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Some children find it harder to learn than other children of the same age. Children who are finding learning difficult are supported by their teachers, or with some extra help in school. A few children have more complicated learning difficulties, and may need extra help or equipment in school to help them access an appropriate education.
The law says that children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them." (1996 Education Act). About one in five children may have special educational needs of some kind. Some children may have special educational needs for a relatively short time, others will have special educational needs right through their education.
Most children with special educational needs will have appropriate provision made for them by their school, working with parents. Sometimes the special educational needs (SEN) team may become involved in helping the school to provide the support needed. For details of Special Schools, which are set up to deal with children with special educational needs, can be found on our school finder.
The Related Documents section contains guides, available to download, to help you understand how special needs are supported by Bristol City Council. These guides mainly cover children aged 5 to16. Leaflet five provides information about children in Early Years. Each leaflet is provided in pdf format in either full colour or a plain text version.
There are many organisations which are able to provide advice for parents about special educational needs and school related issues. We have provided links to some of them in the External Links section.
- The Advisory Centre for Education provides advice for parents about a wide range of school issues.
- The Department for Children Schools and Families (DCSF) provides lots of helpful information for parents on the Directgov website which you can explore.
- Follow the link SEN Guide for parents / carers (DCSF) for a copy of the DCSF guide in a variety of formats.
- Supportive parents for special children is a local independent parent partnership service which provides crucial advice and support to parents of children with special educational needs. Or write to: Supportive Parents; 3rd Floor; Royal Oak House; Royal Oak Avenue, Bristol BS1 4GB
If you would like further discussion about your child, please contact your child's school or Early Years setting in the first instance, or contact us.
Find out about school travel for children with special educational needs.