SEN Terms Explained


Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

If a child’s school or setting is unable to meet their needs through SEN support, they may need more specialist help which cannot be met through what is ordinarily available. If this is the case, the child's parents, the young person or the child's school/setting could consider asking Worcestershire County Council for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment for the child. This assessment could lead to the child getting an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

An EHCP brings together, into one document, a child's education, health and social care needs. A child must have special educational needs to be eligible for a plan, but they may not have any health or social care needs.

EHCP's are replacing Statement of Special Educational Needs and Learning Disability Assessments.


A SENCo is a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. Every school and early years setting must have one.  The SENCo is responsible for co-ordinating special educational needs arrangements within the school or setting and for ensuring that the needs of pupils with special educational needs are met appropriately. They provide advice and support to teachers and support staff and liaise with external professionals. 

SEND Code of Practice

The SEND Code of Practice explains the duties of local authorities, health bodies, early years settings,schools and colleges to provide for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabled children and young people, to help them reach their full potential. This is relating to part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014, and was introduced on 1 September 2014. The needs of most children with SEN can be met with existing support which is 'ordinarily available' in a mainstream school, college or setting.

Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)

All local authorities have to provide children and young people with SEN or disabilities, and their parents, with information and advice. In Worcestershire this is done through SENDIASS, who are able to provide factual, impartial and confidential information, advice and support for families about SEN, disability, health and social care.

SEN Support

Any support a child gets from their school or other setting should meet their needs. All children with special educational needs should have additional support or help which is different to that which is generally given to other children of their age, this is SEN Support.

This support is to help the children to achieve their learning objectives or outcomes, which are set by the school. Schools should involve parents in the process.

SEN support replaces School Action and School Action Plus.

The Local Offer

All local authorities in England must provide an information directory, called the Local Offer. This includes information about the education, health and social care services in the local area which are provided for children, young people and families who have SEN or disabilities.

In Worcestershire this 'Local Offer' is a website which pulls in information about relevant organisations, services, schools and settings.


Transition in education terms refers to three main significant points in a child's education: transition from nursery into school, transfer from primary school to high/secondary school and transition from high school into college. There is also transition from children's to adult services and in Worcestershire some areas operate a three tier system in education and therefore there is an additional transition point between first school and middle.

SEN support and Education, Health and Care plans should include the preparation and planning for transition.