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Support with learning in school

Portsmouth is a needs led city. Any provision or support should be provided in line with the needs of the child or young person and is not dependant on any formal diagnosis.

This section explains the different types of education support for school age children and what schools are expected to do to help those with SEND in their settings.

In Portsmouth City, Schools are expected to use the Ordinarily Available Provision document to support children and young People with special educational needs and/or disabilities in their settings.

What is SEN Support?

If your child is not making expected progress in their education setting or is struggling to cope with the environment , even when their setting has changed teaching methods and materials to suit the child’s/young person’s style and rate of learning, then your child may have Special Educational Needs (SEN).
The  teacher/tutor, in partnership with yourself and the School Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo), will work together to identify if your child has SEN and what extra support they might need. If agreed your child will be placed under SEN support and extra help will be given to them.

Your child will receive extra support in school according to their needs. The SENCo at the education setting should talk to parents/carers and discuss the support that could meet the child’s needs. The school might decide the graduated approach to SEN Support is needed.

This graduated approach is known as ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’. A regular cycle of Assess, Plan, Do, Review is used to ensure that pupils with SEND are making progress.

The graduated approach ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’

Your child’s needs are identified so that the right SEN Support is given. The assessment should include:
• Asking parents and the child for their views.
• Talking to professionals who work with the child (such as their teacher)
• Looking at records of assessment and other information.

• The child’s educational setting with parents/carers agree the outcomes (the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention) that the SEN Support will achieve.
• Everyone is involved in deciding what kind of SEN Support will be provided. Together they will decide when the SEN support is reviewed.
• The plan should be written down. This makes sure that everybody knows what different, additional support is going to be put in place to meet the child’s identified needs.

• The education setting will put in place the planned support.
• The teacher remains responsible for the child and will work with them daily.
• The SENCo and any support staff or specialist teaching staff involved in providing support, should work closely together. This is to check that the support is making a difference.

SEN Support should be reviewed by the time agreed in the plan.
Everyone who is involved in the process, should decide together:

  • Whether the SEN Support is working effectively and having a positive impact.
  • Whether the outcomes have been, or are being, achieved.

Outcomes and next steps
If the SEN Support is working effectively and the child is making expected progress, it has been successful. This SEN Support should continue. The child is likely to not need any new SEN Support.

If the SEN Support isn’t making a difference, or if new needs emerge during the graduated process the setting should put in place new and different support for the child. They should then start the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ process again, for a second cycle.

Click here to see the SEN Support flowchart created by Special Needs Jungle.

Portsmouth City Council’s SEND Ordinarily Available Provision Guidance

The Ordinarily Available Provision guidance  sets out the support and interventions which are expected to be available for pupils attending mainstream settings in the city. It has been produced in co-production with schools, parent carers, young people and SEND support services. If you are looking for extra support in school for your child or young person, this is a really helpful document you can chat to your child’s school  about.

Arranging an appointment with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is a good place to start when your child needs extra support. The animation below explains this further.

Frequently asked questions

My child is struggling in school what should I do?

What is a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator ( SENCo)?

What is a school expected to do when they think a child might have SEN?

What should I do if I'm not happy with the support school is putting in place for my child?

My child has SEND, who can help me find a school?

What happens if my child has to change their education setting?




How can I be involved in my SEND child's learning and education?

What is the SEND Code of Practice?

My child has a physical disability, what support should a school provide for them?

Portsmouth SENDIASS

An impartial service providing information, advice and guidance on SEND.

Click here to visit SENDIASS


IPSEA offers independent legally based advice, support and training to help get the right education for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Click here to visit IPSEA
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Portsmouth Parent Voice

Helping parent carers of young people aged 0-25 with additional needs and disabilities to shape and improve local services

Click here to visit Portsmouth Parent Voice

Get in touch - tell us what you think

Contact the Portsmouth Send Local Offer to gain help, get more information or to leave feedback about the website.

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