Special Educational Needs

Special Educational Needs

The term Special Educational Needs, or SEN, denotes children of school age in the UK who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than children who are not designated as SEN. These may be children with autism, Asperger syndrome, ADHD, EBD, etc, who need something different from or additional to what is provided for other children of the same age in order to make progress in their learning. Some SEN pupil will have a 'statement' outlining their special needs and provision. Such students are said to be 'statemented'.

In most cases such children will be educated within the same school as their non-SEN peers, but supported by an SEN Department within the school staffed by Teaching Assistants and organised by a Special Educational Needs Coordinator, or SENCO. In supporting children with Special Educational Needs schools and the Local Education Authority have to take account of the SEN Code of Practice. Each school has its own SEN Policy, which details how the school implements the Code.

The procedures for SEN were set in the Education Act 1996 (Part 4) [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1996/ukpga_19960056_en_1]

The definition of SEN was amended in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Bill of 2001. [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2001/ukpga_20010010_en_1]

According to the Sunday Times, in 2003 there were 2 million SEN children in Britain's schools. [The Sunday Times, February 2003] In January 2008 the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) stated that some 223,600 (or 2.8 per cent) of pupils across all schools in England had statements of SEN. The percentage of pupils with statements of SEN placed in mainstream schools (nursery, primary, secondary) was 56.6 per cent. The corresponding figures for the proportion of pupils with statements of SEN placed in maintained special schools was 36.9 per cent, with 3.6 per cent in independent schools.

In 2008 there were some 1,390,700 pupils with SEN without statements representing 17.2 per cent of pupils across all schools. This is an increase from 16.4 per cent from a year earlier. Contrary to the pattern for pupils with statements of SEN, the incidence of pupils with SEN without statements is greater in primary schools (18.1 per cent) than in secondary schools (17.8 per cent). [http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000794/index.shtml]


ee also

*Learning disabilities in special education
*special education

External links

* [http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000794/index.shtml SEN on the DCSF website]

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