Education for children with special educational needs

Children and young people have special educational needs if they find it significantly more difficult to learn, or if they’ve got a disability that prevents or makes it difficult for them to use the same educational facilities as others their age.

In Barnsley, most children with special educational needs (SEN) are educated in mainstream nurseries, schools, academies, or colleges.

Children who speak a different language to other children in their school are not regarded as having special educational needs.  

Specialist support in nurseries, schools, academies and colleges

Educational settings receive additional support and advice to help them meet the needs of children with special educational needs to help them remain in a mainstream setting.

We also have specialist provision in a number of our schools to support children with special educational needs:

  • at Joseph Locke Primary School and Horizon Community College, we have specialist support for children with sensory impairment (hearing and/or visual impairment)
  • at Oakhill, Worsbrough Common, Hoyland Springwood, and Royston Meadstead primary schools/academies and Carlton Community College, we have specialist communication and interaction support for children with speech, language and communication needs such as autism.

Other teams, including Barnsley Educational Specialist Support Team (BESST) and the Educational, Child and Community Psychology (ECCP) Team provide specialist support to children, parents/carers and educational settings.

Children and Families Act 2014

If your child has special educational needs (SEN), the way that you access services and support changed as a result of the Children and Families Act 2014. 

Below are some of the changes that the new legislation included: 

  • Action and Action Plus support for children and young people with SEN was replaced by a single category of support known as SEN support.
  • any new requests for statutory assessment for a child/young person now result in an EHC Needs assessment being carried out and as appropriate, an EHC Plan being issued.
  • where it's appropriate the child/young person can have a personal budget for their support.
  • together with health services, we have to commission and plan services for children, young people and families.

The special educational needs and disability code of practice for 0 to 25 years contains further information and guidance for organisations who work with and support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.