What is SEND?

Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014) defines SEND as:

A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her, that is different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age.

SEND Categories – Four Broad Areas of Need

  • Cognition and Learning e.g. Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Global Delay etc
  • Communication and Interaction e.g. Speech and language difficulties, Autism etc
  • Physical and/or Sensory  e.g. Visual or hearing impairment, sensory integration disorder, gross or fine motor skills, medical needs which impact on learning etc
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health  e.g. Depression, anxiety, ADHD, attachment disorder etc

A Graduated Approach to SEND

The 'graduated approach' is a model of action and intervention in schools to help young people who have additional needs. The approach recognises that there is a range of needs and that, where necessary increasing specialist expertise should be brought in to further consider some of the difficulties that students may be experiencing.   

At St. Mark’s, a graduated approach consists of different levels of support.

High Quality Inclusive Teaching – All children including Non-SEND children

This includes all students whose individual learning needs can be met through high quality teaching and learning through differentiation (making work/ tasks different in order to cater for all individual learning styles).

SEN Support

SEN support describes  a package of provision for the child in order to help them make greater progress. 

  • The subject teacher gaining further support from the SENCo and other members of the Inclusion team.
  • Additional support in class, over and above what others of the same age may need.
  • The child’s provision will be written on a Personal Support Plan which states specific targets and strategies. Parents and the child views will inform this document.

My Support Plan

My Support  Plan describes any combination of interventions and personalised approach that a student may need to access for a longer period of time. It may include any of the following strategies being used:

  • The SENCo and /or subject teacher may request outside agency or professional support from a specialist team to gain advice about an individual student. They may work directly with the student but also are likely to provide strategies and support for the subject teachers.
  • The student may have a personalised timetable.
  • The student having various interventions to try to remove barriers to learning.
  • A child may be placed on a My Support Plan which is a detailed document of provision, overseen by the SENDCo and in liaison with the local authority.

Education, Health and Care Plan – EHCP

In a minority of cases, where a child requires support over and above Wave 1, 2 and 3 support, it may be necessary to apply to the Local Authority for an EHCP (Education Health Care Plan) An EHC plan (called a ‘My Plan’)  is only drawn up by the local authority if a needs assessment has determined that an EHC plan is necessary, and after consultation with relevant partner agencies. This is a legal document which details the education, health and social care support that is to be provided to the student who has SEN or a disability. It is regularly reviewed, with clear outcomes which must be measurable and worked towards.

As a parent, how will I raise concerns if I need to?

Talk to us – firstly contact your child’s class teacher. Concerns can then be raised with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo).

Useful Contacts


SEND resources and links

Policy and procedures

Student Login