Chapter seven of the SEN and Disability Code of Practice 2015 (the “Code”) contains the statutory guidance in relation to further education colleges, sixth form colleges, 16 – 19 academies and some independent specialist colleges to identify, assess and provide support for young people with SEN.

Young people should be supported to participate in discussions about their aspirations, their needs, and the support that they think will help them best. Support should be aimed at promoting student independence and enabling the young person to make good progress towards employment and/or higher education, independent living, good health and participating in the community.

SEN Support should follow a cycle of action:

  • Assess: Colleges should bring together all the relevant information from the student, the school and anyone else working with the student. This should be discussed with the student, who can be accompanied by a parent, advocate or other supporter.
  • Plan: A support plan should be developed with the student. Support might include assistive technology, specialist tuition, note takers, access to therapies (for example, speech and language therapy) or a range of other types of support.
  • Do: This plan should be put into place by the college.
  • Review: The effectiveness of the support should be reviewed regularly, taking into account the student’s progress and any changes to the student’s own ambitions and aspirations, which may lead to changes in the type and level of their support.

External specialist help can be involved at any time, and should always be involved where the student’s needs are not being met by the interventions put in place.

A record should be kept of the support provided and the student’s progress.

Where, despite the college having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify and meet the student’s needs, the student is still not making expected progress, the college or the young person should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.