What are Special Educational Needs (SEN)?

Special Educational Needs (SEN) is the term used to describe the needs of a child who has a difficulty or disability which makes learning harder for them than for other children their age.  SEN covers a broad spectrum of difficulty or disability. Children may have wide-ranging or specific problems, i.e. a child might have difficulty with one area of learning, such as spelling or calculations. Needs may also be with communication, understanding of language or where a physical disability impacts on their learning.

Around one in five children has SEN at some point during their school years. Some children have SEN right throughout their time in school.

Parents know their children better than anyone else. 

If you feel that your child has some special needs talk to their teacher, earlier rather than later. Ask specific questions about what level they are working at and what is being delivered to help them progress. Parents often report to us that they are confused by the terms used by teachers or feel their concerns are not fully addressed. Ask also to speak to the school's Special Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCO) or Inclusion Manager, who organises extra help for children with SEN.

Talk to the teacher/SENCO about:

  • why you think your child has SEN – what issues are you hearing about from your child and what are you seeing at home
  • whether your child learns at the same rate as other children their age
  • what the school can do to help
  • what you can do to help
  • what will the school do and how will they monitor their interventions?
Andrea sat with student who is using coloured blocks during a tuition session

Schools are required by law to provide an education for all pupils, regardless of their ability or special needs. Every child's education is equally important. However, resources and specialist provision may be stretched and difficult to allocate at the level required to fully help.

If the SENCO and your child's teacher agree that your child has SEN, the school will probably take a 'graduated approach' - this means 'step-by-step'. Ideally the school will offer your child some extra support. As a parent you have the right to be informed of this provision and any assessment of needs. You should be asked for your views, and your child's views, to be considered.

Aspire Tuition are happy to communicate with the school about how a joint approach can be put in place to help the student most effectively.


Latest sen testimonials:

Year 5 student with literacy difficulties

Thanks Andrea. She went straight on after her session with you and made a word search with this week’s school spellings as well. She’s apparently told her teacher all about it today and her teacher has asked her to email it to the school.

We’ve seen such a difference in her since the summer. She seems so much more confident and, as you said, is now so much more willing to give things a go! She absolutely loves her sessions with you and always comes away feeling so positive and encouraged. We can’t help but recommend you!

Thank you for everything you’re doing to help her!

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