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How schools organise SEN support

Schools organise their support for SEN/Disabilities in different ways.

  • All children have their learning planned, coordinated and evaluated by the class teacher, usually with support from a teaching assistant.
  • Teaching assistants work with small groups of children as well as with individual children. This is decided by schools.
  • Other professionals such as educational psychologists, therapists, specialist teachers work with the school to make sure that any specialist support your child may need is incorporated into the school day.
  • You will be included in target setting and discussing your child's progress.

If your child has special educational needs that can be met within school, they will be placed on the SEN register. School staff will provide support and plan for your child's needs, involving other professionals if needed.

Who coordinates support for children with SEN in school?

The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) or Inclusion Coordinator is responsible for the arrangements in school for children with SEN and/or disabilities.

All settings have a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO).

The role of the SENCO involves:

  • ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEN and the setting's approach to identifying and meeting SEN
  • advising and supporting colleagues
  • ensuring parents are closely involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting
  • liaising with professionals from beyond the setting

SENCOs also play an important part in planning for children with SEN to transfer between early years provision and schools.


A maintained nursery must ensure that there is a qualified teacher designated SENCO in order to ensure support for children with SEN. This SENCO should have the prescribed qualification for SEN Co-ordination or relevant experience.


In the case of accredited childminders who are registered with a childminder agency or who are part of an approved network, the SENCO role may be shared between individual childminders and the agency or coordinator of the network.

Early years providers should also have an SEN policy which should include the name of the SENCO.

How do settings decide what type of support children and young people with SEND need?

South Tyneside Local Authority (LA) has introduced SEND Ranges to determine the needs of children and young people with SEND.

The SEND Ranges are a guide for SENCOs and schools/services to assess/identify the needs of pupils and to put into place the appropriate support. Schools need to evidence all their interventions and the impact of these through a provision map. This is best practice nationally and Ofsted will require this level of evidence of input and impact.

Support and intervention is provided at 3 different levels:

  • Universal is the whole class/group so would be training, advice and support and resourcing.
  • Targeted level is small groups and/or specialist interventions/support is 1:1 and time limited.
  • Children at specialist level require specialist provision to meet their needs.

Pupils with SEND are assessed against descriptors from Range 1 through to at least Ranges 5 and 6 whilst some go beyond. They describe the pupil's needs and suggestions for the types of interventions that will be required.

  • Range 1 - Universal - support based in a mainstream school
  • Range 2 - Universal/Targeted - support based in a mainstream school
  • Range 3 - Targeted - support based in a mainstream school
  • Range 4 - Targeted/Specialist - support based in either in mainstream or additionally resourced school
  • Range 5 - Specialist - support based in either in additionally resourced or special school
  • Range 6 - Specialist - support based in special school
  • Range 7 - Highly Specialist Provision possibly 24 hours.

The SEND Ranges provides a framework for all professionals working with the pupil and gives parents/carers a greater understanding of the needs of their child and what their child is receiving. Schools complete a provision map which gives more detailed information about the specific interventions that have been put in place, the impact they have had and the outcomes. This evidence will be the basis for any additional funding that may be required over and above what is being provided by the school's SEND budget.

Pupils who have 1:1 support/intervention are closely monitored on a half/termly basis through a provision map so schools can ensure that they are at the correct SEND Range.

SEND Ranges can be found on South Tyneside's ICT in Schools: Google Drive.

Who is responsible for making sure children and young people with SEN get the support they need?

All mainstream educational settings, alternative provision Academies and Pupil Referral Units have a legal duty to use their best efforts to make sure children and young people with SEN get the support they need.

Schools should make sure that all those who teach or support children and young people with SEN are aware of their needs. This will help them plan to meet the needs of all children and young people with SEN.

Educational settings are also expected to account to Ofsted for the progress of all children and young people with SEN or who are disabled.

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