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Supporting the Broad Areas of Need

Support & Assessment

Introducing the 4 Broad Areas of Need

All schools in England follow the guidance in the Department of Education’s SEND Code of Practice. The code describes four broad areas of need.  They give an overview of the range of needs school support. The four areas of need are:

The Code says:

"These four broad areas give an overview of the range of needs that should be planned for. The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a pupil into a category.

In practice, individual children or young people often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time. For instance speech, language and communication needs can also be a feature of a number of other areas of SEN, and children and young people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may have needs across all areas, including particular sensory requirements.

A detailed assessment of need should ensure that the full range of an individual’s needs is identified, not simply the primary need. The support provided to an individual should always be based on a full understanding of their particular strengths and needs and seek to address them all using well-evidenced interventions targeted at their areas of difficulty and where necessary specialist equipment or software."

To see the SEND Code of Practice, please click the link below:


The information on this page breaks down each area of need according to the SEND Code of Practice.  At the bottom of the page there is a link to the Universally Available Provision Document and the East Sussex Matrix, this outlines the provision and support you can expect to see in schools within each area.

Communication and Interaction

The SEND Code of Practice describes this as:

"6.28 Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.

6.29 Children and young people with ASD (autistic Spectrum Disorder), including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others."

Approaches and Strategies
  • All staff should be aware of the stages of typical language development; the impact of speech, language and communication Needs (SCLN) in the classroom; and the importance of the language environment on the Children or Young Person's (CYP) ability to access academic, social, personal and extra-curricular opportunities
  • The curriculum is adapted to promote full participation, support hands on learning, promote independence and support social inclusion
  • The curriculum is differentiated so that the content can be accessed independent of language and communication while supporting the development of key skills
  • There is modification of the teaching environment to take account of sensory needs within and outside of the classroom e.g. transition from one room to another
  • Staff are skilled in adjusting the pace and order of activities to maintain interest and attention
Identified Barrier and/or NeedProvision and/or strategies expected to be made according to the ages and stages of the learners
Difficulties saying what they want and being understood
  • Adults model correct use of language; sentences and grammatical structures
  • Give extra time to process what has been said and check understanding
  • Give extra time for the Child or Young Person (CYP) to respond
  • Carry out Language Link or Speech Link Programme or equivalent providing small group or individual language sessions
  • A range of opportunities are provided for CYP to develop their use of language e.g. songs, drama
  • An additional method of communication is provided; computers (e.g. laptop, tablet), symbol communication (e.g. Makaton, PECS & symbols)
Difficulties understanding what is being said to them
  • Cue attention individually by using the CYP’s name before giving whole group instructions/information
  • Give clear and simple explanations using simple grammar
  • Chunk instructions into small steps, give them in order of completion and give time to process in between
  • Staff are aware of the individual CYP’s level of understanding and moderate language accordingly
  • Use visual resources to alleviate load on auditory memory and organisational prompts; visual lesson plans, timetables, instructions etc
  • Give extra time for the CYP to process what has been said
  • Ensure the pace of lessons is modified to enable the CYP to process learning successfully
  • Pre-teach new vocabulary relating to curriculum topics
  • Be aware of the environment and limit any distractions; consider a designated working area with few distractions
  • Consider access to exam modifications
Difficulties with auditory memory
  • Reinforce verbal instructions with visual support and physical demonstration
  • Model and encourage the use of mind-mapping to support recall of verbal information
  • Sequence and link ideas as visually as possible e.g. flow-charts, word webs, mind-maps
CYP person does not understand or use social rules of communication
  • Small group teaching of specific interaction skills and social use of language
  • Opportunities to generalise skills on a daily basis
  • Visual approaches used to develop social understanding e.g. social stories, comic strip conversations, prompts, signing systems
  • Use peer mentor and peer support systems
Difficulties with language Difficulties with communication
  • Cue attention individually by using the CYP’s name followed by a key word instruction
  • Use literal language and simple step, explicit instructions
  • Use visuals e.g. prompt cards
  • Staff are aware of their own and the CYP’s non-verbal communication e.g. body language, tone of voice
  • Staff are aware of their pace of speech, providing processing time.
  • Consider the environment and the impact on the CYP’s ability to process language e.g. noise, lights and temperature
  • Staff are aware of the individual CYP’s language and communication needs; some CYP may need a language-rich environment and others may need language to be kept simple
Difficulties with social imagination
  • Consider providing opportunities for role play or use of puppets
  • Support for literacy is provided; story planners, writing frames, intervention to teach reading comprehension
  • Use mind mapping or similar to help CYP to make links within their learning
  • Small group intervention to teach understanding and inference of emotions
  • Provide support for understanding consequence e.g. social mapping, comic strip conversations
Difficulty with social communication and developing relationships
  • Identify the social misunderstandings and skills which need to be taught e.g. taking turns through to maintaining relationships and resolving conflict
  • Provide intervention to develop social skills; 1:1 and/or small group to teach specific social skills
  • Provide support to understand social relationships e.g. social mapping
  • Staff model social use of language
  • Provide support during unstructured times, breaktimes to model and encourage successful interactions including peer support from peer role models.
  • Provide opportunities to work as part of a group, allocating roles or tasks within the group, giving the CYP a role/task in which they are competent.
  • Provide specific intervention programme e.g. circle of friends
Difficulty/anxiety with unpredictable environment
  • Provide preparation for change including staff and transitions from activities, rooms, settings
  • Provide visual supports including visual timetables
  • Use social stories and comic strip conversation to explain new situations and changes to routines
  • Provide a calm learning environment
  • Provide expectations that a clear, explicit and consistent
  • Provide a familiar mentor support; adults and/or peers
Sensory and physical needs relating to communication and interaction
  • Modification of teaching environment to take account of sensory needs and support self-regulation
  • Provide opportunities to teach self-regulation strategies to enable CYP to manage their sensory needs e.g. Zones of Regulation
  • Provide breaks in learning for movement
  • Implement strategies and programs on the advice of relevant specialists, e.g. SALT

