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Allenbourn Middle School

Information about Special Educational Needs and Disability

The following information is set out in accordance with the SEND Code of Practice 2014.

A child or young person has a Special Educational needs or disability (SEND) if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.  A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:

  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
  • have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.

Definition taken from the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice: for 0-25 years (2014).

SEND Areas of Need

All children with SEND are identified within one or more of the four areas of special educational needs;

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health
  • Sensory and/or physical

Communication and Interaction

Some of the aspects of difficulty included in this area are:

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disability. The term refers to a broad range of conditions characterised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication. Autism is a spectrum condition, meaning that there are certain each person with Autism is affected differently to the next.

Further information and support can be found here:

National Autistic Society

Autism Independent UK

Action for Aspergers

Autism Wessex

Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

Children and young people may have a range of difficulties with speech and or language, some children may grow through these difficulties whereas other difficulties may be lifelong.

Further information can be found here:

NHS SALT services

The Communication Trust 

Cognition and Learning

Some of the aspects of difficulty included in this area are:

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a complex condition which can seriously affect a child’s ability to concentrate and control impulsivity. This can affect both behaviour and learning.

Further information can be found at:

Family Education Website

The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service (ADDISS)

Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD)

Pupils with MLDs will have attainments significantly below expected levels in most areas of the curriculum despite appropriate interventions. Their needs will not be able to be met by normal differentiation and the flexibilities of the National Curriculum, therefore bespoke learning targeted at individual needs may be more appropriate in building not just academic skills sets but life skills also.

Further information can be found at:




Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD)

This includes difficulty with one or more aspects of learning. Examples consist of a Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Development coordination disorder (previously identified as Dyspraxia) and dysgraphia.

Further information can be found at: 

National Centre for Learning Disabilities

Good Schools Guide for parents regarding dysgraphia

British Dyslexia Association

Dyspraxia Foundation

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Children with emotional difficulties or mental health issues may not be able to apply themselves to learning and may present as withdrawn or isolated, hyperactive and lack concentration; have immature social skills, struggle to conform to expectations, or display challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour.

All of these behaviours are communications and may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained.

Some of the aspects of difficulty included in this area are:       

   Anxiety or panic disorders

   Sensory overload

   Attachment disorder

   Post-traumatic stress disorder

   Aggressive outbursts due to; regulation issues, undisclosed difficulties, other learning difficulties

   Emotional shut down or withdrawal

   Grief, bereavement

   Underlying mental health problems

   Disclosed/Undisclosed physical, mental or sexual abuse

   Unstable home environments

Further information can be found at: 



Mind – for children and young people


Attachment and trauma  

Mosaic – Dorset based charity offering support to bereaved children

Sensory and/or Physical

Some of the aspects of difficulty included in this area are:

Hearing Impairment (HI)

Pupils with an HI range from those with a mild hearing loss to those who are profoundly deaf.

Visual Impairment (VI)

A visual impairment is generally defined as an eyesight problem that cannot be corrected by wearing glasses or contact lenses or by surgery.
The terms partially sighted, low vision, legally blind, and totally blind are used in the educational context to describe students with visual impairments. 

Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI)

Pupils with MSI have a combination of visual and hearing difficulties. They are sometimes referred to as deafblind but may have some residual sight and/or hearing. Many also have additional disabilities and therefore have much greater difficulty accessing the curriculum and the environment than those with a single sensory impairment. They have difficulties in perception, communication and in the acquisition of information.

Physical Disability (PD)

There is a wide range of physical disabilities and pupils cover the whole ability range. Some pupils are able to access the curriculum and learn effectively without additional educational provision. They have a disability but do not have a special educational need (SEN). For others, the impact on their education may be severe.

There are a number of medical conditions associated with physical disability that can impact mobility. These include cerebral palsy, heart disease, spina bifida and hydrocephalus, and muscular dystrophy. Pupils with physical disabilities may also have sensory impairments, neurological problems or learning difficulties.

Medical Needs

A medical diagnosis or a disability does not necessarily imply a special educational need (SEN). It depends on the impact the condition has on their educational abilities.

It may not be necessary for a child or young person with a diagnosis or medical condition to have any additional form or educational provision at any phase of their learning journey. It is the child’s medical needs and how these impact upon learning that must be considered. Some children may not require school-based SEN provision but they have medical conditions that, if not properly managed and supported by school staff and external agencies, could hinder their access to education.

Children and young people with medical conditions will include those with Asthma, Diabetes, Arthritis, Epilepsy, Severe allergies, Incontinence, Eczema, Cystic fibrosis Tracheotomy, Colostomy and Ileostomy.

Further information can be found at:

Spinal muscular atrophy/dystrophy 

National deaf children’s association 

Royal National institute of blind people 



Epilepsy Action

Diabetes UK