What are Special Educational Needs (SEN)?
The term special educational needs has a legal definition. Children with special educational needs all have learning difficulties or disabilities which make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. These children need extra or different help from that given to other children of the same age.
The law says that children do not have learning difficulties just because English is not their first language. Of course some of these children may have learning difficulties as well.
Children with SEN may need extra help because of a range of needs, such as:
- thinking and understanding;
- physical or sensory difficulties;
- emotional or social difficulties;
- speech and language difficulties or difficulties in how they relate to and behave towards other people.
Many children will have SENs at some time during their education. Schools and other organisations can quickly and easily help most children overcome the barriers that their difficulties present. However, a few children will need extra help for all of their time in school.
Click on the links below to find out about some of the most common needs that children in school may have.