Cognition and Learning

The SEND Code of Practice describes this as:

"6.30 Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.

6.31 Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia."

Approaches and Strategies
  • Curriculum is differentiated so that content can be accessed independent of specific difficulties while supporting the development of key skills; academic, social and emotional
  • Intervention programmes that are used to support learning have a strong evidence base of effectiveness. Staff delivering the intervention programmes are trained and the delivery of the intervention monitored
  • Curriculum provides opportunities for repetition, over learning and consolidation of skills at an appropriate level
  • Effective use of ICT equipment to support learning
  • Advice from outside agencies or specialists within the setting are incorporated into classroom or intervention sessions
Identified Barrier and/or NeedProvision and/or strategies expected to be made according to the ages and stages of the learners
Limited attention span compared to developmentally appropriate milestones
  • Modification of environment and the teaching of skills to develop attention and on task behaviours
  • Provide regular, short breaks e.g. movement breaks
  • Follow instructional hierarchy: clear and simple instructions, breaking down longer instructions and giving one instruction at a time
  • Use visual prompts including timetable, lesson plans and instructions
  • Use backward chaining
  • Use of timers

Difficulties with learning:

i.e. despite appropriate differentiation and interventions, making inadequate progress over time across the curriculum and working below age related expectations

  • Use Assessment for Learning tools to identify the areas of need in consultation with the CYP or observation
  • Cue attention individually before giving whole group/class instructions/information
  • Follow instructional hierarchy: clear and simple instructions, breaking down longer instructions and giving one instruction at a time
  • Use visual prompts, instructions and cues
  • Give additional time for processing
  • Pre-teaching of vocabulary e.g. particularly in relation to a new topic
  • Use real life examples to replace abstract concepts
  • Adopt a multi-sensory approach to learning including reading and spelling

Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) affecting one or more specific aspect of learning, e.g.  

  • literacy and/or numeracy difficulties or specific language impairment. (N.B. a small number of CYP may have a formal diagnosis of e.g. dyslexia, dyscalculia or dyspraxia.
  • Provision is provided in line with the needs of the CYP and is not dependant on any formal diagnosis)
  • Use Assessment for Learning tools to identify the areas of need in consultation with the CYP or observation
  • Use metacognition approaches i.e. learning to learn, teach study skills explicitly alongside content e.g. planning and organisation skills and thinking and reasoning skills
  • Teach and practice a range of working memory strategies
  • Use alternative presentation in materials e.g. font, colour of paper, line spacing, lighting, overlays
  • Use of specialist resources for the development of literacy and numeracy
  • Use of strategies for scaffolding literacy based tasks e.g. writing frames, sequencing, cue cards, highlighting
  • Access to alternative means of recording e.g. mind-mapping, video or audio recording, dictation, use of ICT
  • Staff are aware of the advice received from specialist agencies e.g. Educational Psychologists (EPS) Communication, Learning and Autism Support Service (CLASS)
  • Use of visual aids to reduce memory load
  • Consideration of adjustments for assessments and exams

Generalised learning difficulties. May have: difficulties in understanding concept, memory, attention, processing difficulties.

