How Suffolk SENDIASS can help you

Suffolk SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service) is a confidential and impartial information, advice and support service on issues related to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).

It is free, easy to access and confidential. We can help children, parents and young people take part in decisions that affect their lives.

We offer information, advice and support to:

  • Children and young people (up to 25 years) with SEND
  • Parents and carers of children with SEND
  • Practitioners (who might support children, young people or parents to access our service)

You can also see our latest news and upcoming events, read more about us or contact us directly. 

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What is a Special Educational Need?

The SEND Code of Practice says:

"A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions" 

Special Educational Provision is educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for other children or young people of the same age.

A child or young person may not necessarily have a learning difficulty but may still meet the definition SEN due to their disability.

What is a disability?

According to the Equality Act 2010, a person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment, which has a long-term and substantial adverse affect on their ability to carry our normal day-to-day activities.

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These are the four broad areas of need, a full description of each can be found in the SEND Code of Practice:

  • communication and interaction
  • cognition and learning
  • social, emotional and mental health
  • sensory and/or physical needs

For example, a child may suffer with high anxiety or sensory impairments. These barriers to learning may mean that a child or young person has additional support (Special Educational Provision), known as SEN Support.

You can find out more about this within our information and advice pages.

Support for SEN is not dependent on a medical diagnosis.