Identifying and supporting SEND

SEND support at school or college

A special educational needs and disabilities coordinator (SENDCo) is a teacher who is responsible for special educational needs in school. 

Every school in the UK must employ a SENDCo. They ensure all students with learning disabilities get the right help and support they need at school. They will advise you of how a school can meet your child or young person's needs.

Colleges have a named person to oversee SEND provision to ensure coordination of students' needs.

What a SENDCo does:

  • oversees the day-to-day operation of the setting's SEND policy 
  • coordinates provision for children with SEND 
  • liaises with the relevant designated teacher where a 'looked after' pupil has SEND 
  • advises on the graduated approach to providing SEND support 
  • advises on the resources to meet pupils' needs
  • liaises with parents of pupils with SEND 
  • liaises with early years providers, other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or voluntary bodies 
  • acts as a contact with external organisations, especially the local authority and its support services 
  • liaises with potential future providers of education to inform pupils and their parents about their options
  • ensures that the educational setting keeps the records of all pupils with SEND up to date 

All schools receive money to provide support for pupils who have SEND.

You can ask for a written copy of the support plan for your child. It will help you to understand when they receive extra support and what it looks like.  

Parents involvement  

There should be at least three meetings a year where you can discuss your child's SEND and the support they are receiving. 

These meetings are part of what is called the Graduated Approach. It is used to meet your child's needs and ensure the proper support and provision is in place for them.

After these meetings, there should be a written record with actions and support agreed. It is shared with the appropriate school staff and parents.  

SEND information report 

Every school must have a SEND information report either on the school's website or available as a hard copy. It will explain how the school manages SEND and:

  • how it implements the graduated approach 
  • where to raise concerns 
  • the support the school can provide 
  • which support organisations the school can ask for help