Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
All children and young people should expect to receive an education that enables them to achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, and become confident, able to communicate their own views and ready to make a successful transition into adulthood, whether into employment, further or higher education or training. Underpinning this are a range of statutory duties on schools, described below.
All mainstream schools have a duty to use their best endeavours to provide support to children and young people with SEN, whether or not they have an EHC plan. They must designate a teacher to be responsible for co-ordinating SEN provision (the SEN coordinator or SENCO) and must inform parents when they are making special educational provision for a child.
Mainstream schools must ensure that children and young people with SEN can take part in the activities of the school alongside those who do not have SEN, and maintained schools and academies must make arrangements to support those who have medical conditions (see the statutory guidance ‘Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions’).
All pupils should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. Careful planning of lessons to address potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to pupil achievement will mean that, in many cases, pupils with SEN and disabilities will be able to study the full curriculum.
All schools have duties under the Equality Act 2010 towards individual disabled children and young people. They must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services for disabled children, to prevent them being put at a substantial disadvantage. These duties are anticipatory – they require thought to be given in advance to what disabled children and young people might require and what adjustments might need to be made to prevent that disadvantage. Schools also have wider duties to prevent discrimination, to promote equality of opportunity and to foster good relations.