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SEND Support

Any support your child gets from their school or other setting should meet their needs.

If your child has SEN, they will be able to access help – called SEN support – from their early years settings, such as nurseries or childminders, schools and further education institutions such as colleges and 16-19 academies.

SEN support replaces school action/school action plus (in schools) and early years action/early years action plus (in early years settings).

Children and young people with more complex needs might instead need an Education, Health and Care (EHC). EHC plans replace statements of SEN and Learning Disability Assessments (LDAs).

SEN support is part of what is known as the ‘graduated approach’ and in general should work as follows. (This approach varies in how it works depending on the age of your child – for example, it may work differently in a nursery than it will in a school.)

You may be contacted – for example in schools, this will be by your child’s teacher or SENCO – if your early years setting, school or college think your child needs SEN support. Or you can approach your child’s school or other setting if you think your child might have SEN. You will be involved and your views will be needed throughout the process, and you will be kept up to date with the progress made. Young people aged 16 to 25 will be fully involved in designing their own SEN support and provision.

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Do 
  • Review

Assess: Your child’s difficulties must be assessed so that the right support can be provided. This should include, for example, asking you what you think, talking to professionals who work with your child (such as their teacher), and looking at records and other information. This needs to be reviewed regularly so that the support provided continues to meet your child’s needs. That might mean getting advice and further assessment from someone like an educational psychologist, a specialist teacher or a health professional.

Plan: Your school or other setting needs to agree, with your involvement, the outcomes that the SEN support is intended to achieve – in other words, how your child will benefit from any support they get – and you need to be involved with that. All those involved will need to have a say in deciding what kind of support will be provided, and decide a date by which they will review this so that they can check to see how well the support is working and whether the outcomes have been or are being achieved.

Do: The setting will put the planned support into place. The teacher remains responsible for working with your child on a daily basis, but the SENCO and any support staff or specialist teaching staff involved in providing support should work closely to track your child’s progress and check that the support is being effective.

Review: The support your child receives should be reviewed at the time agreed in the plan. You can then decide together if the support is having a positive impact, whether the outcomes have been, or are being, achieved and if or how any changes should be made.

Your school or other setting can use the Local Offer to see what help is available that may help achieve your child’s outcomes.

You can find out more about SEN support by contacting your child’s education provider, or by contacting us via the contact details below:

Allerdale and Copeland 
West Cumbria House, Jubilee Road, Workington, CA14 4HB
Tel: 01946 506211

Barrow and South Lakes
Barrow: 4th Floor, Craven House, Michaelson Road, Barrow-in-Furness, LA14 1FD
Kendal: County Offices, Busher Walk, Kendal, LA9 4RQ
Tel: 01229 407403

Carlisle and Eden
Cumbria House, 117 Botchergate, Carlisle, CA1 1RD
Tel: 01228 226843

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