Support in Schools for SEND

On this page you can find out about the support available in schools for children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.​​​​​​

Support in schools for children with SEN or disabilities

In Newham we work with mainstream nurseries and schools to identify SEN and disabilities as early as possible. In this way, children get the support they need early, which has been shown to help their development.

All children with SEN or disabilities will have a support plan. If your child has significant or complex needs, he or she may also have an education, health and care plan.

If you want advice about your child’s needs, talk to his or her teacher or the school special educational needs co-coordinator (SENCO).

Support in schools for children with additional needs

Most children with SEN or disabilities will have their needs met in mainstream schools. Your child will get support for his or her individual needs as part of everyday learning, which could be with the whole class or in groups. A SENCO might arrange support from people outside the school to help too.

The kinds of support your child might get in class include:

  • a special timetable for some parts of learning, so particular exercises in the area of learning that your child needs help with for example
  • special learning programmes, such as language and communication programmes to help your child get the most out of the curriculum (you can find more detail on your school’s website)
  • extra support with social skills, using social-skills groups for example
  • help to improve well-being, perhaps through nurture groups.

And if your child needs it:

  • speech, language or other activity programmes
  • special equipment
  • work in small groups or one-to-one
  • support from other adults such as teaching assistants or parent helpers.

Schools pay for this support out of their budgets.

Support in schools for children with significant needs

Some children have severe learning difficulties. These children will get support which is extra to, or different from, the support given to most of the children in their class.

If your child has significant needs, the class teacher and SENCO will write a profile of him or her. The profile focuses on day-to-day learning, setting out your child’s needs, strengths, characteristics and learning style.

Your child will be taught with children his or her own age in a range of group sizes. The class teacher and SENCO will take advice from specialist services outside the school about how best to meet your child’s needs. This information, and the profile, will go into your child’s support plan, which the school will check (review) at least once a year.

For more about reviews of your child’s progress, go to our page on support plans.

The kinds of support your child might get in class include:

  • a special timetable with clear and planned ways to meet your child’s needs
  • a calm area for your child to work away from the class
  • a curriculum to fit your child’s needs, which is taught using special methods
  • special programmes of learning to help your child (you can find more detail on schools’ websites)
  • varied group sizes for teaching and learning: whole class; small groups; one-to-one
  • a lot of support from adults such as teaching assistants or parent helpers
  • activity, speech and language, physiotherapy, music and other programmes where needed
  • help to improve well-being, perhaps through nurture groups.

This kind of support is paid for by schools and the council. The money from us is called high-needs funding. 

Schools complete a needs based pupil profile to indicate the level of need which, if agreed, is funded by the council. Significant needs would typically be indicated by the descriptions under HN Level 3 on the funding profiles. ​

Support in schools for children with complex needs

A very small number of children have profound or multiple learning difficulties. These children need specialist support, which may come not just from the school but from health and care services too.

As for children with significant needs, the school will write a profile of your child.

The kinds of support your child might get include:

  • an special timetable with clear and planned ways to deal with your child’s needs
  • a calm area for your child to work away from the class
  • a curriculum to fit your child’s needs
  • specialist programmes to help your child (you can find more detail on schools’ websites)
  • varied group sizes for teaching and learning: whole class; small groups; one-to-one
  • high level of support from adults such as teaching assistants or parent helpers
  • occupational, speech and language, physio, music and other therapies where needed
  • help to improve well-being, perhaps through nurture groups.

Your child could get this support at a:

  • mainstream school with a high level of support from specialist services
  • mainstream school with a specialism in autism or complex needs
  • special school

This kind of support is paid for by schools and the council. The extra money from us is called high-needs funding

Schools complete a needs based pupil profile to indicate the level of need which, if agreed, is funded by the council. Significant needs would typically be indicated by the descriptions under HN Level 4 on the funding profiles. 

Specific interventions to support SEN

We do not advocate any specific approaches when providing support for children or young people with SEN. 

Schools use a range of interventions depending on the specific needs of the child or young person. Schools make decisions about the support and interventions they use under the guidance of the Education Psychology Service and other specialist services. The provision in schools is ultimately quality assured by Ofsted. 

In addition to placing children and young people in maintained specialist provision within Newham, the Borough also places children and young people in specialist provision outside Newham where appropriate

Help with travel to school

Help with transport to and from school is available for some children and young people. For more information, go to our page on travel assistance

More information

You can find detailed information about the support offered by schools on schools’ websites. You can find school web addresses on:

Funding profiles

Our profiles are based on areas of need and are used to indicate of the level of additional support a pupil will require over and above the nationally defined level that schools are required to provide from their delegated funds (currently £6,000).

These profiles are used as a guide by the council when agreeing to provide schools with additional funding to help them meet a child or young person’s SEN.