May have: difficulties across the curriculum but with some areas of strength

  • Adjustment, modification and differentiation of the curriculum to enable the CYP to access the curriculum
  • Adopt a multi-sensory approach to teaching and learning
  • Support self-esteem and participation through finding genuine opportunities to praise the CYP in front of their peers, celebrating strengths and reinforcing success
  • Flexible grouping which enables the CYP to work with good role models that focuses on functional skills and area of need
  • Advice from Educational Psychologists (EPS) Communication, Learning and Autism Support Service (CLASS)

Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (SEMH)

The SEND Code of Practice describes this as:

"6.32 Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.

6.33 Schools and colleges should have clear processes to support children and young people, including how they will manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour so it does not adversely affect other pupils. The Department for Education publishes guidance on managing pupils’ mental health and behaviour difficulties in schools – see the References section under Chapter 6 for a link."

Approaches and Strategies
  • Persistent difficult or antisocial behaviours do not necessarily mean that a child or young person has SEND. Where there are concerns, there should be an assessment to determine whether there are any causal factors such as unidentified learning difficulties, difficulties with communication or mental health issues. Learning needs should also be reviewed using the setting’s own screening or assessment tools or external advice to ensure that any SEMH needs or behavioural difficulties are not caused by an unmet learning need or communication difficulty.
  • If a child has poor attendance or is not attending at all, the setting should make appropriate referrals to Local Authority or external services and work with the CYP, family and team around the child to bring about reintegration or placement change
  • Use a whole setting approach to promote wellbeing and resilience e.g. Therapeutic Thinking – see section one for Pastoral Support for All and Leadership
  • Training for staff in understanding how a child may be communicating through their behaviour e.g. Therapeutic Thinking training
  • Training for staff in Attachment Awareness e.g. Virtual School training
  • Differentiation of behaviour policy to take account of diverse needs
  • Planning for social and emotional needs of CYP dependent on presentation and nature of needs e.g. different types of attachment
  • Run nurture groups or intervention e.g. support from an ELSA/Learning Mentor, following Nurture Principles, run by trained staff, co-ordinated across the setting and seeking to reintegrate CYP by reviewing carefully targeted outcomes
  • Careful planning and discussion with parent/carers and CYP about transition to secure continuity of experience for the CYP
  • Identification of a key worker who forms a meaningful and genuine relationship with the child
  • Range of additional opportunities for social and emotional development e.g. teaching de-escalation strategies and social skills, buddy systems, circle time, circle of friends
  • Support available for staff working with CYP with SEMH via group or individual supervision or debrief sessions
  • CYP’s involvement in developing Additional Support Plans e.g. agreeing to expectations and problem-solving strategies such as mediation
  • Safe spaces are identified for when a quiet time is needed
Identified Barrier and/or NeedProvision and/or strategies expected to be made according to the ages and stages of the learners
Difficulties participating and presenting as withdrawn or isolated
  • Use Assessment for Learning tools to identify the areas of need in consultation with the CYP and/or observation. Identify parts of the curriculum they find easier to manage and/or their specific areas of interest and use these to develop confidence
  • Hold onto successes for the CYP e.g. success books
  • Plan targeted support around the identified needs of the CYP to develop skills in social, emotional and behavioural development as well as building confidence and a sense of belonging e.g. Circle of Friends, buddying/peer mentoring
  • Pre – teach resilience tools and build use into the everyday curriculum e.g. relaxation skills, breathing exercises, visualisation, massage, music, colouring
  • Provide an emotionally secure and safe environment, with good setting/classroom organisation which provides predictability for CYP and consistency of management in all curriculum areas
  • Establishment of routines with predictable sequences and events with preparation for changes that may occur in routine
Displaying difficult or dangerous behaviour
  • Consistently adopt a therapeutic approach e.g. Therapeutic Thinking; understand the basis for the behaviour e.g. what is the history/context? Understand that behaviour is a method of communication i.e. what is the CYP trying to tell us with their behaviour? Have ‘unconditional positive regard’ separating what a CYP has done in the past from the inherent value they possess.
  • Reasonable adjustments are made i.e. settings differentiate for SEMH in the same way that they differentiate for learning
  • Have a flexible approach to a range of different behaviours
  • Be mindful of curriculum topics that might trigger traumatic events. Prepare CYP for these sessions so they can prepare
  • Encourage CYP to freely express ideas and feelings, such as joy, sadness, frustration and fear, enabling CYP to develop strategies to cope with new, challenging or stressful situations
  • Plan targeted support around the identified needs of CYP to develop skills in the areas of social, emotional and behavioural development, for example Circle of Friends intervention (or other support group), to encourage belonging and social skills development
  • Give specific opportunities for adults and supportive peers to model appropriate behaviour responses and attitude/approach to learning
  • Use choices to allow the CYP some control with the same end result e.g. Would you like to talk to me now or in one minute?
  • Establish routines with predictable sequences and events with preparation for changes that may occur in routine
  • Positive behaviour system in place for less structured times of the day and for extra curricula activities with planned intervention for identified CYP
  • Provide opportunities for reparation as close to incidents as possible
  • Relate to the CYP at their emotional/social age rather than their chronological age
  • Allow extra processing time
  • Explicitly empathise as empathy breeds empathy
  • Additional discussions between current and future staff at points of transition
  • On-going, regular communication with parent/carers
  • Regular review of Additional Needs Plan/Support Plan e.g. SEN Support Plan/Individual Behaviour Support Plan, Risk Assessment

