Education 0 to 25 years (SEND)

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Children have Special Educational Needs (SEN) if they have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. 

As a parent 

If you think your child may a special educational needs your first step should be to speak to a teacher or an individual supporting your child such as a key worker. This could be someone from a preschool and nursery setting all the way up to higher education.

Read more on the steps you should take 


For those working with children

Professionals working with children can review your child or young person’s progress and will identify when they have Special Educational Needs. The SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years provides some information about how this is done. This code of practice provides statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

View The SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years

The Graduated Approach, what is it?

Where a pupil is identified as having special educational needs (SEN), schools should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective SEN provision in place. This SEN support should take the form of a four-part cycle through which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the pupil’s needs and of what supports the pupil in making good improvement and securing good outcomes. This is known as the graduated approach.

SEN Support Plan:

In Buckinghamshire, we have developed a SEN Support Plan document for the purpose of identifying the SEN of children/young people, monitoring their progress towards desired outcomes and tracking resources utilised within the educational setting. 

Read more about The Graduated Approach and SEN Support Plan

EHC Plans are for children and young people from birth up to age 25. EHC Plans provide statutory protection in respect of educational provision. They are intended to be holistic and centred on the child or young person’s needs and because they are person-centred and contain an ‘All About Me’ section.

Find out about the EHC assessment process and plans.

View Forms and Templates for EHC Needs Assessment applications and Annual Reviews. 

For Early Years providers

Early Years Service (SEND)

Offers information, advice and training to existing and potential Early Years providers to ensure that outcomes for all young children are improved and inequalities reduced. Guidance documents for SENCOs in the Early Years including training qualifications and all information about the termly Early Years SENCO liaison groups.

Finding and Funding Childcare and Early Years Education

Brokerage Service

Supports parents with finding suitable childcare for children under 5 years old or up to 25 years with a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND).

Buckinghamshire Community Childminding Network (BCCN)

Provides services such as the provision of funding for quality flexible home-based childcare to support families and children who have significant additional needs or are considered vulnerable.

Early Years Commissioning

Support finding childcare 


A home teaching service for children aged 0 to 5 years who have special needs or are delayed in two areas of their development by six months.


Service Families

Support available for Service Families with children with SEND.

Buckinghamshire schools

Use our filters to search all schools in Buckinghamshire by school type

Each school record will contain information about their SEN provision and a link to their Annual SEND Information report where this has been provided.

You can also find a list of all Buckinghamshire Special Schools and an interactive map of special schools.

Applying for a school place

Most children with special educational needs can be taught in mainstream schools. If your child has more severe or complex needs they may need to go to a special school or school with a special unit.

Read about applying for or choosing schools if your child has SEND.

Guide by Council for Disabled Children

The Council for Disabled Children have published a report which contains the principles of how to apply for a school place if your child or young person has a SEND.

School admissions, children and young people with disabilities or special educational needs (PDF)

Home Education

Parents have the right to educate their child at home but where a child has an EHC Plan/Statement of SEN, certain duties will remain the responsibility of the local authority. Find out about Elective Home Education.


Accessibility and inclusion in schools – the Equality Act 2010

Buckinghamshire County Council has recently completed its Accessibility Strategy 

Service families 

Information for service families with a child/young person with SEND and guidance for schools with prospective SEND pupils.

Placement of pupils out of chronological year

The majority of children will start full-time education and remain within the year group appropriate to their chronological age throughout their education; however Buckinghamshire County Council recognises that a small number of children may require consideration for education provision that may better meet their needs.
The decision to either delay entry to school or to educate an in a year group outside of chronological age requires careful consideration of the individual circumstances of the child.

This document provides advice and guidance in relation to children who may be considered for delayed entry to a Buckinghamshire school or who may be considered for education within a year group outside of their chronological age as well as providing useful links to other sources of additional information.

Please click on the link below for further information about the process to request for a young person to be educated out of Chronological year group:  

More information

Our Transitions and Adulthood section features post 16 education including:

  • Applying to college for young people with SEND
  • Supported internships and training
  • Apprenticeships and employment

Go to Post 16 Education

Specialist Teaching Service (STS)

Offers assistance to schools in meeting the needs of pupils who are experiencing a greater difficulty than their peers in accessing the Early Years and National Curriculum.

Educational Psychology Service (EPS) - Aylesbury 

A targeted and specialist service provided by the Local Authority to identify and support children and young people aged 0 to 25 with complex, significant and persistent difficulties related to their development and/or learning.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Community occupational therapy advice, assessment and intervention to help with everyday difficulties affecting home, school and leisure activities such as dressing, handwriting, organisation, ball skills.

Speech and Language Therapy (SALT)

A website full of helpful information and activities to support families and staff to help children develop communication skills. If you still are still concerned about your child’s speech and language after completing the progress checker and activities on the Communication Carousel, you can then make a referral.

Community Paediatrician

Care for children aged 0 to 19 with a wide range of needs and conditions, particularly children with developmental problems and complex needs. Specific expertise: in neuro-disability, looked after children, child protection and school health, and have specialist clinics for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autistic spectrum disorders.


A service focused on delivering needs led care, supporting individuals and their families to achieve their functional goals. This website includes a wide range of advice and suggestions to support you in helping your child achieve these goals.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

Helps young people 0 to 18 overcome emotional difficulties in their lives from moderate anxiety to depression and eating disorders. Accessible by phone or direct referrals from young people, families and professionals such as GPs, teachers and school health nurses.

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