Definition of SEND

The Special Education and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years (January 2015) states:


‘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’


The definition of disability in the Equality Act (2010) states children with ‘…a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term (more than 12 months) and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. This includes children with sensory impairments as well as long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and cancer.


It also states that schools must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services, to ensure that disabled children and young people are not at a substantial disadvantage compared with their peers.


You can find out more at:


pages 15-16