Somerset Core Standards for SEND (0-25 years)


The Core Standards for SEND have been set up to give parents and education settings clear guidance about what should be on offer for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND). The core standards explain about what is available at a universal level (for everyone) and at a targeted level (for some children and young people who need greater support). The Core Standards have been developed with the Parent Carer Forum, Young People's Champions, Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Further Education Leaders.


The Core Standards are divided up into different sections depending on the needs of the child. For example; there are 4 categories for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN).


Special Educational Needs (SEN) Categories  


Communicating and interacting – Children and young people have speech, language and communication difficulties which make it difficult for them to make sense of language or to understand how to communicate effectively and appropriately with others.


Cognition and learning – Children and young people learn at a slower pace than others their age, have difficulty in understanding parts of the curriculum, have difficulties with organisation and memory skills, or have a specific difficulty affecting one particular part of their learning performance such as in literacy or numeracy.


Social, emotional and mental health difficulties – Children and young people have difficulty in managing their relationships with other people, are withdrawn, or they behave in ways that may hinder their and other children’s learning or have an impact on their health and wellbeing.


Sensory and/or physical needs – Children and young people with visual and/or hearing impairments, or a physical need that means they must have additional ongoing support and equipment.

Some children and young people may have SEN that covers more than one of these areas.


Find Out More

For a full breakdown of what the standards mean for you child or young person go to:

What to Expect from Education 


Education, Health and Care Plans

An education, health and care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support.


EHC plans identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs

A request can also be made by anyone else who thinks an assessment may be necessary, including doctors, health visitors, teachers, parents and family friends.


If they decide to carry out an assessment you may be asked for:

  • any reports from your child’s school, nursery or childminder
  • doctors’ assessments of your child
  • a letter from you about your child’s needs

A Ruth Hobbs, from the Somerset Parent Carer Forum, explains about an Education Health and Care Plan