Disability or additional special educational needs

Many children will need extra help with their learning at some point, but this does not necessarily mean that they have a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND).


Children and young people have SEND if they:

  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age
  • Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from using the facilities generally provided in mainstream schools or colleges.


Special provision must be made for children and young people with SEND. Sometimes this may only be for a short time and sometimes support will be needed for the whole of someone’s life.


Read more about how schools and other educational settings support children with SEND here


Identifying and assessing special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
If you are concerned about your child’s health or development, you should speak to a professional who works with you or them in the first instance. Depending on your child’s age or circumstances, this might be a health visitor, nursery worker, teacher, social worker or your GP.


You can also contact Amaze, the local SEND Information, Advice and Support Service, for advice around diagnosis and assessment.


If your child is at school or nursery, there are certain set processes for assessing their needs and the support that may help them. Find out more about how schools and other settings must support children and young people with SEND here


Where there are shared concerns about a child or young person’s developmental progress, they may be referred for assessment through the following services:


The assessment process might involve seeing different specialist services or being seen in more than one place, for example at the Seaside View Assessment Centre or school or nursery.


Read a detailed overview of identifying special educational needs for all age groups from GOV. UK.