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Understanding SEND: A Comprehensive Glossary of Key Terms and Frameworks

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The purpose of the page, which features a series of four detailed tables, is to provide a comprehensive and informative resource for understanding the various aspects of support available for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Each table serves a specific function in outlining the roles, responsibilities, educational settings, and legal frameworks that constitute the support system for these students. Here’s an overview of each table’s content and purpose:

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Educational Framework and Settings

AcronymFull NameDescriptionRelevant Legislation/Code of Practice
APAlternative ProvisionLocal authorities arrange education for children who are unable to attend mainstream or special schools due to their specific educational needs, exclusion, or other circumstances requiring special support.Ap is underpinned by the Education Act 1996. This includes provisions like pupil referral units (PRUs), and other bespoke arrangements.
EOTASEducation Otherwise Than At SchoolEOTAS refers to educational provisions made for children who, due to illness, exclusion, or driven by circumstances where attending school has become untenable. Most commonly known as Home EducationSupported by the Education Act 1996, Section 19. Outlines duties for LAs to arrange suitable education for those unable to attend school due to health issues or other reasons.
SENSpecial SchoolsThese are schools that are specifically designed to cater to students with significant educational needs that cannot be adequately addressed in mainstream schools. These schools usually provide provisions in small classes with onsite therapies such as SALT.Governed by the Education Act 1996 and SEND Code of Practice, ensuring tailored educational methodologies and environments.
MISMainstream Inclusion SupportSupport systems within mainstream schools that include resource provisions, integration aids, and specialized training for staff to assist in the inclusion of students with SEND within regular classrooms.Outlined in the SEND Code of Practice, which promotes inclusive education by adapting teaching methods, and environments, and accessing additional resources like TAs and SENCOs.
Table 1: Overview of Educational Framework and Settings for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) This table details the various educational provisions and settings available under the SEND framework.

Legal and Administrative Processes

AcronymFull NameDescriptionRelevant Legislation/Code of Practice
EHCPEducation, Health and Care PlanA plan developed for children and young people aged up to 25 who have significant SEN. The plan is broken down into 3 core parts, the child’s Needs, Provisions and the education setting that can both meet the needs and provisions.Central to SEND law and outline in the Send Code of Practice. The special education needs process is based on the child’s individual EHC Plan
EHCNAEducation, Health and Care Needs AssessmentThe parent, guardian or education setting can make requests for the child to be assessed. This assessment will determine if the child is eligible for an EHCPA key process described in the Children and Families Act 2014.
JRJudicial ReviewA legal process where the court reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.Applicable in cases of disputes regarding SEN provisions under Administrative Law.
SENDISTSpecial Educational Needs and Disability TribunalA tribunal that adjudicates disputes concerning SEN provisions, including EHCPs.Operates under the framework of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.
Table 2: Key Legal and Administrative Processes in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) This table provides an overview of essential legal and administrative processes that support the implementation of SEND provisions, including assessment, planning, and dispute resolution mechanisms, alongside their governing legislation or regulatory frameworks.

Disorders and Specific Educational Needs

AcronymFull NameDescriptionRelevant Legislation/Code of Practice
ADHDAttention Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderA neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by excessive hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention.Mentioned in the SEND Code of Practice.
ASDAutism Spectrum DisorderA developmental disorder affecting social interaction, communication, interests, and behaviour.Identified within the Autism Act 2009 and the SEND Code of Practice.
PDAPathological Demand AvoidanceA behaviour profile within the autism spectrum where individuals avoid everyday demands and expectations.Recognised under the broader umbrella of ASD support strategies in the SEND Code of Practice.
SEMHSocial, Emotional and Mental HealthRefers to needs that require special provision to support emotional and behavioural development.Covered under the category of SEN in the SEND Code of Practice.
SpLDSpecific Learning DifficultyDisorders that affect specific aspects of learning, such as dyslexia and dyspraxia.Recognised in the SEND Code of Practice as requiring specific educational interventions.
Table 3: Specific Disabilities This table lists common disorders and educational needs encountered within the SEND framework, describing each condition’s characteristics and how they are addressed in current educational practices and legislation.

Educational, Healthcare, and Social Care Professionals

CategoryProfessionalsExpanded Role Description
Educational ProfessionalsEducational PsychologistFocuses on assessing learning abilities and psychological well-being to recommend educational strategies. Works closely with SENCO to assess and support students with SEND.
Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)Manages the school’s provision for students with SEN, coordinating support and resources, and working with teachers, TAs, and external professionals to implement effective support plans. Advocates for students’ needs and ensures compliance with SEND legislation.
Teachers and Teaching AssistantsProvide insights into the child’s academic performance and daily interactions, contributing to tailored support. TAs assist in implementing daily educational strategies and adaptations as directed by the SENCO and teachers.
HeadteacherSupports the strategic implementation of SEN policies and ensures that SENCO is provided with necessary resources. Promotes an inclusive school culture.
School CounselorWorks with the SENCO to support the emotional and psychological well-being of students through counselling and the development of integrated mental health strategies.
Healthcare ProfessionalsPaediatricianMonitors general health, development, and medical conditions that could influence learning and school participation. Provides medical insights that support educational planning.
Speech and Language Therapist (SLT)Assesses and treats speech and communication disorders. Works with SENCO to integrate communication therapies into student support plans.
Occupational Therapist (OT)Provides assessments and interventions to improve a child’s functional abilities at school. Assists in adapting learning environments and activities.
CAMHS ProfessionalsAddress emotional, behavioural, or mental health issues. They provide therapy and support plans that enhance students’ psychological well-being, collaborating with educational staff for holistic support.
PhysiotherapistProvides treatment for physical impairments. Collaborates with educational and healthcare professionals to facilitate physical access and participation in school activities.
Social Care ProfessionalsSocial WorkerProvides support to the child and family, focusing on emotional and social well-being. Facilitates connections with community resources and services, ensuring that social care needs are met alongside educational requirements.
Early Help ServicesInvolved early to identify and address potential developmental, social, or support needs to prevent escalation. Works in collaboration with schools and families to implement early intervention strategies.
Additional Support ServicesInformation, Advice, and Support Services OfficersOffer guidance and clarity on the SEN process, helping families navigate the system and advocating for their rights and needs. Works closely with SENCOs and educational teams to ensure that families are well-informed and supported.
Table 4: Roles of Educational, Healthcare, and Social Care Professionals in Supporting SEND This table categorises the various professionals involved in supporting students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), detailing their specific roles, responsibilities, and the collaborative nature of their contributions to ensuring a holistic educational and developmental environment.

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