What is a special educational need or disability?

A child or young person has Special Educational Needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.  A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:

(a) Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or

(b) Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post – 16 institutions.

A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if they fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them (Clause 20 Children and Families Act)’  (Draft SEN Code of Practice 2013, 1.8)

The Equality Act 2010 states that a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

physical or mental impairment includes:

Hearing or visual impairment

Physical disability affecting movement

Developmental delay in processing information (MLD)

Serious medical conditions as advised by a medical practitioner

Specific learning difficulties, including dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia

Autism and Aspergers syndrome

Speech, language and communication impairments

Severe emotional and behavioural disorders diagnosed by CAMHS.