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I think I might have special needs

I Think I Might Have Special Needs Panel

If you think you may have a special educational need or disability (SEND), it can be really worrying.  The purpose of this section of Plymouth's local offer is to give you some ideas about what to do next. 

What is SEND?

There are legal definitions of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The SEND Code of Practice is guidance on the laws which affect SEND. This extract from the SEND Code of Practice explains what Special Educational Needs (SEN) means.

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions

Many children and young people who have SEN may have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 - that is '...a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'. This definition provides a relatively low threshold and includes more children than many realise: 'long-term' is defined as 'a year or more' and 'substantial' is defined as 'more than minor or trivial'. This definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Children and young people with such conditions do not necessarily have SEN, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and young people and those with SEN. Where a disabled child or young person requires special educational provision they will also be covered by the SEN definition.

What can I do?

If you are studying in the sixth form at a local school you may want to consider sharing your concerns with your tutor and your family.  After you have had these discussions, you may go on to share your concerns with the SENCO so that you can decide the amount and type of support that your needs.

When a young person needs additional support at school, schools must:

  • identify and assess if you have SEND and put in place additional support
  • inform your family (depending on age and circumstances) about the assessment and put in place a plan for the additional provision
  • use best endeavours to make sure you get the support they need
  • ensure that you can engage in the same activities that all other learners do
  • review progress with you and your family.

This approach is called the Graduated Response or 'assess, plan, do, review'. You can find out more about it in the what are schools expected to provide section of this website.

There is also independent advice and support available through Plymouth Information, Advice and Support for SEND.

If you are studying at a college of further education

College's of further education publish information about the ways in which they can support students on their website. 

As a next step, you may want to share your concerns with your tutor and your family.  After you have had these discussions, you may go on to share your concerns with the SENCO so that you can decide the amount and type of support you need.

When a young person needs additional support, further education settings must:

  • identify and assess if you have SEND and put in place additional support
  • inform you about the assessment and put in place a plan for the additional provision
  • use best endeavours to make sure you get the support you need
  • ensure that you can engage in the same activities that all other learners do
  • review progress with you 

This approach is called the Graduated Response or 'assess, plan, do, review'.

There is also independent advice and support available through Plymouth Information, Advice and Support for SEND.

 


 

Plymouth's Local Offer is organised into four main categories covering the following age ranges:

 Plymouth Local Offer homepage

 


 

Is the information correct?

Let us know if the information on this page is wrong and needs to be updated.

 

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