What are Special Educational Needs?
Special Educational Needs (SEN) has a legal
definition and describes learning difficulties or disabilities
which make it harder for a young person to
learn than the majority of children of their own
age. The Department for Education website
gives more information.
What are Northumberland County Council's policies and general
arrangements for children and young people with SEN?
Details of these and an introduction to this information can be
found in the documents section at the foot of this page.
Information / Introduction document can also be downloaded
here. Individual service plans for any given year can be
found on the main section of the councils website.
How can a child/young person with SEN get help?
Most children and young people with
Special Educational Needs can have their needs met
in their local mainstream school, through a staged approach set out
in the SEN Code of Practice.
Pre and Nursery School Children at Early
Years Action, or children/young people at School
Action will have extra help provided by their school.
Children/young people at Early
Years/School Action Plus will have extra help from their school and
advice and support from specialist support services. A
school can seek advice from an Educational Psychologist, a
Specialist Teacher, or other professional such as a Speech
How do Parents help their child?
Parents are key players in helping their child
and should ask to speak to their child’s teacher
if they have any concerns. Schools are keen to
work with parents, and they also have a Special Educational
Needs Coordinator (SENCO), who can provide advice to
parents and discuss the best ways to help their
Parents can also seek advice from the Parent
What happens if a child/young person does not make
In a small number of cases a child’s
special educational needs is complex and needs
more extensive arrangements. Then their
school can ask the local authority to carry out a statutory
assessment. Parents can also write to request a