Area Wide Offer - Schools, Academies and Free Schools

Identification of Special Educational Needs

Settings (schools, academies, free schools) have a duty to check that where an individual has special educational needs that these barriers to learning are identified at an early stage. Through working closely with the young person (YP) and their parent/carers they should make sure that they have the very best teaching and learning experiences based on their strengths and interests to achieve the best possible outcomes.

All settings will have their own assessment policy and procedures. They will routinely monitor and evaluate progress. As a parent carer this will be reported to you through the setting and you will have the opportunity to work with the setting on producing outcomes. Part of the planning process for YP with SEND is to use the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle of SEN Support. It is particularly important throughout the Preparation for Adulthood Pathways that young people are enabled to have their views and aspirations heard and taken into account as part of the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle.

All settings publish their own ‘Local Offer’. This outlines the provision they offer and supports parent carers in making informed choices about which setting is most suitable to their individual child’s needs. The majority of YP can be supported through the provision available. A small number of children may require an SEN Support Plan. This will help both the setting, family and YP focus on individual needs and how best to support effective learning and outcomes. For those YP requiring a higher level of support an assessment will be made and where appropriate an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be produced. A conversion process is underway for existing statements where necessary to be changed to EHC Plans.

Securing the services, provision and equipment required by children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Schools and colleges have delegated funding within their budget to support pupils with SEND. For those children and young people whose needs are beyond that which can be met from the schools budget, additional funding may be required. This would be either by a request for High Needs Funding or through the implementation of an EHC Plan.


Where a YP has special educational needs the setting will work with them and their parent carer to plan a successful transition to the next setting. Transition could be from one class to another, one building to another, one phase of education to another, one school or setting to another.

It is important that parent carers and the children and young people, alongside professional staff, consider what will be needed for the successful transition of each individual learner.

As part of their preparation for adulthood for when a young person has reached the end of statutory education, the learning setting will seek the views of the young person and provide careers advice. If the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan, a Transition Plan will be written as part of the Year 9 annual review, and updated at subsequent reviews.

This planning will take into account the longer term life outcomes and aspirations for each young person alongside their parent carers views.

Preparation for Adulthood Pathways will be planned to support life outcomes in relation to each young person’s aspirations for:

  • Independent living;
  • Employment;
  • Health;
  • Community inclusion.

Additional support available to children and young people with special needs

All settings must take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. Their expectation should be that the YP will be included in the full range of activities and opportunities available to all YP within the setting.

The setting will provide high-quality teaching and learning activities taking into account the YP’s interests, strengths, areas for development, lifestyle and cultural background. The staff within the setting will be aware of possible barriers to learning and how to plan for progress using small steps within each area of the curriculum. It will be differentiated and personalised to meet the individual. Some will require educational provision that is additional to or different from this. Settings must use their best endeavours to ensure that such special educational provision is made for those who need it.

Disability and accessibility

All learning settings must ensure they plan for the effective inclusion of children and young people with SEND in the full life of the school. Under the Equality Act 2010, the setting must publish its accessibility plan as a record of how access is to be the improved for disabled pupils, staff and visitors to the school within a given timeframe. This will particularly cover how reasonable adjustments will be made to: 

  • increase access to the curriculum for pupils with a disability;
  • improve and maintain access to the physical environment of the school;
  • improve the delivery of written information to pupils, staff, parents and visitors with disabilities;

All learning settings must provide equality of opportunity for all learners to access the setting and the wider curriculum including the community. This includes extra-curricular activities e.g. visits, trips, off-site activities, after school clubs.

It is expected that reasonable adjustments will have to be made for learners with SEND to increase their participation.