What to do if you think your child has SEND
If your child needs more support with learning than others, they may have special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND), which can include things like:
- not learning as quickly as most other children
- a learning difficulty such as dyslexia
- a disability or health problem
- struggling to communicate or understand what people are saying
- social communication difficulties
- emotional or behavioural problems.
There are different levels of SEND; as many as one in five children may need extra support at some stage with their learning
You may wish to visit the Early Years page on our Local Offer for further information.
If you think your child may be slow in developing or have trouble seeing or hearing properly it's important you speak to your:
- doctor or health visitor
- nursery or pre-school keyworker or special educational needs coordinator (SENCO)
- local child development clinic or Family Centre.
Surrey County Council's Supporting Children Team have Special Educational Needs & Disability's Advisors who support early years providers in the private, voluntary and independent sector in identifying special educational needs of their pupils. They do this working with the SENCO at the setting, offering advice on outcomes for the child, giving guidance on SEND processes and meeting with parents. They can be contacted via the following generic email addresses:
- North east: SectorNE@surreycc.gov.uk (Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell and Spelthorne)
- North west: SectorNW@surreycc.gov.uk (Runnymede, Surrey Heath and Woking)
- South east: SectorSE@surreycc.gov.uk (Mole Valley, Reigate & Banstead and Tandridge)
- South west: SectorSW@surreycc.gov.uk (Guildford and Waverley)
An Early Years SEND banding document is available to help identify the provision required to support children with Additional and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (ASEND)
This is available in many different ways for pre-school children with SEND:
- Our Surrey Early Support Service for young children with disabilities can help families needing extra help raising a child with disabilities and special needs and anyone who works regularly with these children and their families.
- Pre-school and early years support for children with severe or complex needs
- SEND Advice Surrey
- Sure Start Children's Centres
- School transport.
School aged children
For school age children the Parents and carers guide to special educational needs (Gov.uk) explains in general terms the help available and how you can get it.
In Surrey, if you think your child has SEND you will be supported in line with the Department for Education's SEND Code of Practice.
The needs of most children will be met through additional support available in the child's educational setting. For more information about this, please read: The Right Provision at the Right Time (PDF).
If you or the school believe that the support available is not enough to meet your child's needs, you can ask for the statutory assessment process to be started, to assess whether your child needs additional support via a statement of special educational needs. From 2014, education health and care plans (EHCP) have replaced statements.
We provide support through schools and follow a staged approach, each providing a higher level of targeted support for your child, depending on each individual's needs. We work closely with the school's designated special educational needs coordinator (SENCO).