Getting special educational needs support

This page explains the support your child can receive if they have special educational needs and disabilities, the things it depends on and what the Local Offer means.

During 2022, the government are reviewing the SEND system. Changes are likely to come into effect in 2023.

On this page:

SEN support your child can receive

Under the Children and Families Act 2014, children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) are entitled to extra support with learning at nursery, school or college.

Your child may be eligible for:

  • SEN support – support provided by a nursery, school or college, such as extra help from a teaching assistant or working in a smaller group.
  • An education, health and care (EHC) plan – a plan of care and support for children and young people aged 0- 25 with more complex needs.

What your child’s SEN support depends on

1. The Local Offer

The Local Offer is a local authority’s information about the provision expected to be available across education, health and social care in their area for children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This includes those that do not have an education, health and care (EHC) plan. 

The Local Offer should give clear, comprehensive, accessible and up to date information about the support available and how to access it.  

The Local Offer is for:

  • Children and young people with SEN and/or disabilities from 0-25 years.
  • Their parents and carers. 
  • Practitioners and professionals.

Local Offers can be found online, they can be part of a Local Authority’s website or on a separate site.

You can find a Local Offer by searching for ‘SEND’ or ‘Local Offer’ on a Local Authority website or by searching for the area name and ‘Local Offer’ on Google.

2. Your child’s EHC plan

Find out more about education, health and care plans.

3. Your child’s stage of education

This content was last reviewed in April 2022. We’ll review it again next year.