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New SEND guidance for school nurses released

The government has released new guidance on supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The guide to the SEND Code of Practice highlighted health professionals' roles in supporting staff in identifying and planning for SEN and disabilities in schools and colleges and in supporting those with medical conditions.

SEND can affect a child or young person's ability to learn, as well as their behaviour or ability to socialise, ability to understand things, concentration levels, eg because they have ADHD, and physical ability.

Health professionals will need to work with the SEN co-ordinator (SENCO) and/or class teacher to consider appropriate equipment, strategies and interventions in order to support the child's progress and build self-esteem and confidence, the guidance said.

“They can be involved at any point for help or advice on the best way to support a student with SEN or disabilities. Colleges should have a named person with oversight of SEN provision to ensure co-ordination of support, similar to the role of the SENCO in schools.”

To support schools in identifying SEN there are four broad areas of need:

• Communication and interaction.

• Cognition and learning.

• Social, emotional and mental health, and.

• Sensory and/or physical needs.

Additionally, health professionals should be involved in drawing up individual healthcare plans, which will specify the type and level of support required to meet the medical needs of pupils with medical conditions.

The guidance also mentioned the importance of coordination and clear pathways, with CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services), therapists and paediatricians, and a quick referral process.

See the full report here.