Support for children aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Help for school age children and young people with SEND

This page gives information on help available for school age children and young people with SEND.

If you have recently moved into the area but do not yet have a school place for your child or young person, visit the school admissions section.

Watch a short video about how children and young people with SEND are supported.

Support your child or young person may recieve

Lots of children and young people have special educational needs and there are many different ways to help them learn.

The first thing to do is work out why your child is having trouble learning. Speak to your child's teacher or SENCO first.

Your child or young person will receive help for their special educational needs or disabilities to remove barriers to learning. Education settings in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole follow a Graduated Response.

A wide range of help may be offered, such as:

  • visual cues to back up verbal instructions
  • actively teaching vocabulary the children need to use
  • reducing distractions to increase attention
  • breaking learning tasks into small chunks
  • teaching and providing opportunities for using social skills such as ‘please, thank you’ and turn taking
  • providing a range of physical and other sensory experiences
  • providing opportunities to make age appropriate decisions
  • providing support for physical or personal care such as eating, getting around or using the toilet.

In some cases the SENCO may suggest a referral to another service that can help such as the Speech and Language Therapy Service, the Occupational Therapy Service or the Educational Psychology Service.

Another option for schools to support pupils with SEND is to access outreach provision from local teaching schools or specialist schools. The schools that provide outreach services are Linwood, Montacute, Winchelsea, Longspee and Tregonwell.

Any specific equipment or aids that children and young people may need to enable them to learn and progress and access the curriculum will be identified through assessment of their needs and provided by teams such as Occupational Health or the Speech and Language Therapy service.

SEND support plans and provision maps

SEND support plans bring together information on your child’s needs, the support in place to help your child and the outcomes to be achieved. You should be involved in creating the plan.

Schools might also use ’provision maps’ to describe what they do to help children and young people with SEND that is different, or on top of, the support offered to all pupils. These show the interventions or support systems the school has to meet the needs of pupils with SEND.

Read more about SEND support here.

Funding for SEND support

Funding is given directly to educational settings from the government to provide up to £6000 worth of support across a year for pupils with the greatest need at this level.

Extra help and EHCPs

In a small number of cases more specialist or extensive support may be needed for a child or young person.

If this is the case, it may be necessary for a request to be made to the local authority for an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. Based on the information provided, the local authority will decide whether to complete a needs assessment.

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) are only needed for a small number of children and young people (around 3%), who have long-term, severe and complex special educational needs and disabilities.

Publishing information about how pupils with SEND are supported

Schools must provide information on their website about how they support pupils with SEN. This should be updated every year or when there is change. The information to be provided includes:

  • the special educational needs the school provides for
  • policies for identifying pupils with SEN
  • arrangements for consulting with children and young people with SEN and their parent/carers, and involving them in their education
  • arrangements for assessing and reviewing progress towards outcomes
  • arrangement for supporting children and young people as they move from one phase of education to another
  • approaches to teaching children and young people with SEN
  • how adaptations are made to the curriculum and the learning environment for children and young people with SEN.

Each school in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole has a record on our Family Information Directory. In each record there is a `Local Offer SEND' section which has a link to the SEND policy information published by the school.

Professional Development for those supporting children and young people with SEND

Professionals working in education settings in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have access to professional development opportunities, including SENCO networks, provided by the local authority through the CPD Online platform. Some of this is funded and some is provided at a charge.

Additionally, Teaching Schools provide a wide range of training on a range of inclusion related topics such as ASD. Schools and other education settings also provide their own development opportunities. The National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN) also provide development opportunities.

Further information and support

You can find out more about SEND support provided by your child's school by contacting the school directly.

For independent advice and support you can contact SENDiass.