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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

What is SEND?

Children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) all have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children and young people of the same age. These children and young people may need extra or different help to others.

The SEND Code of Practice 2015 states that:

‘All children are entitled to an education that enables them to:

  • achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, and
  • become confident young children with a growing ability to communicate their own views and ready to make the transition into compulsory education’

Children and young people with SEN may need extra help because of a range of needs. The Code of Practice identifies 4 areas of SEN:

Communicating and interacting – Children and young people have speech, language and communication difficulties which make it difficult for them to make sense of language or to understand how to communicate effectively and appropriately with others.

Cognition and learning – Children and young people learn at a slower pace than others their age, have difficulty in understanding parts of the curriculum, have difficulties with organisation and memory skills, or have a specific difficulty affecting one particular part of their learning performance such as in literacy or numeracy.

Social, emotional and mental health difficulties – Children and young people have difficulty in managing their relationships with other people, are withdrawn, or they behave in ways that may hinder their and other children’s learning or have an impact on their health and wellbeing.

Sensory and/or physical needs – Children and young people with visual and/or hearing impairments, or a physical need that means they must have additional ongoing support and equipment.

Some children and young people may have SEN that covers more than one of these areas.


Many children and young people who have SEN may also have a disability. A disability is described in law (the Equality Act 2010) as ‘a physical or mental impairment, which has a long-term (a year or more) and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’ This includes, for example, sensory impairments such as those that affect sight and hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy.


What does this mean for you?

At Whitegate we have a personalised approach to teaching and learning. We strive to work in partnership with all families to recognise and celebrate each child’s individual strengths and interests and to ensure that every child makes good progress and is enabled to reach their full potential.

As a Maintained Nursery School, Whitegate must:

  • use their best endeavours to make sure that a child with SEN gets the support they need
  • ensure that children with SEN engage in the activities of school alongside children who do not have SEN
  • designate a teacher to be responsible for co-ordinating SEN provision (the SEN co-ordinator, or SENCO)
  • inform parents when they are making special educational provision for a child
  • must not directly or indirectly discriminate against, harass or victimise disabled children and young people
  • must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of extra aid services (for example, tactile signage or induction loops), so that disabled children and young people are not disadvantaged. This duty is known as ‘anticipatory’. People also need to think in advance about what disabled children and young people might need.


The ‘Local Offer’

We have developed our school ‘Local Offer’ to describe our school and day care provision and outline the support that we can offer to children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This information is important for families looking for the right educational setting for their child with SEND.

Click below for a link to the School Local Offer:

Local Authorities have statutory duties to develop and publish a ‘Local Offer’ outlining the support they expect to be available for local children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Click below for a link to the Lancashire Local Offer:

We have developed a clear policy which stipulates the ways in which we ensure that we are fulfilling all obligations. Please click below to see the SEN Policy:

As a Nursery School we compile an annual SEN Report which explains the provision that was provided for the previous academic year. Please click here to see the SEN report:

Where Can I get more support/ information?

Our SENCo – Catherine Tasker

SEND: a guide for parents and carers

A guide on the support system for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND)


Portage is an educational home-visiting service for pre-school children who have significant special educational needs and disabilities.

‘We support parents and carers in their own home to develop their child’s play and learning and promote positive outcomes. Parents and carers know their children best and it is easier for children to learn in familiar, comfortable surroundings. The idea is to have fun together.’


Family Information Network Directory (FIND)

The FIND database includes information about disabled children up to 18 years old in Lancashire. Families are invited to submit details about their disabled child to the database, which is used to develop an overview of the needs of disabled children across the county to assist with planning services. The FIND service is strictly confidential – no individual information about any children or their families is shared with anyone. Every family recorded on the FIND database receives a quarterly newsletter free of charge to help keep them informed about services and support which may be relevant.

Follow the link to access the FIND news letters.

SEND Information Advice and Support Service

This dedicated information advice and support service are for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families.

The service is impartial, confidential, and free. It can help you to gather, understand and interpret information and apply it to your own situation.


EHCP Journeys

Education Health and Care Plans for Children and Young People with SEN and Disabilities.

This ASK Research, Department for Education and Department for Health website shows the EHC process from the perspective of families and aims to support areas to improve local services.

Parents views about their experiences of the EHC process, including their likes and expectations about the process.

Listen to and learn from families’ experiences, Read families’ journeys through the EHC process and checking local practice.

Find information on the timescales involved in applying for and receiving an EHC Plan

Headteacher: Catherine Tasker
Address: Whitegate Nursery School & Early Years Care, Victoria Road, Padiham, Lancashire, BB12 8TG
Telephone: 01282 772283
Email: [email protected]