Sense is campaigning to ensure that deafblind children and those with complex needs are able to access education, and receive the additional support they need to learn.

A child in a wheelchair plays with a little boy

Many children with deafblindness and those with complex needs will have special educational needs and disabilities, meaning they will need additional support from education settings and professionals.  They will often require specialist support and approaches to teaching, learning and developing independence.

In addition to support in schools, early education is vitally important for children with complex disabilities, to promote their development and improve life chances.

Our approach

We continuously monitor developments in national and local education policy, in order to assess the potential impact on disabled children and their families.

We work closely with UK Government officials, Ministers and Members of Parliament to make sure that special educational needs provision takes the needs of deafblind children and those with complex needs into account.  We also campaign alongside other charities through our membership of the Special Educational Consortium (SEC) and the Communication Consortium.

What we are doing

The system of special educational needs and disabilities was reformed through the Children and Families Act 2014, coming into effect from September 2014.  Sense campaigned to ensure that children with low-incidence conditions are able to access the right support within the new system.  We continue to monitor the impact of the reforms on the children and families we support.

Access to play is important for every child and more so for children with complex needs and disabilities.  A particular focus of our work at present is campaigning for better access to early education through play for children with multiple needs.

Useful links and resources

Find out more about Sense’s work on access to play opportunities for children with multiple needs.

Read Sense’s resources for parents and professionals on getting the most from the special educational needs system.

Policy responses

Read our most recent consultation responses related to education.

First published: Tuesday 31 July 2012
Updated: Tuesday 18 October 2016