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Greenhill Primary School

What is a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND)?

A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which needs additional or different provision than most children of the same age. This help is over and above the typical support they would receive in the classroom. 

We aim for all children to be supported through adapting the regular, day-in-day-out diet of excellent teaching in the classroom. This is known as Quality First Teaching with Wave 1 support. This includes support such as adapted lessons, resources to help organisation, supported instructions, perception checking, modified language, fiddle toys, chubby pencils or pen grips and usually, if only Wave 1 support is needed, it does not mean your child has SEND. 

The legal definitions of SEND for a primary school are:

  • A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
  • A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
    • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
    • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions 

SEND needs fall into four broad categories:

  • Communicating and interacting – for example, where children and young people have speech, language and communication difficulties which make it difficult for them to make sense of language or to understand how to communicate effectively and appropriately with others
  • Cognition and learning – for example, where children and young people learn at a slower pace than others their age, have difficulty in understanding parts of the curriculum, have difficulties with organisation and memory skills, or have a specific difficulty affecting one particular part of their learning performance such as in English or maths
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties – for example, where children and young people have difficulty in managing their relationships with other people, are withdrawn, or if they behave in ways that may hinder their and other children’s learning, or that have an impact on their health and wellbeing
  • Sensory and/or physical needs – for example, children and young people with visual and/or hearing impairments, or a physical need that means they must have additional ongoing support and equipment 

A disability is defined by the Equality Act 2010 as:

  • …a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities 

When a child had a disability, we must not discriminate against them and must make reasonable adjustments so we do not disadvantage them compared to their non-disabled peers. 

Some, but not all, children with a disability can also have a special educational need.