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Support with Learning

Welcome to the part of the Local Offer website that contains information on support with learning.

In Portsmouth we are a needs led city. This means that it shouldn’t matter if your child has a diagnosis, they will get support and help based purely on the needs that they have.

All children and young people are entitled to an appropriate education, one that is appropriate to their needs, promotes high standards and enables them to fulfil their potential. This means they should:

  • achieve their best.
  • become confident individuals living fulfilling lives
  • make a successful move into adulthood, whether into employment, further or higher education or training.

The information, advice and resources in the Portsmouth local offer will help you to support your child in their education setting.

Click on one of the support with learning images below to find out more.

If your child is due to start school soon, you can read our top ten tips for starting school to make the move as smooth as possible.

Supporting SEND in School

Click here to find out how schools provide support for those with SEND ( Special Educational Needs and Disabilities). This includes SEN support and Portsmouth's Ordinarily Available Provision.

Support with Learning in School

Post-16 Learning Support

There are a number of post-16 learning and training options in Portsmouth City. Click here for more information on further education, apprenticeships, supported internships and general post-16 learning.

Preparing For Adulthood

Education Health and Care Plans

For children and young people who's needs can't be met in the ordinarily available provision of an education setting, an EHCP may be appropriate. Click here for more information on statutory assessments and EHCPs.

Education Health and Care plans ( EHCP)


Children and young people who are showing signs of neurodiversity can access the ND profiling tool which can identify what support they may need. Find out more about the ND profiling tool and how you can request one to be completed for your child.


Educational Psychology

Educational psychologists help children and young people up to the age of 19 reach their full potential in the fields of learning, social and emotional development. Follow the link below to find out more about the EP service in Portsmouth City.

Educational Psychology Service

Education Settings in Portsmouth

Click the link below to find a complete list of all the schools, colleges and education settings in Portsmouth City and the immediate surrounding area.

Education Settings in Portsmouth

Support with Learning - Frequently asked questions

I think my child might have special educational needs, what should I do?

Your first port of call should really be the class teacher or tutor to discuss your child’s needs and how best they can be met. Additional support/advice can also be requested from the SENCo. 

Look at the school’s website to read the SEND policy and SEND information report as this will outline what is available at the school. 

The Ordinarily Available Provision document on Portsmouth’s Local Offer is also a valuable tool.

What is a SENCO?

The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is the member of staff responsible for coordinating support for all children needing additional support to access learning. The schools SEN Information Report (available on the school’s website) will outline the specific role for the school’s SENCo, but generally they will: 

Give advice to parents and staff on issues related to Special Educational Needs, Social and Emotional difficulties, pupils with English as an additional language.  

Meet with parents to discuss any concerns they may have about their child’s development or learning difficulties. 

Facilitate assessments of individual pupils to identify need and strategies to support the child. 

Arrange referrals to other professionals such as: Educational Psychologist (EP), Speech and Language Therapists (SALT), Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) or Specialist Teacher Advisors in the City

My child is not getting the help they need in their school, what should I do?

It is important that you discuss your concerns with the present school. Be very specific when outlining your concerns and present the strategies you feel would best meet the needs of your child. Remember that all schools are expected to make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of any child.

If your child has been assessed by an Educational Psychologist (EP) or a Speech and Language Therapist (SALT), their reports will outline the child’s needs and include strategies to support your child. Discuss these with the school to explore how this advice has been used to support your child to access learning.

If your child has an Educational Health Care Plan (EHC Plan) there are specific targets and interventions that should be in place. Ensure that your child is receiving this support.

 My child has SEND, how do I choose an appropriate school?

All schools have a responsibility to accept all children, regardless of need. However, it is always best to visit schools. The school’s website will also provide you with useful information about what is offered. The school’s SEND Information Report is a useful document as it should outline all of the support available. Ensure you arrange a meeting with the SENCo to discuss needs and how best these can be met.

 What is a school expected to do if they think my child has SEN?

It is important that schools work with parents to both identify need and agree strategies to support the child. Schools are expected to make reasonable adjustments to ensure no child is disadvantaged so all can participate in learning. 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. The Ordinarily Available Provision document, which can be found on the Local Offer website, details the provision that the local authority expects to be made available for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

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.

Get in touch