Special educational and additional needs

Nationally, about 20% of children may have some form of special educational needs (SEN) at some time. For the vast majority of children, the mainstream school will meet such needs, with outside help if necessary.

All mainstream schools must have a SEN policy and a SEN Coordinator. Your child's school will be able to give you information about their arrangements.

Find out about our local offer who provide information about services for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Areas of need

There are no hard and fast categories of special educational needs. It's recognised that each child is unique and each council should reflect the particular circumstances of the child. Councils recognise that there is a wide spectrum of special educational needs that are frequently interrelated, although there are also specific needs that usually relate to particular types of impairment. Children will have needs and requirements that by and large fall into at least one of four areas, although many children will have interrelated needs. These needs can impact considerably on the child's ability to function, learn and succeed should be taken into account.

The areas of needs are:

  • communication and interaction
  • cognition and learning
  • behaviour, emotional and social development
  • sensory or physical

In only a small minority of cases will a child have special educational needs of a severity or complexity that requires the council to become involved, The council, as far as possible, aims to educate children with special educational needs in mainstream schools, although some pupils may need a special school placement.

Transport assistance

Home-to-school travel assistance policy

Contact us

If you have any queries or need further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Special Educational Needs team, who are based at the address below:

  • The Town Hall, 2nd Floor, Green Zone, Hornton Street, W8 7NX
  • telephone: 020 7361 3311
Last updated: 25 January 2017