Skip to main content

Article published 9th June 2008

Often, the first a parent hears of his or her child not coping as well as expected is when the teacher suggests placing the child on the special needs register. This can cause great alarm and upset, but it shouldn’t.

Placing a child on the register doesn’t mean the school thinks your child is stupid or naughty; indeed sometimes children on the special needs register are also on the register of gifted and talented children.

The aim of the special needs register is to highlight those children who need extra help or additional support and ensure their progress is carefully monitored.

A school's obligations

The Disability Discrimination Act states that schools and colleges must provide appropriate help so that children with special needs are on a ‘level playing field’ with their peers.

How a school can help

They may adapt the curriculum. The national curriculum, provides guidance in developing a more inclusive curriculum. This is based on the principles of setting suitable learning challenges for all pupils, responding to their diverse learning needs and helping to overcome barriers to learning.

Someone with dyspraxia who writes very slowly may need extra help and support to enable them to access learning.

Bring in extra help. A child may benefit from the skills and expertise of an occupational therapist; qualify for extra time in exams; get help with typing tuition and be permitted to use a laptop in class.

Adapt the learning environment. The learning environment and styles of teaching can make a real difference. key to any intervention should be that they help create a ‘level playing field’.

Place a child on the special needs register when they are not making the progress expected, despite the apparent best efforts of the school.

Why place a child on the SEN register?

Placing a child on the register takes place after strategies such as varying teaching styles, differentiating work, or adapting the learning environment have not had a noticeable impact.

Placing a child on the register allows appropriate help or interventions to be sought. 

In many cases an individual education plan (IEP) will be drawn up to assist in the monitoring, recording and reporting of targets and progress. This should inform the child, the teachers and those who support the child and parents of specific and measurable targets of success criteria - it may also reference teaching strategies and pupil strengths.

by

by


Related articles


  • Special Needs introduction

    Signs of special needs in school age children; how to get help; which type of school to choose; Education, Health and Care Plans ... Read more ... Need help? Perhaps you suspect your child has some learning difficulty and you would like advice on what you should do. Or perhaps it is becoming clear that your child's current school is not working for him or her, and you need help to find a mainstream school which has better SEN provision, or to find a special school which will best cater for your child's area of need.  Our SEN team helps…

  • The Good Schools Guide online subscription

    Find the best school for your child. Subscribe for one month for £15 (£0.49 per day) Subscribe for three months for £36 (£0.41 per day) Subscribe for six months for £60 (£0.33 per day) Subscribe for one year for £105 (£0.29 per day) Register for instant access to: ☑ Search for more than 30000 schools in our parent friendly interactive directory. ☑ Create and save lists of schools via My Schools. ☑ Use our comparison grid to get an exam results overview of schools you are interested in. ☑ Find comprehensive advice on state and independent schools, tutors and special…

  • Boarding schools explained - the right choice?

    The headmaster/mistress runs the school but boarding houses are usually the domain of either houseparents or, in smaller schools, the head of boarding. Whilst the housemaster/mistress oversee the house, the day-to-day running is usually under the supervision of a matron. (Article published 5th May 2008)

  • Where to find a state grammar school

    Identifying and locating grammar schools. Grammar schools are located in 36 English local authorities. Almost half of these are considered 'selective authorities' (eg Kent and Buckinghamshire), where around one in five local children are selected for grammar school entry based on ability. The others are areas such as Barnet or Kingston, with only a few grammar schools.

  • State boarding schools

    If you think your child would benefit from a boarding school education, but are put off by the high fees and consequent limited social mix of a typical independent boarding school, you may find that a state boarding school is the answer


Subscribe for instant access to in-depth reviews, data and catchment:

Comprehensive catchment maps for English state schools inc. year of entry.
 School exam results by subject and performance GCSE, Alevel or equivalent.
 Which schools pupils come from and go onto.
 Honest, opinionated and fearless independent reviews of more than 1,100+ schools.
 Overall school performance by GCSE, Alevel or equivalent.
 School data comparison by A/B weighted, relative success and popularity.
 Compare schools by qualities and results.
 Independent tutor company reviews.

Try before you buy - The Charter School Southwark
 

The Good Schools Guide subscription

 GSG Blog >    In the news >

Newsletter

Educational insight in your inbox. Sign up for our popular newsletters.

This month 'Breducation'


The Good Schools Guide: Boarding Schools. Our newest book, available now - boarding for the 21st century.