Special educational needs and disability (SEND)

A child or young person has special educational needs and disabilities if they have a learning difficulty and/or a disability that means they need special health and education support, we shorten this to SEND.

The SEND Code of Practice 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014 gives guidance to health and social care, education and local authorities to make sure that children and young people with SEND are properly supported.

If you or a child that you care for needs extra health and education support, an application can be made for an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC) to your local council.

Our work

We work with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and organisations such as the Department for Education (DfE), the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) and voluntary organisations to make sure that there is support and services for children and young people with SEND.

We do this so that we can:

  • make sure that children and young people are at the heart of everything we do
  • improve the care and support that people get
  • make sure that people’s care and support is the same quality wherever they live
  • make sure that the right people know about SEND and EHC plans

We have various groups which help us to make sure that we are doing what we need to in supporting SEND. These are:

  • The children with complex needs and special educational and disabilities group looks at our work with other organisations as well as making sure we are doing everything we can do to support living an ordinary life for children and young people with SEND.
  • The SEND assurance sub-group leads our national work and supports us with policies and strategies.
  • The SEND data and evidence sub-group works with data relating to children and young people with SEND, identifying need and finding what works best to support them.
  • The SEND communications and engagement sub-group develops and improves communications across the NHS and other organisations, making sure that people have the most up to date information on relevant legislation, developments and best practice for children and young people with SEND.

Useful resources

  • Guidance for health services for children and young people with SEND – this document is under review.