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.

1. Support for children with SEN

Children with SEN may need extra support in a number of areas such as schoolwork, communication and understanding other people, personal behaviour and overcoming barriers caused by sensory or physical disabilities.

We aim to provide the best possible support to children with SEN 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 of school.

Your child's progress

If you are worried about your child's progress at school, you should first talk to the head teacher. Your school can provide school-based support and programmes to help your child make progress.

If your child does not respond to the support the school has put in place, they may seek help from specialist professionals from outside the school. This could be an educational psychologist, specialist teacher or a health professional.

2. Support for children under five

The Early Years Alliance Team provides support for children under five with SENs and disabilities. We 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).

We 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.

We also support a number of parents. These include parents of children with Downs Syndrome. We also run a number of playgroups for children.

For further details of these groups please contact the Family Information Service (FIS) on 0845 601 5317 or Email:

For a more detailed explanation of the process 'SEN - A guide for parents and carers' can be obtained from your named officer.

Find more information on the website
children with special education needs.

3. Free and impartial advice for parents

Parent Partnership (PP) is a statutory service offering information advice and support to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs (SEN).

The Parent Partnership Service provides a free and impartial advice service for parents and carers and can help if:

  • you are worried about your child's progress at school
  • you need help or advice about statutory assessment
  • you have a child with special educational needs (with or without a statement).

Find out more about the Parent Partnership service.