What are Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?
The term ‘SEND’ has a legal definition, referring to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn or access education than most children of the same age.
If your child has a special need, they may need extra help in a range of areas, for example:
- school work
- reading, writing, number work or understanding information
- expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying
- making friends or relating to adults
- behaving properly at school
- organising themselves
- some kind of sensory or physical needs which may affect them in school
Parents can find guidance information and guidance on the legal requirements for local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges in the SEND Code of Practice which covers the SEND system for children and young people aged 0 to 25 in England.
Section 2.23 directs parents in the Armed Forces to the Education Advisory Team, formerly known as CEAS, for further support and guidance.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, terminology may be slightly different. In Scotland they refer to ‘Additional Support Needs (ASN)’ for instance and in Wales they refer to ‘Additional Learning Needs’. Our comparison table gives details and links to the different codes of practice.