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Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)

What are special educational needs?

A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A learning difficulty or disability is a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age. Special educational provision means educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age in a mainstream setting in England. Health care provision or social care provision which educates or trains a child or young person may also to be treated as special educational provision, depending on its nature. (Code of Practice 2014)

What do we mean by "SEND"?

The term special educational needs (SEN) has a legal definition which is set out in the Education Act 1996.  The term SEN covers a wide range of types of need including:

  • learning and cognition
  • speech, language and communication
  • sensory and physical impairment
  • behavioural, emotional and social difficulties

What do we mean by "disability"?

The Equality Act, 2010, defines a child with a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial or a long term effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day tasks.

Due to their disability they will require support in areas of education, health, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development.  Such disabilities include:

  • a physical disability
  • a significant and long term learning difficulty
  • a severe communication disorder
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • multiple and complex health needs or chronic illness

Further information on Cambridgeshire Local Offer can be found via this link: