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SEN support: support for deaf children without an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan

Photo: Children without an EHC plan are still entitled to support

What does special educational needs (SEN) mean?

If a child has SEN it means that they need extra or specialised support to access their education. For example, a deaf child may need speech and language therapy or a radio aid to hear the teacher. For a full definition of SEN see page 15 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25.

Early years settings, schools and colleges should have arrangements in place to identify and support children with special educational needs (SEN).

Where a pupil is identified as having SEN, schools should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective support in place. This is known as SEN support (previously known as School Action and School Action Plus).

The majority of deaf children with SEN will get all the extra help they need through SEN support. If the school can’t provide enough support themselves they, the child’s parents, or the young person if they’re over 16 can ask for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment.

SEN support should take the form of a four-part cycle, known as ‘assess, plan, do and review’. In other words, teachers use the information they have gathered about a child’s needs (assess) to plan the provision they will put into place to support them (plan); they put the provision in place (do) and then review how effective it was (review).

With the information provided by the review, they start the cycle again. This is nothing new: it’s just good teaching.

The SEND Code of Practice 0 to 25 provides more information about how SEN support should be provided.

Find out more about SEN support and how it could help your child in Special educational needs (SEN) support: meeting the needs of deaf children and young people without an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Equality Act

Your child also has rights under the Equality Act 2010. Schools, other education providers and local authorities must make reasonable adjustments to make sure that deaf children and young people (with or without SEN) are not at a substantial disadvantage. This includes providing equipment and services (e.g. specialist equipment such as radio aids).