Children and young people with brain injuries often need extra help and support in school or college because of their special educational needs.

All schools must ‘use their best endeavours’ to make sure that a child with special educational needs gets the support they need. This means the school must do everything they can to meet your child’s needs. There are obviously budget constraints on this, and it does not mean that the school necessarily has to do everything you ask for your child.

What are Special Educational Needs?

The SEN Information report

Every maintained school and academy in England must publish a SEN Information Report, which should be updated annually. Details of exactly what this report must include can be found at paragraph 6.79 SEND Code of Practice:

  • Arrangements for assessing and reviewing children and young people’s progress towards outcomes. This should include the opportunities available to work with parents and young people as part of this assessment and review
  • How adaptations are made to the curriculum and the learning environment of children and young people with SEN
  • How children and young people with SEN are enabled to engage in activities available with children and young people in the school who do not have SEN

It can be helpful to read your child’s schools SEN Information Report when asking for extra help to see what the school says it provides.

What is SEN Support?

What is SEN Support?

SEN Support

There is a category of additional support in mainstream schools called SEN Support. This is for children who need extra help because of their special educational needs.

Schools must identify any child who has special educational needs and needs additional help via SEN support and the school must inform you if your child receives SEN support.

Schools also have to keep a record of the support that they provide to your child and share this with you every year.

The SEN Support cycle

SEN support follows a four stage cycle:

  • Assess – the school needs to gather all relevant information about your child’s needs
  • Plan – the school, along with you, produces a plan to decide what support to give your child
  • Do – the support, usually given by the teacher, Senco or external specialists, is put in place
  • Review – the school considers the success of the plan. you must be included in this review

This cycle is usually done on a termly basis, so in one academic year your child could go through three ‘cycles’ of SEN support.

The SEN budget and Education, Health and Care Needs assessment

If you, the school, or both consider that your child has not made the progress expected despite the additional help from SEN support, then you should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care Needs assessment.

All mainstream schools are given an amount of funding to support children with special educational needs, it is called the notional SEN budget. It is not ring-fenced per child, but for the school to provide to any child who needs extra help.

If your child needs more support than the school can provide, and is issued with an Education, Health and Care Plan, then the funding for the support in their plan is solely for your child, not for the good of the whole school.

More information on Education, Health and Care Plans

What is an EHCP – does my child need one?

Produced by Victoria Federico of Access Legal Solicitors

Victoria Federico heads the Education Law team at Access Legal Solicitors. Victoria works for parents and young people with a range of special educational needs and disabilities to secure the best possible provision and educational placement for them.

Victoria has specialised in education law, particularly special educational needs, since July 2008 and heads Access Legal Solicitors Education Law team. She has secured placements at a range of mainstream and special schools and colleges, including residential and split placements. Victoria regularly provides training to parents, support groups and professionals on education law, special educational needs and disability. She has also spoken at a national conference for case managers, attends exhibitions and writes articles on education law.

Brain Injury Group members Access Legal Solicitors have offices in Birmingham, Northampton and Reading.

What is the Brain Injury Group?

The Brain Injury Group exists to support individuals and families affected by brain injury and the health and social care professionals working in this specialist field. Our mission is to provide anyone affected by brain injury with access to advice on legal, financial and welfare benefit issues delivered by proven experts in the field who have been chosen not only for their skills and knowledge, but also for their passion and dedication to helping people.

How can Brain Injury Group help you?

If you would like advice about bringing a personal injury claim, capacity, deputyships or managing the award of compensation or any other aspect of brain injury welfare, legal or financial advice, we have specialist brain injury solicitors and Court of Protection solicitors who can assist.

You can find full details of Brain Injury Group members on our website or there are several ways to get in touch:

  1. Call us on 0800 612 9660 or 01737 852203
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Complete this short enquiry form and we’ll get back to you