Definition of Special Educational Needs and the Four Areas of Need
A child has SEND when their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision that is different from or additional to that normally available to the pupils of the same age. Higher quality teaching normally available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support. Such improvements in whole class provision ten to be more cost effective and sustainable.
In Sunderland, schools work from the SEND ranges – see the link below. According to each area of need children are given a ‘Range’ which outlines the type of provision, strategies, and referrals (if appropriate) that are recommended. This document also outlines ‘descriptors’ which are used to find an appropriate ‘Range’ in relation to the need that a child may have; this is referred to as ‘presenting behaviour’. You will be informed of your children’s SEND Range; however, if you are at all unsure, please contact your child’s class teacher or SENDCo. It is important to note that following the graduated approach, a SEND Range may change over time (increase or decrease) in accordance with the presenting behaviours that school and/or parents recognise within the child.
Sunderland’s Parent Carer Forum have produced some helpful pieces of information in relation to the SEND Ranges which can be found on their website-
Broad areas of need
Children’s needs and requirements may fall into a least one of the four areas though many children will have inter-related needs. All areas of need will have a varying degree of impact upon the child’s ability to function, learn and succeed. Children experiencing difficulties in any one or a combination of these areas may be entered on wither the school’s Medical Register or SEND Register (or both). Children whose difficulties are solely due to home language differing from the language in which s/he is taught are not identified as having SEND.
Communication and interaction
Children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.
Children with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), including Asperger’s Syndrome are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication, social interaction and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.
Cognition and learning
Support for learning difficulties may be required when children learn at a slower pace than their peers; even with the appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs including:
- Moderate learning difficulties (MLD)
- Severe learning difficulties (SLD) where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication
- Profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability and/or sensory impairment
- Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
Children may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) or Attachment Disorder.
Our school has clear processed to support children, including how we manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour so it does not adversely affect the other pupils (see Behaviour Policy).
Sensory and/or Physical Needs
Some children require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or multi0sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access learning. Children with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties which makes it even more difficult for them to access the curriculum or study programme than those with a single sensory impairment.
Some children with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.