Find out about the education support available for school-aged children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
What schools should do for your child
According to the SEND Code of Practice schools should:
- make sure that a child with SEND gets the support they need
- ensure that children and young people with SEND engage in school activities alongside pupils who do not have SEND
- name a teacher to be responsible for co-ordinating SEN provision (SENCO)
- tell parents when they are making special educational provision for a child
- publish a SEND information report and their arrangements for the admission of disabled children.
To find out more about what support schools could offer your child please see our ordinarily available provision document and ordinarily available provision guide for parents and carers.
How a school or setting can help your child
Schools will help your child by:
- regularly reviewing your child’s progress
- identifying needs early
- adapting teaching to meet individual needs.
If your child is not making expected progress, the school should decide if your child needs additional interventions and support. This is called SEN Support. The school should talk with you and your child about this.
What SEN Support is
SEN Support is a 4-stage cycle also called The Graduated Approach: Assess, Plan, Do, Review. This support could be in the form of school-based interventions and/or seeking advice from other specialist services such educational psychology, behaviour support or speech and language therapy.
The purpose of SEN Support is to help children and young people to make progress.
You should be fully involved in discussions about the support your child needs, how it will be delivered and when it will be reviewed.
Some children and young people need more intensive and specialist help.
If your child does not make progress despite SEN Support, an Education, Health and Care needs assessment (EHC) might be the next step.
There are different types of schools in Medway which provide different levels of support for pupils with SEN.
In Medway, you can find:
- Mainstream primary schools - These must publish an SEN information report on their website outlining the provision they have for pupils with SEN
- Mainstream secondary schools - These must publish an SEN information report on their website outlining the provision they have for pupils with SEN
- Mainstream schools with specially resourced provision - for children and young people with SEND and an EHCP
- Special schools - For children and young people with SEND and an EHCP
- Pupil referral units - For children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs and school exclusions
- Pre-schools - There are pre-schools and day nurseries in the private, voluntary and independent sector (PVIs) who cater for a wide variety of needs.
- School-based nurseries - Medway Council maintained nursery schools must publish an SEN information report on their website outlining the provision they have for pupils with SEN.
- Breakfast, afterschool and holiday clubs - sometimes offered by an educational setting to care for children before and after the school day and during the holidays.
Post-16 colleges must try to put appropriate support in place if a student has a learning difficulty or disability that calls for special educational provision.
Young people should be supported to take part in discussions about their aspirations, needs and the support they think will help them best.
Support should promote independence and allow students to make good progress towards employment and/or higher education, independent living, good health and participating in the community.
Special education support might include:
- assistive technology
- personal care (or access to it)
- specialist teachers
- note takers
- one-to-one and small group learning support
- independent living training
- accessible information such as symbol based materials
- access to therapies (such as speech and language therapy).
If a young person with SEND and an EHCP, takes up a place at a university the ECHP will stop. However, there is lots of support out there to help young people access higher education.
A request for a disability assessment and the provision that may be required, can be made to the university’s disability access team.
STAART - previously AccessAbility Project
Independent special schools and post-16 colleges
Medway supports the idea that children and young people’s education and training needs are best met when they can access local mainstream provision. In exceptional circumstances, it may not be possible or appropriate to do this.
It may be decided after discussions with your SEN officer that your child or young person’s needs would be best met at an independent specialist provision outside the area.
Applications will be based on the needs identified in the child or young person’s EHCP.
If local provision does not meet these needs, we'll consider an alternative independent provider.
The transition between the different stages of education can be daunting. Here is some information on the transition processes between education stages.
All schools will have their own arrangements for children starting in reception.
If a child has been identified as having additional needs by a private, voluntary, independent setting (PVI) such as a nursery, they will need to complete an ‘All About Me’ transition booklet with parents. This will provide the receiving school with background information to help support the child.
Primary to secondary
When your child reaches secondary transfer age their EHCP will need to be changed to show the new educational setting.
You and your child can express a preference for a place at a mainstream school or special school on a Transfer to Secondary Education (TSE) form. This form should be completed, with your child’s school. Sometimes this takes place at your child’s Year 5 Annual Review.
Our Transfer to Secondary Education (TSE) advice explains the process for transfer from primary to secondary education.
At the end of Key Stage 4 young people will need to continue their education into Key Stage 5 (Post 16) either at a school, further education college, or in work-based training.
You and your child can to express a preference for a place at a school or further education college on a Transfer to Post 16 Education (T16) form. This should be completed with your child’s school at your child’s Year 10 Annual Review.
Placements are looked at on a year-by-year basis and will be discussed at each Annual Review.
Download the Transfer to Secondary Education document for children with an EHCP
Find out about Medway's school admissions process
There are many services and teams to support you with education:
Medway Sensory Service - a team of seven specialist teachers and support staff who work with children and young people with physical, hearing and visual impairment from 0 to 25 years.
Early Years SEND Team - Specialist SEND practitioners who work with children aged 0 to 4 who have been identified as having complex additional needs.
Educational psychologists - who work with children and young people aged 0 to 25 in pre-school and education settings supporting learning and emotional wellbeing.
Medway Information, Advice and Guidance Service (IAG) - offering a specialist service and helps ensure that all 16 and 17 year-olds are accessing a form of further education. This can be either at school, college or while at work.
Fortis Trust Outreach Service - offering support, training and advice to preschools, schools and further education colleges. This enables students with SEND to succeed in the mainstream setting.
Hoo St Werburgh Primary School And Marlborough Centre - Marlborough has a team of specialist teachers who are able to support children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, communication and interaction needs in the mainstream school setting.
Some parents choose to educate their children at home.
If your child has an EHCP and goes to a special school, you must get consent from the Medway SEN Team before removing them from school.
This is so we can make sure they continue to get a suitable education.
We offer flexible travel assistance options for children and young people with SEND aged 5 to 16.