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Explore the topic of Special Educational Needs (SEN)

At Witherslack Group we pride ourselves on our unwavering commitment to parents and carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN), as well as to professionals working within the SEN sector. Alongside the work we do with the specialists with our Group, we also collaborate with professionals in the SEN field to offer advice and support in the following areas: ADHD, Autism, Mental Health, Speech, Language and Communication and Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

New to this site, each of our specialist SEN areas now has a dedicated space that will provide parents and carers with helpful information, links to supporting resources, and FAQs.

Start exploring

Start your journey by visiting one of our dedicated SEN pages

What is SEN?

SEN, or, Special Educational Needs, refers to the specific learning requirements of individuals such as children and young people facing barriers to education. SEN includes disabilities, learning difficulties, and communication impairments. 

Explore our library of SEN resources here

Children with SEN

SEN can affect a child or young person's ability to learn in the following ways: 

  • Behaviour or ability to socialise
  • Reading and writing
  • Ability to understand things 
  • Concentration levels
  • Physical ability

If you suspect your child, or a child in your care, has SEN or if they have received a diagnosis, there is a variety of help and support available here. Our dedicated SEN pages have been designed to provide a friendly, safe, and informative space to extend your understanding of any of our five key areas of expertise.

How we support children and young people with SEN

Our therapeutic support is be embedded throughout all the work we do with children and young people to enable them to overcome their SEN challenges and reach their full potential.

Our Clinical Services Teams are based within our schools, enabling each child or young person to access support, assessment, and direct programmes, which are then woven into their daily activities. Staff are well known to the child or young person and will continuously work to establish and develop their trust.

We love to celebrate the successes and achievements of children and young people in our schools. Below we share some of the stories that best represent how staff across our Group positively impact lives.

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Avon Park School

Hattie’s Story

Hattie found it difficult to engage with learning. She would often feel anxious in lessons and struggled to articulate her thoughts and feelings. Her behaviour became disruptive resulting in her having to leave the classroom, which further isolated the little girl who desperately wanted to fit in. This cycle continued for some time until it was decided that a school that could better meet her needs needed to be found; Avon Park School was introduced to her parents who just wanted to see their daughter thrive.

Read more east
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Cedar House School

Andrew’s Story

Andrew reluctantly arrived at Cedar House School as a residential pupil diagnosed with ADHD and Autism. The frustrated young boy who worked in isolation clearly had social communication difficulties and had a history of displaying inappropriate behaviour towards those around him. The local primary school he attended reported that he was increasingly controlling, only attending school on his own terms and when things didn’t go his way he would abscond. As a result of his behaviour, he was excluded from school, making it even more difficult for him to make friends and access education.

Read more east
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Cumberland School

Rianna’s Story

Rianna arrived at Cumberland School as a very frightened and confused young lady who had refused to attend mainstream schools and alternative options for several years. Her behaviours manifested into violent and aggressive outbursts in the form of both physical and verbal abuse. She also did not possess the social skills to engage with her peers and became very confused and disorientated when adults attempted to educate her or offer guidance.

Read more east

Frequently asked questions about SEN

We've researched and collated a list of frequently asked questions about SEN below. Alternatively, head to our SEN resources library to expand your knowledge. 

The 2015 SEND code of practice (Special educational needs and disabilities) identifies that there are four main areas of special educational needs. These are: 

  1. Communication and interaction
  2. Cognition and learning
  3. Social, emotional and mental emotional health.
  4. Sensory and/or physical

It is reported that Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is the most common special educational need. Other common needs include:

SEN support is used within schools and educational facilities to find and support the needs of children and young people with SEN. 

When implemented, SEN support can provide individually tailored intervention to ensure that children and young people with SEN have equal access to education, promoting inclusion. SEN support often includes personalised teaching methods, assistive technologies, and collaboration between educators, SEN professionals and parents and carers. 

SEN support was previously named 'Early Years Action' and 'Early Years Action Plus', and 'School Action' and 'School Action Plus'. 

Special needs education is the practice of educating students in a way that accommodates their individual differences, disabilities, and special needs. This involves the individually planned and systematically monitored arrangement of teaching procedures, adapted equipment and materials, and accessible settings.

SEN schools are those that provide an education for children with a special educational need or disability. There are many different types of special school, but essentially, they all educate children whose needs cannot be met within a mainstream setting, and whose parents or carers have agreed to or requested a special school placement.

The Witherslack Group is a leading provider of specialist education and care for children and young people with SEN. We have a range of specialist SEN schools across the UK

Witherslack SEN Resources

We have recently refreshed the Advice and Support area of our website, a hub of knowledge we are very proud of. This section can now be filtered by our five specialist SEN areas of expertise:

Autism support
ADHD support
Speech, language and communication support
Mental health support
EHCP support

From events and webinars to articles, e-books and case studies, Here you can find a wide variety of resources providing parents, carers and professionals with advice, support and guidance.

External SEN Resources

The following is a list of websites and organisations that can help you. While we have done our best to list the most up to date and relevant information on SEN, please be advised that all the sources are constantly changing and new information will be added regularly so it is important to call back again if you need updated advice. Websites are listed alphabetically by name or narrow subject category.

Mencap SEN Support | Mencap 
Special Educational Needs (SEN) support | Scope
What SEND or additional needs support can my child’s school provide? | Action for Children
SEND information for parents and carers | Family Action
SEND: guide for parents and carers | GOV.UK

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