Find out about the specialist help offered by our inclusion service, which supports children with special educational needs at school.

Most children's needs can be met in their local mainstream school. Some children 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.

Strategic plan for SEND education provision 0-25, 2018 to 2023

We are responsible for reviewing how special education is provided in North Yorkshire, and for making sure there are enough places in education for children and young people with SEND. During 2017 and 2018 we worked closely with parents, carers, children, young people and professionals to gather their views on how special education is provided. We held a public consultation on our final plan during May and June 2018. The consultation has now closed, but you can still read the documents here.

The  final plan has been approved by the executive, and can be found here (pdf / 3 MB). We are now delivering the actions in the plan.

You can also read a  summary document in plain English (pdf / 570 KB) or  easy read (pdf / 600 KB) format.

We would like to thank everyone who has shared their time and thoughts to help us to develop the strategic plan.


In your child's school

You do not need a diagnosis to get extra help for your child's needs. You should ask your child's teacher first if you have any concerns about your child's progress, and they will also consult you if they have concerns. Schools can support children with SEND by providing, for instance, extra help or adapting the curriculum. All schools have an amount of funding to enable them to provide extra help. The special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) works to identify children with SEND and to support staff to meet their needs. You can also see the school's SEN information report which is found on each school's website.

Special educational needs support works as a four part cycle: assess, plan, do and review. During the cycle, actions are revisited, refined and revised 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.

Often children with SEND benefit from a longer and slower start to school than other children. You can find out more about the age children start school here as well as the possibility of a deferred start.

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 your 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 as to when it will end and the child will start full time.

Similarly, for a child with a medical condition, recovering from illness, or who is exhausted by anxiety or autism related meltdowns, you may agree that part time provision or a session at home to recuperate is appropriate. Again this must be done with your consent and with clear objectives.

In many cases like this, or where the child is so overwhelmed by school that 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 only a very gradual increase in more formal activities.  This kind of provision must also be short term, regularly reviewed, with clear measures of progress in their wellbeing evident.

Children with SEND can be excluded for all the same reasons as children without SEND, either for a fixed term, or permanently. However schools may not exclude a child because they cannot meet their needs, or for other reason related to their disability.  For example it is not legal to do the following, unless they are formally recorded as exclusions, or occur with the agreement of the family that it is in the child’s best interests in the short term:

  • only offer a part time placement to a child with SEND;
  • send a child home to cool off after a meltdown;
  • exclude from a school trip; or
  • ask a child to go home if their teaching assistant is absent.

If you are asked to collect your child at lunchtime

There may be times when the school will ask you to collect your child at lunchtime. As a 'one off' this may resolve a specific incident. However, if you are being asked to do this on a regular basis, it should only be as part of an agreed arrangement to provide support for your child. The head teacher should tell you how many days they want your child to go home for lunch and what arrangements they intend to put in place to enable your child to stay for lunch in future.

If this is not provided then this means your child has been excluded from school at lunchtime, which should be recorded as a half day exclusion.

What happens next?

If the number of days adds up to five days exclusion (ten lunchtimes) or more then you can ask to meet the governors.

If you or your school are concerned about your child's behaviour, the school should arrange a meeting to draw up a plan that will detail the support your child needs to help them. This plan might be an individual education plan or a pastoral support plan.

The plan should include details of how your child will be helped to achieve targets that are agreed at the meeting. It should list people who will be involved and explain what everyone, including you and your child, will do. It should also include a date for reviewing the plan.

Complain or appeal about the school's decision

You can find full information here about what to do if you are not happy with the way the school is dealing with your child's needs.

More information

Specialist support

Some children with more complex and significant difficulties may require specialist services to support what the school can offer. Our inclusive education service specialist support staff 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. Some staff are centrally based and some are based in enhanced mainstream schools. 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 learning difficulties, dyslexia or dyscalculia);
  • sensory and physical (hearing impairment, visual impairment, physical and medical needs); and
  • social, emotional and mental health.

 You can download a document here providing more detailed information about our SEND inclusive education service offer (pdf / 1 MB).

Enhanced mainstream and special schools

There are a number of enhanced mainstream schools in North Yorkshire, which provide specialist help so that children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities can make progress within a mainstream environment. These are schools and not ‘units’ or ‘bases’, and have withdrawal areas for use at specific times. They also work on an outreach basis to support local schools in their area. You can speak to the SENCO at your school for more information. Alternatively, you can find more information about our schools, enhanced mainstream schools and other education options by contacting sen@northyorks.gov.uk

If a child or young person's need cannot be met in a mainstream school or setting with the involvement of the inclusive education service, they may require a special school place. Except in very rare circumstances, special schools take pupils with a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan.

There are ten maintained special schools in North Yorkshire. You can search for schools near you here. You can also view details of independent schools for students with special educational needs here, including those approved under section 41 of the Children and Families Act.

Request for involvement documents

Request for involvement documents and other useful information for practitioners can now be found on the special educational needs and disabilities page of CYPSinfo, our website for early years, schools and children's services professionals in North Yorkshire.

Special provision capital funding

We receive funding to increase the number of places and improve facilities for children and young people with special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND) who have education, health and care plans.

The total amount of special provision capital funding is £616,279 which has been allocated to North Yorkshire over three years. This was recently increased. There are specific guidelines from the Department for Education on how we can use the funding.

The executive approved the first plan for use of the special provision capital funding on 13 March 2018. Following this decision we published the  plan for using this funding (pdf / 154 KB). We also developed a  covering report (pdf / 284 KB) that provides further information.

We received the first part of this funding in August 2018 and the planned work is taking place.

Since we published the plan other capital funding has been agreed for work on the project at The Forest School. This means that we will be able to make more proposals for using the funding in years two and three. We are planning to consult on these proposals in early 2019 and there will be more information about this in due course.