Most children with special educational needs will get the support they need from their local school.
Assessing and meeting your child's needs
If there are concerns about your child's development, the school - in consultation with you as a parent - should assess the child's needs, plan what support is needed to meet identified needs.
The school should also provide any extra support that your child needs and then review the effectiveness of this support on an ongoing basis.
Additional types of support
In order to meet your child's needs, their school may request additional support, such as:
- a physiotherapist
- a speech and language therapist
- an educational psychologist.
This system of support is known as special educational needs (SEN) support. Your child's teacher should lead this process with help from the school's special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) in order to get the right package of support for your child.
As a parent your views and wishes should also be considered. For some children, SEN Support will provide enough support to meet their educational needs.
Education, Health and Care plans (EHC plans)
However, in some cases, you as a parent, the school or a professional may decide your child should receive an EHC needs assessment to provide for them more fully.
After the assessment, the authority will decide whether to issue an EHC plan, a document that describes in detail what support your child should receive and what help will be provided for them.
For more information about EHC plans and the wider SEN system, please see our SEN resources page.