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, including mental health
- sensory and physical needs
- processing difficulties
As many as one in five children may need extra support at some stage with their learning.
Pre-school children (0 to 5 years)
For more information about how to support a child with SEND, please visit the Surrey Local Offer webpage. If you are a practitioner in a setting or a school supporting an early years' child please visit the Surrey Local Offer - Early Years page.
If you think your child may be delayed in their development or have sensory needs it is important you speak to your:
- nursery or pre-school keyworker or special educational needs coordinator (SENCO)
- health visitor or GP
Surrey County Council's Graduated Response Early Years Team have SEND Advisors who support early years providers in the private, voluntary and independent sector in identifying special educational needs of children. They do this by working with the setting, offering advice and support, giving guidance on SEND processes and meeting with parents in collaboration with the SENCO. They can be contacted via the following generic email addresses:
- North east: SectorNE@surreycc.gov.uk (Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell and Spelthorne)
- North west: SectorNW@surreycc.gov.uk (Runnymede, Surrey Heath and Woking)
- South east: SectorSE@surreycc.gov.uk (Mole Valley, Reigate and Banstead and Tandridge)
- South west: SectorSW@surreycc.gov.uk (Guildford and Waverley)
A Graduated Response process and document is available to help identify the provision required to support children; and can be found on the Surrey Local Offer - Supporting Children with SEND in the Early Years using a Graduated Response webpage.
Support available for pre-school children with SEND:
- Family Information Service (FIS)
- Surrey Early Support Service for 0 to 5 year olds with disabilities can help families needing extra help raising a child with disabilities and special needs
- SEND Advice Surrey
- Family Centres
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).
Files available to download
- The Right Provision at The Right Time (PDF)
Accessing special education provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)