Special educational needs at school

Boy colouring on the floorThe Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice sets out three levels of provision for SEN at school.

1. School Action

If children do not make adequate progress within schools, then a school will need to provide School Action.

This could be additional assessment or additional teaching methods. It may also include extra adult support.

Teachers put together Individual Education Plans (IEPs) to record the provision that is being made for each child with SENs. This must include things like what strategies are being used and what targets and success criteria are being used.

The IEP should be put together in consultation with parents – and should also involve the child where possible.

An IEP should include: the child's short-term targets; the teaching strategies and provision to be used; when the plan is to be reviewed and what the success criteria will be. 

If School Action does not help your child achieve his or her targets ('making adequate progress'), then they may move to the next level. 

2. School Action Plus

This is where the school gets outside advice from local authority support services, or from health professionals or social workers.

This may be something like speech and language therapy on a language programme with a speech and language therapist, or occupational therapy, or a medical diagnosis and medical advice about how to best work with your child in an educational setting. 

Statutory assessment (leading to a statement of special educational needs)

The majority of children will meet their targets due to School Action or School Action Plus. But if the school considers your child still needs additional help or has additional needs, they may recommend that the statementing process is started.

What Mumsnetters say about SEN and school

  • Having the Head on our side was a massive thing, as she was instrumental in getting the training etc for her staff. Having a head teacher you trust will be a major part of the battle won. slightlycrumpled
  • The IEP should identify your child’s specific weaknesses, state what will be done to provide additional support to overcome these weaknesses and set goals for improvement. Her improvement against these goals should be measured at least once a term and if there is little or no improvement then you should ask that she's placed on a higher level of SEN support (which may eventually lead to an assessment for the need for a Statement). WetAugust


Last updated: 5 months ago