SEN Support & Single Plans
As part of the SEND reforms of September 2014, changes are being made to how children's special educational needs or disability is recorded and supported in schools. There is no longer a requirement for schools or early years settings to maintain a register of pupils at what was previously known as School Action and School Action Plus (or Early Years Action and Early Years Action Plus).
Instead, a new simplified system of one stage of identification is being implemented across nurseries and early years settings, schools and colleges, called SEN Support. This support is the additional help that children and young people with SEND (SEN &/or Disability) receive, who do not have an Education, Health & Care Plan (formerly, Statement of SEN).
There is some fear, and some indication, that schools are responding to this new requirement by reducing SEN registers, and removing those pupils who have been at the old School Action stage of the register, to target support for those at School Action Plus.
However, a more pragmatic approach might be to consider this requirement in the context of the reforms as a whole, which also impacts on categories of SEND and descriptors for special educational needs. Reviewing all pupils on the SEN register and considering how many terms of targeted support they have received, to what outcome, against a context of wider school and parental concerns, may be a more useful practice.
Those pupils at School Action on the SEN register are more likely to be children and young people for whom early indicators of SEND are emerging and exploratory assessments and external advice are being sought and targeted interventions are being implemented. Hence, their SEND journey is, in many ways, just beginning. If we are to support fully goals of early identification and early intervention, then it would not seem prudent to remove whole cohorts of children from SEN registers, at this time of change and reform.
Guidance demands that every setting should consult and engage with parents and carers when agreeing what support a child will receive and what outcomes are to be achieved.
At SEN Support, consideration should be given to -
- What is important to the child or young person
- Their educational needs
- What they want to achieve
- How they feel adults, teachers and supporting staff, can help them achieve their goals
Useful Resources & Links
Dept for Education
Special Educational Needs & Disability - A Guide for Parents & Carers - August 2014
Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Overview - Special Educational Needs Support
Dept for Education - If your child received SEN support before September 2014
How to Navigate the Changes in Special Educational Needs & Disability Provision