Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to progress in schools than most children of the same age.
Children with SEN may need extra support in a number of areas such as schoolwork, communication and understanding other people, personal behavior and overcoming barriers caused by sensory or physical disabilities.
We aim to provide the best possible support to children with special educational needs in a flexible way which meets their individual needs.
For most children this will be within the school, but for some we may identify a need for them to have additional support outside the school.
Concerned about your child's progress?
If you are worried about your child's progress at school, you should first talk to the Head teacher. The school can provide school-based support and individualised programmes and strategies to help your child make progress.
If your child does not respond to the measures the school has put in place, they may seek help from specialist professionals from outside the school such as an educational psychologist, specialist teacher or a health professional.
For a very small number of children with complex and very significant needs a statutory assessment may be carried out, which may lead to a Statement of Special Educational Needs. An assessment will also take place for children who need specialist provision. Find out more about statutory assessments.
Some children who meet the SEN eligibility criteria and have very complex needs may be able to get home to school transport or assistance with travel expenses.
Support for children under five
The Early Years Alliance Team provides support for children under five with special educational needs and disabilities. This includes an Under 5's Autism Outreach Service and a Home Support Service. They mainly work with families in their homes and also help children with the change from being at home to being in an early years setting (a nursery or other pre-school). They have inclusion outreach officers who help staff in early years settings to manage children's needs, and who may also help you to find a suitable nursery for your child.
The Early Years Alliance also support a number of parents. These include children with Downs Syndrome. We also run a number of stay to play groups for children. For further details of these groups and how to access them please contact the Family Information Service (FIS) on 0845 601 5317 or email email@example.com.
Free and impartial advice for parents
The Parent Partnership Service provides a free and impartial advice service for parents and carers who have questions about:
- the statutory assessment process
- the SEND appeals process
- SEN transport issues
- disability discrimination.
The service can support you by:
- making your views heard and understood
- letting you know what you can expect from schools and the local authority
- helping you understand your role, your rights and your responsibilities.
Parent Partnership is a confidential service. You can contact the Parent Partnership Service on 020 7926 1831/9805, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information go to our Parent Partnership page.
Lambeth's SEN teams
The Special Educational Needs Section is responsible for ensuring we deliver an effective service to children with special educational needs. Find out more about our SEN teams.
Frequently Asked Questions
More Questions and answers on the FAQ page.