Special educational needs and disability or SEND applies to children and young people aged between 0 and 25 years old who have a learning difficulty or a disability that makes it harder for them to learn than others of the same age. They may need extra support to access mainstream education or some special educational provision.
Many children and young people will have SEN at some time during their education.
Communication and interaction
- Speech, language and communication problems
- Autism or Asperger’s
Cognition and learning
- A learning difficulty involving reading, writing, numbers or memory, for example, dyslexia
- Learning disabilities
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
Mental health issues
- Other emotional or social issues such as difficulty forming relationships
Physical and sensory
- A visual or hearing impairment
- A physical disability
Just because a child or young person is slower at learning than you expected or has English as a second language, that doesn’t mean that they have special educational needs, although they may have if they also fall into one of the categories above.
There are two kinds of support for young people with special educational needs and disability.
- SEN support is provided by the school or college. It may involve, for example, a special educational programme, extra support in class or help with practical issues such as eating or getting around.
- Education, health and care (EHC) plans are for children and young people up to the age of 25 whose needs are more complex and require more specialist support than a school or college can provide. EHC plans have replaced statements of special educational needs for children and learning difficulty assessments for young people. An EHC plan involves a formal assessment by West Sussex County Council of social care, health and education needs and how those needs will be met.
If you already have support in place, this can continue up until the age of 25 if needed. If you do not already have support in place, speak to your school or college in the first instance. If you are not in school or college or you need to request an EHC plan, you can contact West Sussex County Council to find out what support is available.
West Sussex Local Offer
Local Offer is a website with information about support and services for children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities and their families. You can use it to find out about services, support groups and leisure activities that are available in West Sussex.
Carers Support West Sussex
Carers Support West Sussex offers information and advice, support groups and information sessions for parents who are caring for a child or young person with a disability. It also has support groups for carers of a young person or an adult with an eating disorder.
Phone: 0300 028 8888
West Sussex SENDIAS (SEND Information, Advice and Support) Service
The West Sussex SENDIAS Service provides impartial information, advice and support to parents/carers of children and young people (0-25) with SEND as well as children and young people themselves.
Phone: 0330 222 8555
Parent/Carers - Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Children and Young People - Email : email@example.com
Your Space is a website for young people in West Sussex. It has advice and information on bullying, sexual health, mental health, activities, courses, careers, youth clubs and FindItOut centres across West Sussex.
West Sussex Disability Register
West Sussex County Council collects information about children and young people age 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) to help plan and deliver their services. The register is maintained by the West Sussex Library Service.
As a thank you for signing up for the Disability Register West Sussex County Council is providing the individual with a MAX Card. A max card will provide discounts on attractions and activities across England.
To claim your card, you need to show your confirmation email you receive upon finishing registration to a member of the Library Service at your closest library.
The Department for Education has produced a guide for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities that explains how the system of support for SEND works. You can read and download the guide from the Gov.uk website.
Find support, guidance and information for parents and carers of children and young people with SEND.
West Sussex Parent Carer Forum is a free membership organisation for parents and carers in West Sussex run by a group of parents.
It offers members support, training, representation and information.
Phone: 01903 726188
'Contact' a Family is a charity for families who are caring for a disabled child. It has a freephone helpline and online information and advice.
Phone: 0808 808 3555
Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5pm