Behaviours may reflect:

  • Anxiety / depression
  • Self-harming
  • Substance misuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Understand the basis for the behaviour i.e. unpick the behaviours: negative and positive behaviours – what lies behind them? Consider the history, when did the behaviour start to change?
  • Adopt a multi-professional approach e.g. Educational Psychology Service, School Nurse and other health professionals
  • With a trusted adult identify the issue with the CYP, engaging with them, commenting
  • Liaison and collaboration with home is essential to understand the wider picture – consideration of parental sensitivities and potential triggers
  • Look at guidance specific to self-harm
Physical symptoms that are medically unexplained e.g. soiling, stomach pains
  • Keep a log and analyse pattern or trends to identify triggers
  • Liaise with school nurse and relevant health professionals
Attention difficulties
  • Understanding the reasons, is there a pattern? How can the underlying need be met? e.g. adjustments to the curriculum, differentiation
  • Allow time for frequent movement breaks
  • Provide a clear structure to the day; Establish routines with predictable sequences and events with preparation for changes that may occur in routine
  • Give careful explanations to peers as to why some CYP may need extra help or support for some things or feel upset by a particular thing, to help CYP understand that their needs will be met
  • Be aware of times of the day that may be more difficult
  • Staff working with the CYP to be aware of the reasonable adjustments that are in place for the CYP including individualised adjustments to the behaviour policy
Attachment difficulties
  • Regular liaison with parent/carers to establish a shared understanding of the CYP’s needs and strengths
  • Implement good transition plans, in liaison with parent/carers, when CYP starts at the setting, changes year group etc which includes a hand over between key members of staff
  • Review meetings should coincide with reviewing the Personal Education Plans (PEP) for Looked After Children where possible
  • Maximize opportunities through whole class teaching and where appropriate small groups, to develop: a sense of belonging, esteem, communication skills, listening skills, emotional literacy, resilience, social and emotional aspects of learning, self- awareness, self-organisation and independence, opportunities for taking responsibility, opportunities to take on a role outside of current expertise
  • Supportive, structured curriculum that takes into account the social and emotional needs of the CYP dependent on presentation and nature of needs e.g. different types of attachment
  • All staff trained and aware of CYP with attachment difficulties, how they should respond to them and the reasonable adjustments in place for them including adjustments to the behaviour policy
  • Liaison with the Virtual School for training and advice
Low level disruption or attention seeking behaviours
  • Staff use differentiated voice, gesture and body language
  • Focus on supporting the identified need the behaviour is communicating e.g. reducing anxiety
  • Consistently provide positive reinforcement of expectations using scripts for verbal interactions
  • Use visual prompts to support ideas and understanding
  • Hold on to the CYP’s successes e.g. success books
  • Praise is explicit and meaningful to the CYP and considers their individual presentation and nature of needs
Difficulty in making and maintaining healthy relationships
  • Run nurture groups or intervention set up with Nurture Principles to support personal, social and emotional development
  • Enhanced Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE)/Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) programme and re-enforcement throughout the school day including:
  • Ongoing support for CYP in understanding their right to be kept safe by others
  • Opportunities to explore ways of managing emotions so that CYP don’t hurt themselves or others
  • Opportunities to explore the development of close relationships, enabling the growth of self-assurance and promoting a sense of belonging which allows CYP to explore the world from a secure base
  • A range of differentiated opportunities for social and emotional development e.g. social skills, buddy systems, friendship strategies, circle time, circle of friends
  • Restorative approach is taken including opportunities for reparation as close to incidents as possible
Difficulties following and accepting adult direction
  • Staff understand the reasons and any underlying cause
  • Consistently use positive and/or calming scripts to redirect, reinforce expectations
  • Give specific opportunities for adults and supportive peers to model appropriate behaviour responses and attitude/approach to learning
  • Experiences and tasks are challenging but achievable to engage and motivate
  • Instructions are explicit and concise with limited choices to engage and motivate and supported with the use of visuals e.g. timetables, task planners, timers
  • Reward systems are individualised to motivate the CYP
Presenting as significantly unhappy or stressed
  • Key worker who has a meaningful and genuine relationship with the child supports the CYP including at the start and end of each day
  • A safe space is identified for when a quiet time is needed
  • Regular communication/meetings with the parent/carers to ensure consistency between home and the setting
  • Use of social stories to support understanding of change, new experiences and areas of challenge
Patterns of non- attendance
  • Staff understand the reasons and any underlying cause for non- attendance; monitoring the patterns to identify underlying reasons for attendance
  • Use Assessment for Learning tools to identify the areas of need
  • e.g. underlying learning needs, in consultation with the CYP or observation
  • Feedback is used to collaborate and plan with parent /carers and the CYP, to ensure consistency and communication between the home and the setting

