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What are schools expected to provide?

How do all schools work with pupils?

All schools, both schools maintained by the local authority and academies should have high expectations for all pupils.  As part of this all pupils should have: 

  • the highest possible expectations and stretching targets set for them so they can achieve their best and are prepared for adulthood
  • their progress monitored so that any gaps in understanding or barriers to achieving targets are identified quickly
  • lessons planned so that any barriers to achieving their best are removed and they can take part in the lesson/learning activity
  • teaching built on what they already know and can understand
  • different ways of teaching in place so that every child is fully involved in learning which can involve using practical equipment or providing different resources
  • any concerns raised by themselves or their parents taken seriously.

The majority of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities attend mainstream schools. All mainstream schools must:

  • identify children and young people with special educational needs quickly and accurately so that support can be put in place
  • work in partnership with children, young people and their parents
  • delegate resources fairly, efficiently and in response to an identified need

In addition to this, all schools in Plymouth have the same special educational needs and disabilities duties and are expected to provide support for children and young people who have additional needs.  Two useful places to find greater detail about these duties are the SEND Code of Practice and Equality Act 2010: advice for schools.

Plymouth City council has worked with Plymouth schools to put together a detailed description of how schools will work with children who have special educational needs and their families. 

Graduated Approach to Inclusion Framework

How do schools identify if a pupil has special educational needs?

Schools work with families and pupils in a number of ways to in order to understand barriers to learning.  Find out more.

How do schools support students through transitions? 

In Plymouth, we have worked with schools to produce the Plymouth Enhanced Transitions Framework to support children who are making the transition between primary and secondary school.

Plymouth Enhanced Transition

What funding is available to support my child in school?

All schools in Plymouth have funding available through their budgets, which they must use to support children with special educational needs. 

How can you be confident that schools in Plymouth meet the needs of children and young people with SEND?

In Plymouth, families can be confident that children and young people with SEND receive the help and support they need.  There are a number of ways in which we, as a council, talk to schools in order to understand and share the best practice as well as recognise challenges.

SEN Audit

Each year Officers from the 'SEND Strategic Advice and Support Team' visit a third of Plymouth schools to discuss identification of need, use of funding, working with families and outcomes for children and young people.  Themes from each audit cycle are then made priorities for planning. 

SEND Local Area Inspection

Ofsted and CQC jointly inspect local areas to see how well they fulfil their responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. View Plymouth's inspection report.

SEND Joint and Early Years Briefings

These events, which happen three times a year, are an opportunity to support schools by developing good practice and understanding their duties.


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This page is part of Plymouth's Local Offer.

This page was last updated on 06 December 2019

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