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Support plans

If your child has special educational needs (SEN) and/or a disability, early years or school staff will work with you to draw up a plan to support your child’s learning.

What is a support plan?

A support plan sets out:

  • your child’s needs
  • what support is needed to meet those needs
  • what progress the nursery or school expects your child to make once the plan is in place.

Your child’s progress will be measured against the goals set out in the plan.

How does it work?

How much support your child will get will depend on his or her individual needs. Schools can support children with a wide range of needs, using a variety of techniques.

The nursery or school will use a step-by-step approach to support. If your child does not make progress then the support plan will be changed and the school will gradually increase support.

School funding

Mainstream schools (and academies) are required to support children with SEN and disabilities with up to £6,000 per child per year from their budgets.

They are expected to meet the needs of the vast majority of children with SEN and disabilities from this funding.

Extra money from us

If your child has very complex needs the school can ask the council for extra money. It may use the money to buy equipment or specialist services.​

To find out about the support available in:

Review of your child's support plan

At least once a year school staff will meet you to talk about your child's progress and support plan. This meeting is called a review.

At the review, you will:

  • look at your child's progress
  • set targets for the coming year
  • check to see if he or she still needs the same plan or whether changes are needed.

Your child’s school or college will arrange the meeting.

Who goes to the review meeting

Your child's headteacher will invite:

  • you (you can also bring along a friend or relative)
  • your child
  • a teacher who knows your child well
  • any other professional who is involved with your child, for example a health professional or educational psychologist.

What happens at the review meeting

The headteacher will ask everyone, including you, to prepare a short statement. When you write your statement, you need to include:

  • what progress you think your child has made in the past year or term
  • whether there are any major changes that may or have affected your child's progress
  • what you hope your child will achieve in the coming year or term.

What happens after the review

The school writes a report and will send you a copy with enough time for you to comment on it before the end of term. The report will set out:

  • any targets for the next year
  • any changes to the support plan
  • whether any support plan should continue.

What happens next

If the school thinks your child’s support plan needs to change, it will write to you about this.

Will your child always need a plan

Your child may only need a support plan for a short time. At the regular review meetings, the school may suggest that the support plan ends. If this happens, the school will talk to you about it.

Changing school

When your child is in Year 5 and Year 9, there will be a review to manage his or her change of school. The special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCOs) from your child’s current and new schools will meet to plan for the change.

If your child changes school mid-term things are slightly different. If the move is planned, we suggest the schools have a meeting to talk about your child’s support. If the move is not planned then your child’s school will need to send the new school all the information about your child, which the new school will talk about at an admissions meeting.

For information about moving from:

Advice for parents of children with special educational needs

Teachers at your child's school will help you with any questions you may have. But you can also get advice from:


Tunmarsh Centre

Tunmarsh Lane


E13 9NB

Tel: 0203 373 0707

What to do if you're unhappy with a school's decisions

If you disagree with a nursery’s or school’s decision, talk to your child’s teacher or the school SENCO, or to the headteacher.

If you wish to take things further, your child's school will have a complaints procedure, which it must publish on its website.