Special Educational Needs (SEN) Information & Advocacy for Parents in the UK Part 1

Support of disabled children and young people and those with specific requirements is a legal right in the UK. Experts work closely to promote the medical model which focuses on the diagnoses and treatment of the impairment or disability and the social model where disabled people are included in the society so that their disability is not affecting them in the attempts to live their lives within the community. Autism Awareness Month  by NaomiMcLaughlan.com

There are currently 9 different laws and guidelines in the UK which protect the rights of children;

  • The Convention on the rights of the Child UNICEF 1989
  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • Special Education Needs and Disability Act 2000 (SENDA)
  • The Children Act 2004
  • Every Child Matters Change for Children 2004
  • Disability Discrimination Act 2005
  • The Childcare Bill 2005 and The Childcare Act 2006
  • The Children’s Plan 2007
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage 2008 (England)

The rights and guidelines are there to protect and support children and young people, in every aspect of their lives (The Human Rights Act 1998) in order to live a full and decent life in conditions that promote dignity, independence and an active role in the community (UNICEF, 1989).This includes the medical care they require as well as their education.

Education providers have to adapt their premised for example to allow access to every child or young person to avoid discrimination, on grounds of disability (Disability Discrimination Act 2005).

Local authorities, including those working in childcare settings, schools, health services, social care, youth services, the police and criminal justice system and culture, sports and play organisations have to improve on working together effectively, safeguard and promote children’s wellbeing (The Children Act 2004). Every Child Matters Change for Children 2004 sets out the national framework for local change programmes to build services around the needs of children and young people so that we maximise opportunity and minimise risk.

Affordable, flexible, high quality childcare place has to be made available to all families with children up to the age of 14 who require it (The Childcare Bill 2005 and The Childcare Act 2006).

The government invested into  improvements to teacher training, enhancing the role for school SEN coordinators and better data to identify whether SEN pupils are progressing as well as providing free childcare places for under two year olds.( The Children’s Plan 2007).

All children under five in childcare benefit from a safe, secure and happy environment where they can play and develop, laying the foundation for success with the primary school curriculum (The Early Years Foundation Stage 2008 England). The Early Years Foundation Stage consists of six areas of learning and development. Within each area there are a number of early learning goals which most children will achieve by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage, those are;

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication, language and literacy
  • Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world
  • Creative development

The core element of all good practice in all delivery of care and support for children and young people to achieve their learning potential is the person-centred approach and to work closely to the national guidelines of the Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda.

Which means that the professional team including the general practitioner and educational psychologist, the class teacher, SENCO, Learning support assistant (LSA), and support worker along with the parents or carers .

Most children and young people have a statement of special education needs which states what kind of support they need. It is the basis of the support and assists in planning and providing the right type and level of support e.g. one on one support or in small groups.

Recording and sharing information with the team is a very important step to ensure that there are no misunderstandings and the child and young people receive the best care and support.

Book Tip
“Judy, no need to be scared.”
Wiro Binding
18 Pages
£4.99 / $8.06 + P&P
ISBN 978-1-909566-00-2
Billa Books
Judy is scared of many things. Noise, water and insects are some of them.
Her mother helps her, to get over her fear by pointing out the nice side of the situations.
Children on the Autistic Spectrum with anxieties and phobias might benefit greatly from this engaging story!



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All the Best,

Naomi x

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