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Education for children with SEND in Suffolk

Suffolk is an inclusive Local Authority, which means that our aim is that most pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) are educated in mainstream settings.

Read below to find out more about what we mean by SEND, what you can expect from a school, how we fund SEND provision in Suffolk and about our specialist education provision.

What does 'SEND' mean?

SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. A child or young person may have SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which means that they:

  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
  • Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions

This definition is set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice: 0-25 years (2015). You can find out more about the SEND Code by going to the GOV.UK website.

There are a wide range of needs and difficulties that can come under the SEND heading. Children and young people with SEND may have challenges with:

  • Sensory (hearing impaired/visually impaired/multi-sensory impairment)
  • Physical challenges and mental health and emotional well-being
  • Ability to socialise and communicate
  • Ability to read or write
  • Concentration and cognition levels

To find out more about how we meet the needs of children with SEND in Suffolk, click the drop down menus below.

SEND Support in Suffolk

Most children of school age who have SEND will attend a mainstream school. Mainstream schools include all state-funded schools, including academies and free schools.

Our schools and settings are responsible for meeting the educational needs of the children and young people on their rolls. They do this by providing high quality teaching and support adapted to the needs of the individual children in their care. In many instances, class teachers adapt and differentiate the curriculum every day to enable the children within the classes to learn without there needing to be any special provision in place.

Where a child is identified as needing more support to learn, the school/setting looks to identify what that child's needs might be, and how they might be able to be met. The process of identifying and then providing for these needs is called "SEND Support".

If you think your child has SEND, in the first instance we would encourage you to talk with their class teacher so that you can work together to understand how your child's needs might be met. You can read more about the sort of things a school/setting can put in place below.

What to expect from a school/setting

Suffolk expect that schools and settings will involve the child, young person and their parent/carer as fully as possible in the decisions that affect them.

All schools and settings must:

  • Make reasonable adjustments for children and young people to help them access their education
  • Ensure that the curriculum and culture is inclusive, so that every child and young person can engage in the activities of the school, ensuring that support is provided where needed
  • Clearly communicate with parents/carers about what is being put in place for the child or young person
  • Provide a range of teaching strategies and learning opportunities, which may include a range of ICT equipment and resources
  • Work with children, young people and families to set and review targets, progress and outcomes 
  • Put appropriate interventions in place and regularly review their effectiveness
  • Regularly review the quality and appropriateness of the provision and monitor the impact
  • Adhere to the requirements of the SEND Code of Practice

The school must work with parents and carers and the individual to talk about their educational needs.

When the school identifies a child or young person as having SEND they must act to provide support which is additional to or different to support generally given to children of the same age, to ensure the needs of the child are being met.

This information is used to develop a SEND support plan which should be reviewed at least three times a year to check progress.

Some children and young people with more complex and significant challenges may require specialist services to support what their school does. 

For children and young people with SEND schools may also need to provide;

  • Staff collaboration with specialists within the school setting and outside agencies
  • Broker or commission alternative support where in-school provision isn’t meeting the pupil’s need (e.g. speech and language therapy, school counsellors, play therapy, therapy centres)
Specialist Education in Suffolk

Most children will have their special educational needs met in their mainstream schools. However, some children's needs will require more support than a mainstream school can provide, and so we have also developed a range of specialist education provision in Suffolk, including special schools, specialist units and alternative provision.

Click here to find out more about specialist education in Suffolk.

Funding for SEND

Funding for SEND is provided for schools and academies as part of their overall budget and agreed by the ‘Schools Forum’.  Funding for learners aged 16-19 at further education colleges and training providers is provided by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).  This can be extended up to the age of 25 for students who have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.  

The ESFA also fund further education colleges and training providers to offer further education to adult learners aged 19 and over. This includes adults under 25 without an EHC plan who self-declare a learning difficulty or disability.

Individual education or training providers will decide how to use its money to plan resources and support those with SEND. Where there is evidence a child/young person has more complex needs education providers may apply to Suffolk County Council for additional top-up funding.

EHCPs and the Family Services Team

The SEND Family Services Team lead on the support of children, young people and their families so that with the necessary skills, young people progress into adulthood to further achieve their hopes, dreams and ambitions. Fundamental to this is our joint partner commitment to the delivery of services through a key working approach for all.

SEND Family Services:

  • support individual children and young people and their families through their education pathway and/or SEND Journey
  • ensure that assessments, including Education, Health and Care needs assessments (EHCNAs) and plans (EHCPs) provide quality advice and are delivered within statutory timescales
  • monitor the progress of children and young people with SEND in achieving outcomes to prepare them for adulthood and offer support and guidance at transition points
  • support children and young people who have been permanently excluded or who are at risk of exclusion.
  • provide challenge to education providers to ensure provision meets the needs of individual children and young people.

Family Services are split into seven area teams operating from three locations. See the Family Services record for contact details of your local team.

SENCo Support

SENCo Bulletin

The SENCO Bulletin provides a round up of latest news, events and updates and is provided to any school leaders, SENCOs and teachers in Suffolk. Anyone is welcome to receive the bulletin; to be added to the list please email sendnews@suffolk.gov.uk .

Inclusion Support Line

The Inclusion Support line which is open Mon-Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm. The support line number is: 01473 265502.

Please note that the support line is designed for general enquiries or ‘quick questions’ and not for individual pupil discussion. For example, you may have a question around systems, processes, school-based interventions, the Graduated Response, etc. This line replaces the Senco Support Line which was previously available 3.30-4.30pm Monday - Friday.

SENCo Central

SENCo Central is a one stop shop, featuring a medley of resources, which we think would be useful for SENCo's and Teachers within Suffolk. This is regularly updated to keep all information current and useful, the link to this page can be found here.

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