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SEN Support in mainstream schools

What is SEN support?

SEN Support is a four stage cycle also called the graduated approach. It is help that is additional to or different from the support generally given to most children of the same age.

The purpose of SEN support is to help children and young people progress.

SEN Support ( A Graduated Approach)

The Four Stages

The SEND Code of Practice says: Where a pupil is identified as having SEN, schools should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. (6.44)


Teaching staff should work with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator to assess your child’s needs so that they give the right support. They should involve you in this and seek your child’s views.

Sometimes schools will ask for advice from a specialist teacher or a health professional. They should talk to you about this first.

assess - plan - do - review

The SEND Code of Practice says: Schools should take seriously any concerns raised by a parent. (6.45)


If the school decides that your child needs SEN support it must tell you. The school should agree with you the aims (outcomes) that will be set, what help and support will be given to meet the aims and a date for progress to be reviewed.


The SENCO will support teachers, teaching assistant (T.A) and specialist staff to put the plan in place.


The SEND Code of Practice says: Schools should meet with parents at least three times a year (6.65)

The school should review your child’s progress and the difference that the help your child has been given has made. You and your child should be involved in the review and in planning the next step.

If your child has not responded to the help they were given, it should be decided what can be done next. This could be extra or different help. This could involve other professionals from external services such as educational psychology, or the school to school support service.

If your child is still not progressing or the school is putting in far more support than for most children with SEN, the next step is to consider requesting a needs assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

- Link to Flowchart >>


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