What is SEN?

What does SEN mean?

All children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) have learning difficulties or disabilities. This makes it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. They may need extra or different help from that given to other children of the same age at school.

In school, SEN Support could help with:

  • thinking and understanding
  • physical difficulties
  • sensory difficulties
  • emotional and social difficulties
  • speech, language and communication
  • how they might relate to and behave with other people

If your child is not yet in school, please see Pre-school SEN support.

SEN support

How do I get help for my child with SEN?

To receive support, your child may need an Education, Health and Care Needs (EHCP) Assessment. 

The Local Authority (LA) carries out the EHCP assessment. The professionals working with your child need to agree to this.

The EHCP assessment can be requested by:

  • Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at school
  • Headteacher of the school
  • Parents or carers 

You or your child can make a request on the EHC hub

Professionals working with your child can help you do this.

SEN Guidance for parents and schools

Schools can use the SEN Support Guidance handbook to:

  • identify children and young people's special educational needs
  • know what level of support they need to offer
  • monitor the support the students receive
  • assure parents and carers that their child receives fair support

The handbook can help you to ask informed questions about your child's support and progress.

Who manages EHCP assessments and plans?

On the Isle of Wight, the SEN Assessment and Review Team manage EHCP assessments and plans.

The SEN Assessment and Review Team are:

  • a senior casework officer
  • casework officers
  • assistant case work officers

Each casework officer looks after a list of those that have an ECHP.

This means that every parent or professional has a point of contact for advice.

This team works closely with:

  • SENCO's and staff in schools.
  • Specialist Teacher Advisors (Visually Impaired/Hearing Impaired)
  • Education Psychology Service
  • Speech, Language and Communication Service
  • Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Services