Special Education Needs (SEN) support

Did you know that if your child has Special Education Needs, you may be able to get extra support?


What is SEN?

A child has Special Education Needs (SEN) if they have more difficulty learning than other children of the same age or if they have a disability that makes it hard to use regular school facilities.

Examples of SEN:
Areas Where Your Child May Need Help:
  • Reading, writing, or math
  • Understanding information
  • Expressing themselves or understanding others
  • Making friends or interacting with adults
  • Behaving well in school
  • Organising themselves
  • Sensory or physical needs affecting their school life

What to Do If You Think Your Child Has SEN:
  1. Talk to the SEN Co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child’s school or nursery. Ask a teacher to guide you.
  2. Contact Your Local Council if your child is not in school or nursery. Find your local council here.
  3. Reach Out to Your Local Information, Advice, and Support (IAS) Service for more advice on SEN.
Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP):

If your child needs more support than the school provides, you can apply for an EHCP, which outlines their educational, health, and social needs and the support required.

How to Request an EHCP Assessment:
  • Ask your local authority for an assessment.
  • If you are aged 16 to 25, you can request an assessment yourself.
  • Others, like doctors, health visitors, teachers, parents, or family friends, can also request an assessment.
What You May Need for an EHCP Assessment:
  • Reports from your child’s school, nursery, or childminder
  • Doctor’s assessments of your child
  • A letter from you about your child’s needs
Further Steps:
  • An educational psychologist might assess your child. They are psychologists who are trained to understand young people’s difficulties and needs. They will try to resolve problems at school by working with teachers, parents and children.
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) could get involved for further diagnosis.
Personal Budget for EHCP:

If your child has been given an EHCP you might get money to help with your child’s needs. This can be used in different ways:

  • Direct Payments: Money is paid into your account to buy and manage services.
  • Local Authority/School Arrangement: They hold the money, but you decide how to spend it.
  • Third-Party Arrangement: Someone else manages the money for you.
Benefits you could apply for
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) if your child is under 16.
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if your child is over 16.

Where to Get More Advice:
Child Law Advice
  • Specialist advice on child, family, and education law.
  • Visit website
Council for Disabled Children
  • Resources and support for disabled people and those with SEN.
  • Visit website
Alternative Providers:
  • Evolve Psychology offers ADHD and Autism assessments for children up to 19 in Harrogate and Huddersfield.
  • Right to Choose have a list of alternative providers.

Remember, you are not alone. There are many resources and people ready to help you and your child.

If you are experiencing difficulties please contact the Friends, Families and Travellers helpline on 01273 234 777. We are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4.30pm excluding bank holidays.

Correct as of July 2024.

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