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What are special educational needs (SEN)?

Children and young people with special educational needs have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children or young people of the same age. 

Children with special educational needs may require extra help because of a range of needs, such as in thinking and understanding, physical or sensory difficulties, difficulties with their speech and language or how they relate to and behave with other people.

For example, special educational needs could mean that a child or young person has difficulties at school with:

  • All of the work;
  • Reading, writing, number work or understanding information;
  • Expressing themselves, or understanding what others are saying;
  • Making friends or relating to adults;
  • Behaving appropriately;
  • Organising themselves; or
  • Some kind of sensory or physical needs which may affect them in education.

If you think your child or young person has problems in any of these areas, you should speak in the first instance with your child's teacher or their school, college or nursery's special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) or headteacher.

There is more about who to ask for help, in the advice attached.

Can’t find what you are looking for? Contact us:
020 8871 7899

If you would prefer to meet someone to talk about this, with an interpreter or signer if you need one, please call THRIVE Wandsworth to make an appointment at the Town Hall.

We can see people who drop in to the Customer Centre at the Town Hall, but only if a Disability Information Officer is available.