To find out more, please visit our page on:

Sensory and/or Physical Needs

The SEND code of practice describes this as:

"6.34 Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support. Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties. Information on how to provide services for deafblind children and young people is available through the Social Care for Deafblind Children and Adults guidance published by the Department of Health (see the References section under Chapter 6 for a link).

6.35 Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers."

Approaches and Strategies
  • All staff are aware of individual CYP’s sensory/ physical disability and implications in all teaching and learning environments
  • Staff should encourage students to wear appropriate sensory equipment and use physical aids
  • All staff deliver all information in an accessible way
  • Where relevant, staff have an awareness of the specific learning profile of a young person with Down Syndrome
Identified Barrier and/or NeedProvision and/or strategies expected to be made according to the ages and stages of the learners
Hearing Impairment

CYP within this category should make age appropriate progress through high quality, inclusive teaching and learning

  • Specialist advice on strategies and teaching approaches from the Sensory Needs Service (SNS) hearing impaired professional
  • Training from a specialist including how to manage and monitor a CYP’s hearing aids
  • Attention to positioning in class. CYP should be seated no more than two metres from the teacher for instruction i.e. CYP with mild or fluctuating hearing loss may need to lip-read the speaker to supplement their auditory access
  • As required CYP is given additional time to complete tasks
  • Consideration given to the CYP’s access to spoken language in large groups e.g. assemblies or large reverberant rooms e.g. halls and gyms
  • Use of subtitles and or a written script when being shown video clips, DVDs etc.
  • CYP with hearing impairment should not be asked to take notes when they are watching video clips etc.
  • Staff check for understanding of spoken instructions/lesson content
  • Teaching staff repeat the contributions of other CYP as these may be missed
  • Individual/small group intervention to introduce and consolidate new language and concepts
  • A multi-sensory approach including the use of visual aid and contextual clues to support learning; especially important during phonics sessions when CYP are establishing their phoneme- grapheme correlation and may mishear sounds
  • Individual small group intervention to help CYP to accept and manage their hearing loss and develop a positive self-image as a deaf child
  • Individual/ small group intervention to help CYP to manage their hearing impairment and develop a positive self-image
  • Implement good transition plans, in liaison with parent/carers, when CYP starts at a setting, changes year group etc which includes a hand over between key members of staff
  • Some CYP may need sign support in class (usually Sign Supported English but may need British Sign Language)
  • Appropriate safety and evacuation procedures are in place
Vision Impairment

