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Special educational needs and disabilities in education

If your child has a special educational need, this can be met either in a mainstream school with extra support, or in a special school.

How schools help pupils with SEND

Schools in Hertfordshire must support pupils with special educational needs or disabilities by:

  • improving access to day-to-day education

  • ensuring better access to information for both children and parents

  • making sure the admissions process is fair.

Schools also have the opportunity to follow Hertfordshire’s preferred approach to supporting positive behaviour management in schools, Hertfordshire Steps. The Steps approach forms part of the county wide behaviour strategy which has been agreed through the SEND Executive.

There are two levels of school staff training for Hertfordshire Steps. 

Step-On is a generic, early intervention course that develops practitioners’ knowledge, skills and understanding of managing difficult behaviour before, during and after a crisis.  It includes some simple de-escalation and everyday handling techniques.  It is important that as many of the staff as possible are trained in Step-On from the outset, as it requires a whole-school approach.

Step-Up is a bespoke course that develops practitioners’ specific knowledge, skills and understanding of managing behaviour that may become harmful before, during and after a crisis, and includes practical techniques of physical intervention.  The training is planned on the basis of auditing the particular needs of the individual, school or setting.

There are accredited Steps tutors in all of the County’s special schools, Primary Support Bases, and Education Support Centres, as well as within the Integrated Services for Learning Early Years teams and in further education colleges

Find out more

All our schools also publish their Special Education Needs Information report on their website. Find a school in our schools directory.

How we expect schools to support students with SEND - our Quality SEND Offer

Read our SEND Accessibility Strategy which sets out how we make sure all education settings are accessible.

Every school must have a school accessibility plan, which shows how they plan to improve accessibility for special educational needs pupils, and by when these improvements will be made. In order to prepare the plan a school must first undertake an Access Audit. This template helps schools do this.

Special schools in Hertfordshire (State schools)

Special schools cater for students who have special educational needs due to severe learning difficulties, physical disabilities or behavioural problems.

They may be specifically designed, staffed and resourced to provide appropriate special education for children with additional needs.

Find Special Schools in Hertfordshire.

Home to school transport

There are particular ways school transport works for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities.

Read more about school transport for those with SEND.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCo)

These are teachers who advise their schools on the best ways to identify and help children with extra needs. They work closely with families.

Every school should have a SENCo.

Independent schools

Independent schools support children with special educational needs and disabilities too.

View a list of approved independent special schools (part of Section 41 of the Children and Families Act).

Moving on from school

We've put together documents that can help young people and their families address moving on from school, so that they can plan ahead and make informed decisions.

Read our documents.

About Me: a profile for young people with SEND

We've created a template for schools and colleges to get the key information they need to be able to work with young people with SEND appropriately and effectively.

Find the About me documents.