Special Educational Needs (SEN) support for young people

A guide to the two levels of support in schools for special educational needs (SEN) and education, health and care plans (EHCP).

Graduated approach

Schools must follow the graduated approach. This means they must:

  • assess - find out what your needs are
  • plan - what additional and different support you need
  • do - make sure you have the support
  • review - decide how well it has worked for you and what to do next to help you

The school should write a special educational needs (SEN) support plan, involving you in this planning and then in reviewing the plan at least three times a year.

Schools are able to ask for specialist support the help if you have a certain need. For more information, please see our SEND Specialist Support and Inclusion page.

Who can support me?

The special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) at your school or setting should usually be able to help you if your teacher cannot.  


You can also contact the SEND Information and Advice Service (SENDIASS) for information, advice and support. If you would like to speak to someone from the local authority please contact the special educational needs admin team and they will direct your enquiry to a member of staff based in your local SEND Hub.

Contact us

Other information

The Department for Education has published a guide for parents and carers ‘Special educational needs and disability: a guide for parents and carers on gov.uk’.

This guides parents through the different parts of the SEN Code of Practice 0-25 years on gov.uk.