CYP within this category should make age appropriate progress through high quality, inclusive teaching and learning guided by the SNS

  • Specialist advice and training on strategies and teaching approaches from the Sensory Needs Service (SNS) qualified teacher of the visually impaired (QTVI)
  • Direct teaching from SNS to develop specialist skills e.g. touch typing and low visual aids
  • Curriculum differentiated so that content can be accessed, independent of visual impairment; advice from specialist teachers is followed on presentation of curriculum including adult support and use of ICT
  • Delivery of information supported with auditory and tactile approaches where appropriate e.g. give oral descriptions of visual materials
  • Adaptation of printed resources
  • Additional time is given to complete tasks if needed
  • Attention to layout of classroom and positioning in class dependent on the CYP’s best visual field and as advised by SNS. Lighting is considered in all environments including extra curricula;
  • CYP may need support from an adult to understand social situations and with their social interactions
  • Advice and support for mobility, orientation and independence skills
  • Health, safety and risk management undertaken re visual impairment e.g. practical lessons, trips and extra curricula activities
  • Individual/small group intervention to help CYP to manage their visual impairment and develop a positive self-image
  • Implement good transition plans, in liaison with parent/carers, when CYP starts at the setting, changes year group etc which includes a hand over between key members of staff
Physical Disability
  • All staff involved are aware of the nature of the physical or neurological difficulty and linked learning and/or access requirements
  • All staff understand the impact of pain and fatigue may have on a CYP ability to concentrate, process information and their well being
  • Curriculum is differentiated to meet the needs of the CYP with moderate physical and neurological difficulties
  • Access to adapted ICT hardware and recording software
  • Access is provided to a variety of strategies and personalised low-tech resources e.g. writing slope, modified scissors; resources are chosen that limit the need for manipulation
  • Access is maximised for teaching approaches which involve visual and practical resources
  • Layout of the classroom/environment allows easy access to seat, resources and allows social interactions
  • Opportunities to record information in a variety of ways; written recording demands are reduced
  • Regular rest breaks reduce mental and physical fatigue
  • Appropriate seating and seating placement are considered
  • Additional support for self-care is provided when required/requested
  • Setting environment has adapted safety/support resources
  • Staff have relevant moving and handling training
Severe and complex medical needs including a life- threatening diagnosis or condition
  • Reasonable adjustments in line with the Equality Act 2010 are implemented
  • Staff liaise with specialist colleagues and receive relevant, up to date training including medication/care training
  • Individual health care plan followed by staff which is monitored and reviewed with specialists and parent/carers regularly
  • Support equipment is provided such as lockable medicine cabinets, first aid bags, fridges
  • Staff receive bereavement training and follow clear policies
  • Regular home setting contact to support the family’s well-being and when/if the CYP is not in the setting to maintain ‘sense of belonging’ with peers and setting community
Physical sensitivity including hyper and hypo responses and possible Sensory Processing difficulties
  • Staff work together with other professionals including occupational therapists to share strategies and advice to support the CYP’s sensory diet
  • Adjustments made to the environment as indicated by the audit of the environment e.g. individual work-stations – see section one
  • Access to interventions to support sensory regulation e.g. Sensory Circuits
  • Staff training provides knowledge and understanding on supporting CYP with Sensory Processing Difficulties
  • Intervention to develop the CYP’s self-regulation and resilience e.g. Zones of regulation
Sensitivity to sensory stimuli
  • Provide sensory breaks
  • In liaison with parent/carers and the CYP reasonable adjustments are made regarding the uniform policy
  • Consideration is given to the environment e.g. noise, room temperature, visual stimuli, proximity
  • Flexible approach to transitions e.g. between lessons and to and from the setting to avoid busier times
  • Access to a safe space

The SEN Matrix

The East Sussex SEN Matrix is a framework drawn up by the Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (ISEND) Service in collaboration with staff working in educational settings across the county, Children’s Integrated Therapy Services (CITS) and parents and carers.

It is designed to:

For more information, please click the link below:


To view the Universally Available Provision document, please follow this link:


Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms

Some of the terms used on this website are explained on our page, 'Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms':


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