance of children achieving personal achievements and aspirations and celebrate all successes.
  • We have strong relationships with our community – working together to promote understanding, cooperation and a supportive, nurturing environment.
  • We are committed to ensuring all children make progress by developing lively, enquiring minds, to question and present arguments rationally, to apply themselves and develop physical skills.
  • To instil respect for religious and moral values and tolerance for other races and ways of life.
  • To help children to understand the world in which they live and the interdependence of individuals, groups and nations.

Identification of needs.

St Paulinus is an inclusive school which is committed to meeting the individual needs of all our children through a differentiated and creative curriculum.

We have rigorous monitoring in place that tracks the progress of all our children. These processes give clear indications of how pupils are progressing and where interventions and support may be needed. From time to time some children will require additional support for a set period of time to help meet their needs or improve their learning. Some children will require support for a longer period of time to ensure they can access the curriculum effectively. We aim to ensure the early identification of these children and make sure the best provision is in place.

The identification of the child’s needs is based on a variety of factors including their academic progress and/or assessments carried out by the teaching staff or other professionals. Parents are fully informed and are encouraged to have an active role in enabling support for their child by regularly attending meetings to discuss their child’s progress and attainment.

For the Local Authority offer for Special Educational Needs please click here