If you find school difficult, find it hard to access appropriate education or if you have a disability, you may be able to get extra help at school. You might need support, for example, if you have autism, ADHD, OCD, dyslexia, emotional difficulties or difficulties speaking and moving.
What can I get help with at school?
Extra support is available in a range of areas, such as:
- understanding what others are saying
- making friends and talking to adults
- organising yourself
- behaving correctly in school.
How do I get help?
Your parents can speak to your class teacher, SENCO or the Head Teacher to find out what help you can get. Examples of support are:
- a learning programme made just for you
- extra help from a teacher or assistant
- help during break time and lunchtime
- help to eat, move around school or use the toilet.
What if I need more support than the school can give me?
If you need more help than the school can give, your parents or your school can ask your Local Authority to assess your needs for more support. If you are 16 or over you can ask for this yourself. This is called a ‘needs assessment’. Your Local Authority must decide within 6 weeks whether or not they will carry out an assessment following a request.
You will be fully involved in this process and you should have a chance to say what type of support you think you need now and in the future.
What is an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)?
Once the assessment is complete, the Local Authority will decide whether or not to issue a legal document setting out your needs called an Education Health and Care Plan. The plan should:
- set out what you and your parents want, now and in the future
- fully describe your Special Educational Needs and any health and social care needs
- set aims and objectives across education, health and social care
- set out what support you need and how the services will work together to meet your needs and help meet your agreed aims and objectives
- name the school you will attend.
The Local Authority must, by law, provide the support written in your plan. If the Local Authority or your school does not do this, you or your parents should get legal advice, as you may be able to make a complaint and force the Local Authority and school to provide the support that you need.
If your Local Authority decides not to carry out an assessment or not to make a plan, your parents can appeal this decision. You or your parents can contact Child Law Advice to get help with this.
I have a Disability, what should the school do to help?
If you have a disability then your school has duties towards you. It must make reasonable adjustments to make sure you are not at a disadvantage due to your disability. It must also not treat you differently because of your disability.If the Local Authority or your school does not do this, you or your parents should get legal advice, as you may be able to make a complaint and force the Local Authority and school to provide the support that you need.