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Frequently Asked Questions - Special Educational Needs

What are special educational needs?

This means that a child either:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities normally provided for children of the same age in schools
  • is under compulsory school age and falls within the categories above or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them

What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?

If you think your child has special educational needs then call into your child's school and speak to either the class teacher, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or the Head Teacher. They will receive your concerns sympathetically and discuss the issues you raise. You can ask how the school supports children with special educational needs and this information will also be available in the school's SEN Policy. If you feel the school's SEN Policy is not effective for your child you can raise these concerns with the school's SEN Governor.

If my child has special educational needs does this mean that they require a statement?

Only a small percentage of children with special needs require a statutory assessment and a statement. The SEN Code of Practice identifies a staged approach to meeting the special needs of children. Schools are required to adopt a graduated response to special needs that include a range of strategies and varying levels of intervention. As a parent you should be informed by school if your child has special educational needs and how these needs are being met. The SEN Code of Practice identifies the stages of identification and meeting special educational needs as follows:

  • Monitoring
  • Early Years Action/School Action
  • Early Year Action Plus/School Action Plus
  • Statutory Assessment
  • Statement of Special Educational Needs

How will I know if my child is on one of the stages for special needs?

School are responsible for the Monitoring, School Action and School Action Plus stages. The school has a responsibility to inform and involve parents in planning for and meeting their child's special educational needs. If your child is placed on School Action or School Action Plus they will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which will give targets to achieve and how these will be achieved. Parents can contribute to the IEP and will have a copy of it. Your child's progress should be monitored and the IEP reviewed on a regular basis, most schools review on a half-termly or termly basis. You will always be asked for your views and invited to take part in the reviews.

If the school feel that your child's needs cannot be met by their resources and the resources available to them from the support services, they will talk to you about requesting the Local Education Authority (LEA) to carry out a statutory assessment.

If my child has special educational needs will they have to go to a special school?

Only a small percentage of children with special educational needs will need to attend a special school. In many cases children can continue in mainstream schools where they will receive the extra support they need to meet their special educational needs.

What is an Annual Review?

Your child's statement will be reviewed annually. The LEA will notify the school when your child's review should take place and the school will set the date and organise the review. The purpose of the review is to look at the progress made over the previous twelve months in relation to the objectives on the statement.

What is a Transition Review and Transition Plan?

The first annual review following your child's 14th birthday is called the 14+ Transition Review. As well as reviewing progress over the last year it's purpose is to begin planning for the future. The Transition Plan is developed to help your child consider and plan for the move from school to adult life.

What is a statutory assessment?

The LEA considers the need for statutory assessment and, if appropriate, makes a multi-disciplinary assessment.

What is a statement of special educational needs?

The LEA considers the need for a statement of SEN and, if appropriate, makes a statement and arranges, monitors and reviews provision.

What is the Parent Partnership Service?

The Parent Partnership Service offer advice, support and give details of various organisations in the area. They are there to help parents, mediate on their behalf and explain procedures.

The Parent Partnership Service can be contacted at:

Wrexham Citizens Advice Bureau
35 Grosvenor Road
LL11 1BT
Tel: 01978 364639