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Help at your school or college

A young teacher is discussing a lesson with two young students with iPads

If you have difficulty in learning or taking part in education because of your health needs, the law says that all schools or colleges must give you support to access education, learning and to be included in your class.

Your school or college should tell you and your parents if they think you have special educational needs (SEN). Having SEN means having a disability or condition that makes it harder to learn and you need additional support or work that is different from the support or work given to other students in your class.

Your school or college will work out how they can support you and will keep the support they give you under review to check it is enough to help you to learn. You might need different sorts of support at different times.

This kind of support is called SEN Support. See further information about SEN support at school or in college: (IPSEA).

You can have your say about what support you get at school or college. Read more about what the law says on and what help and support you can get as a young person with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Help to get SEN Support at your school or college

If you have a disability your school or college must put things in place so that you can assess education, learning and take part in everyday activities, this is called making ‘reasonable adjustments’.

See further information about the Equality Act 2010 and reasonable adjustments: (GOV.UK).

Your teachers and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) in school or college, should be working with you to see what special educational needs you have and how they can support you. They must follow a process called ‘Graduated Approach’, there are 4 steps to this:

  1. Assess: they must talk to you and your parents to work out what support might be needed
  2. Plan: once your needs have been identified, staff must work together with you and your family to decide what outcomes or goals you would like to achieve and what support should be put in place to help you achieve these
  3. Do: the teachers, supported by the SENCO should make sure the help and support is given to you
  4. Review: the help and support you have been given should be reviewed by everyone involved to see if it is working. If it is working and you are making progress, it might continue. If it is not working (you’re not making good progress), or if the outcomes have been achieved, some of the arrangements might be changed. Reviews should happen at least 3 times per year

This support should be ongoing, which means they must keep repeating the Graduated Approach cycle.

Sometimes your school or college may not be able to give you all the support you need, and if you're not making expected progress you may need to have an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment to find out what support you need.

Available SEN support

You might want to find out more information about the available support you can get in your school or college

Schools and colleges must set out their offer of help and support to their pupils with SEN in a SEN information report and policy. You will be able to see these on your school or college website. If you can’t find the report and policy ask your school or college for a copy.

School and college may offer help with:

  • reading and writing, because you have dyslexia
  • ability to understand things
  • behaviour or ability to socialise, for example you may struggle to make friends
  • concentration levels, because you may have ADHD
  • physical ability to do things, such as writing

Support can be given in lots of different ways, such as:

  • extra help from a teacher or a learning support assistant
  • making or changing materials and equipment
  • working in small groups
  • observations in class or at break time
  • support to take part in class activities
  • help to work or socialise with other pupils
  • support them with physical or personal care needs
  • one-to-one help with some tasks such literacy, maths or speech and language
  • advice or extra help from specialists such as specialist teachers, educational psychologists and therapists; these are people who work for your local council who provide help and advice to teachers and SENCOs

If you would like to know what support is available at your school or college, you could ask for a meeting to talk about this with them.

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Getting the help that's right for you

You can have your say about what support you get at school or college.

If you think that you might need some more SEND support than you are already getting in your school, college or setting then you could:

  • speak to a teacher or trusted member of staff, to ask how they can help you to learn and support you with your social, emotional and mental wellbeing
  • speak to a parent or trusted adult, to help you to have these conversations and attend meetings with you if this would be helpful
  • ask for an EHC Needs Assessment, if you don't already have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP)
  • ask to have your EHCP reviewed, if you do have an EHCP, to see if there is more support available to help you
  • contact us for more information, advice and to talk about how we can help

Here are some questions you might want to ask your school or college:

  • what support does the school or college offer for students who have SEN or disabilities like me?
  • what sorts of things do I need help with?
  • what support can I get to help me?
  • what decisions can I make about my support?
  • who do I talk to if I need more support?

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My Support Plan

A My Support Plan (MSP) is a document that is used by school or college for students with SEN. It sets out the help and support you need in school.

An MSP can be used for anyone who has a number of professionals supporting them and would benefit from support being coordinated.

The different sections of the MSP can be used and gradually build a fuller picture of the help and support you need. Students are asked to complete Part 1 of the MSP, this where you can say what interests you, what you like doing, what support helps you and what doesn’t. Part 1 is a really important part of a MSP as you can express your views, feelings and thoughts about your life and what you would like for your future.

If at a later stage a request for an Educational, Health and Care Needs Assessment is made by the school, the MSP is completed, reviewed and sent to City of York Council’s SEN Team with supporting evidence.

The majority of children with an MSP will not need to move on to a request for a statutory EHC needs assessment.

You can read .

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How we can help

We can work with you and offer support to suit your needs. This may include:

  • speaking on the phone
  • helping through emails
  • helping you to arrange a visit or meeting with your school or college

With your permission, we can also work with your parent, carer or support worker.

You can contact us for more information and advice, or to talk about how we can help you.

The Council for Disabled Children have produced a short video looking at what IAS services are, what we can do, and how we can help.

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Related information and useful links