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What is a special educational need?

The definition of Special Educational Needs (SEN)

A child has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • Has a significantly greater difficulty learning than the majority of others of the same age, or

  • Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her form making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions

     

The definition of disability

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.

 

A physical or mental impairment includes:

  • Learning difficulties

  • Medical conditions, including epilepsy, diabetes, more severe forms of asthma and eczema

  • Specific learning difficulties, including dyslexia

  • Speech, language and communication impairments

If the impairment has a substantial and long-term effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities it may amount to a disability.

A young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
(a)    Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
(b)   Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in a mainstream school