What does “Special Educational Needs” mean?

The term ‘special educational needs’ has a legal definition.

Children with special educational needs have learning difficulties or disabilities or both that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. These children may need extra or different help from that given to other children of the same age.

“A student has special educational needs if he or she has learning needs that require additional educational provision to be made.”

A student has learning difficulties if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of students of the same age.
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders the student from making use of educational facilities of a kind provided for students of the same age in other schools within the LEA.

Special educational provision means:

…for children of two or over, educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools maintained by the LA, other than special schools, in the area …”

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