SEND professional guidance on specialist support and inclusion

Guidance for professionals on specialist support and inclusion for young people with SEND.

Most children's needs can be met in their local mainstream school. However, some children may need extra help to enable them to remain in their chosen school, and there are lots of ways in which we can help to make this work.

In a child's school

You do not need a diagnosis to get extra help for a child's needs. You should ask the child's teacher first if you have any concerns about the child's progress, and they will also consult parents or carers if they have concerns.

The special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) works to identify children with SEND and to support staff to meet their needs. You can also see the school's special educational needs (SEN) information report which is found on each school's website.

Schools can support children with SEND in lots of ways. For example, they might provide extra help or adapt the curriculum. All schools have an amount of funding to enable them to provide extra help.

Special educational needs support works as a four-part cycle:

  1. assess
  2. plan
  3. do
  4. review

During the cycle, actions to support the child are agreed and put in place, then revisited and refined with a growing understanding of the child or young person's needs and what supports them in making good progress and securing good outcomes. This cycle is reviewed three times per year.

After a period of time, usually two cycles, if schools are concerned that not enough progress is being made, they can consider making a request for an education, health and care plan.

Parents or carers can also request a statutory assessment independently of the school if they wish.

What happens at a child’s review and planning meetings?

The school will:

  • assess - the needs of the child
  • plan - what additional and different support or intervention is necessary
  • do - deliver this additional support and/or intervention
  • review - decide on the impact of this and what needs to happen next

The special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) at the child’s school or setting should usually be your main point of contact for discussions about their special educational needs, the additional support they need and the progress this leads to.

You can also contact the SEND information and advice service (SENDIASS) for impartial information, advice and support.

Find out about support for SEND from charities and other organisations.

Part-time timetables

Some children with SEND benefit from a longer and slower start to school than other children. Sometimes a part-time timetable could offer a gentler start to school. You may agree with school that a part time placement is a good thing initially, but when a child is statutory school age, they have a right to a full-time place. We therefore recommend that any arrangements like this have a clear aim and an agreement about when the part-time placement will end, and the child will start full time.

Similarly, if a child has a medical condition or is recovering from illness, they may agree that part time provision or a session at home to recuperate is appropriate. This must be done with consent and with clear objectives.

Some children are affected by anxiety or autism-related meltdowns which means they can’t always cope in school. In many cases like this, where the child is so overwhelmed by school it seems like they cannot cope full time without becoming upset or showing challenging behaviour, what may work better is full time attendance at school, but with significantly reduced demands; for example, being allowed to work on the computer or play outside most of the day, with a planned very gradual increase in more formal activities. For other children with these difficulties, a short-term part-time timetable might be considered. This kind of provision must also be short-term and regularly reviewed, with clear measures of progress in the child’s wellbeing to check that the programme is working.

School accessibility

All schools must publish an accessibility plan to show how they will improve the physical environment of the school, to enable any current or future disabled students to take advantage of education and benefits which they provide.

The plan must also show how the school will improve the way disabled students access information that is already available to those students who are not disabled.

A school's accessibility plan should be shown on its website.

You can read our schools’ accessibility strategy here.

Special provision capital funding

We have allocated money from the Department for Education (DfE) called the Special Provision Capital fund (SPCF). This is a standalone pot of money which has to be spent to improve existing facilities, develop new facilities, or create additional places for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) education provision.

The money can only be used in provision judged as good or outstanding by Ofsted to benefit children and young people with SEND who have an education health and care plan (EHCP).

The total amount of special provision capital funding is £848,837 which has been allocated to North Yorkshire over three years. There are specific guidelines about how we can use the funding.

There is also a Special Provision Capital funding covering report to provide further information.

Specialist support

Some children with more complex and significant difficulties may require specialist services to support what the school can offer. Our SEND hub team work together to provide advice and support to schools and educational settings to help them to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND. The service consists of specialists in the areas of:

  • educational psychology
  • early years SEND
  • communication and interaction (autism and speech, language and communication needs)
  • cognition and learning (such as specific or general learning difficulties, dyslexia or dyscalculia)
  • sensory and physical (hearing impairment, visual impairment, physical and medical needs)
  • social, emotional and mental health

Targeted Mainstream Provision and special schools

Across North Yorkshire we are developing a network of Targeted Mainstream Provisions (TMP), which provide specialist support, so that children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities can make progress within a mainstream environment.  

These targeted mainstream provisions (TMP) are in both primary and secondary schools to support children and young people with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) and communication and interaction needs.  

They are based across the localities of North Yorkshire to provide support for those children and young people in their area and will allow access to a mainstream curriculum with the additional specialist staff and resources required.

North Yorkshire is currently working with schools to create more targeted mainstream provisions across the localities.

For more information about our targeted mainstream provisions please contact us.