Children and Young People with SEN Support


SEN Support is the system by which schools should assess the needs of children, and then provide appropriate support. The system should follow four stages, often referred to as a 'cycle': Assess, Plan, Do, Review.  For further information about this cycle, often referred to as the 'graduated approach', see Chapter 6 of the SEND Code of Practice 2015.

It is expected that all children and young people who have SEN should have access to universal and targeted support through their provision and structures. These can sometimes be classed as Waves of Intervention, which include, 'Quality First' teaching, SEN specific targeted learning such as access to nurture groups, specialist resources,1:1 support as well as the involvement of external specialists advising on more specialised support.

The graduated approach covers all ages and stages of education (nursery, school and post-16).

The SEND system aims to encourage the full involvement of parents and pupils in planning the support given and reviewing how well it is working.

All mainstream schools (including mainstream academies) receive funding towards meeting the needs of pupils with SEN as part of their delegated school budget.  Although it is not a legal requirement, most Local Authorities expect mainstream schools to show how they have spent £6,000 in meeting the needs of a child with SEN before the school submits a request for an EHC needs assessment.

As a young person transitions into adulthood, it is important to be mindful of the young person's ability to make a decision and form their own views.

‘Mental Capacity’ is the ability to make a decision. Under the Children and Families Act, 2014, a child becomes a young person once they reach the end of compulsory school age (i.e. the last Friday of June, in the academic year the child turns 16). At this point, the young person is deemed capable of making decisions about their future, with the involvement of the young person’s family. Parents/carers should continue to be involved in discussions about the young person’s future; for example, the young person may ask their parent/carers to help them by attending meetings with them, filling in forms or receiving correspondence on their behalf.

A Mental Capacity Assessment can be undertaken to determine a young person’s ability to make important decisions. If it is agreed that a young person does not have capacity to make important decisions about their educational and other needs, then parents or carers will make decisions on their behalf.

Further information on the Mental Capacity Act can be found at

Last updated: 12/4/2022