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Education (Local Offer)

Education for children with Special Educational Needs

Looking for EHCP information?  Go to our Assessment and Education Health and Care Plans webpage

Children with Special Educational Needs may need extra help. They have a range of needs including:

  • thinking and understanding
  • physical or sensory difficulties
  • emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • difficulties with speech and language
  • how they relate to and behave with other people

Many children will have Special Educational Needs during their education. Schools and other organisations can help most children, but a small number of children will need extra help.

Does your child have an Education Health and Care Plan? Are they transferring from one school to another within Peterborough? This is not managed through the Admissions Service. You need to contact the Statutory Assessment and Monitoring (SAM) Service. You can contact the SAM Service on 01733 863733 or by email on

You may well have heard the term Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP). You can find more information about these plans on our Assessment and Education, Health and Care Plans webpage

SEN and Inclusion Services Brochure - A Guide to our Services 2022/23

Welcome to the SEN and Inclusion (SENI) Services

The SEN and Inclusion Services consists of:

• Specialist Teaching Services (including the Autism / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Advisory Teaching Service (AATS), and the Sensory and Physical Support Service (for Hearing and/or Vision impairment and Physical Disabilities),

• the Educational Psychology Service (EPS),

• the Early Years SEND Specialist and Portage Service,

• the Local Area SENI Support Service

• the Statutory Assessment and Monitoring Service (SAMS).

Each of our services has a specific remit to help our children and young people to achieve their potential and overcome barriers their additional needs may present to them and their educational settings.

Our contact details can be found in the Special Educational Needs Inclusion (SENI) Services guide 2022/23

Peterborough SEN & Inclusion Services and SEND Hub Training

Further details

You can find details on Peterborough SEN & Inclusion Services and SEND Hub Training for parents and professionals, by visiting our Peterborough SEND Training page. 

You can find details on Peterborough Resources for SEND Professionals by visiting our Resources for SEND Professionals page 

Autism Advisory Teacher Service

The Autism Advisory Teacher Service is a school based service and works with children and young people aged 4 years to 19 years who have a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Diagnosis (ASD).

You can find out more about the Autism Advisory Teacher Service and Autism on the AUTISM webpage

What does the term special educational needs mean?

Children engaging in craft at school

Learning difficulties or disabilities

A child of compulsory school age or young person will have special educational needs (SEN) if they have a learning difficulty or disability which means that they:

  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
  • have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions

This definition is set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice: 0-25 years (2015). You can find out more about the SEND Code by going to the GOV.UK website.

SEN can be characterised by a range of needs and difficulties, children and young people with SEN may have problems with;

  • physical or mental impairments
  • concentration levels
  • ability to read or write
  • behaviour or ability to socialise
  • ability to understand things

SEN Support

Schoolboy smiling

Additional support

Every child with special educational needs should have SEN support. This means help that is additional to or different from the support generally given to other children of the same age. 

The purpose of SEN support is to help children achieve the outcomes or learning objectives set for them by the school.  Schools should involve parents in this process. 

Every school must publish a SEN information report about the SEN provision the school makes on their own website. You can also ask your child’s teacher or the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) for information on the SEN provision made by the school.

Who decides what SEN support my child has?

The school should decide if your child needs SEN support. The school should talk to you and your child about this. If a young person is 16 or older the school should involve them directly. Sometimes you may be the first to be aware that your child has some special educational needs. If you think your child may need SEN support you should talk to your child’s teacher or to the SENCo. If you are not happy about the support your child has you can ask to talk to the SENCo or headteacher. You can also find out more contacting the SEND Partnership Service.

When your child is identified with SEN, the school should use a graduated approach based on four steps. These are Assess, Plan, Do and Review.


Teaching staff should work with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator to assess your child’s needs, so that they give the right support. They should involve you in this and, where possible, seek your child’s views. Sometimes schools will seek advice from a specialist teacher or a health professional. They should talk to you about this first.


If the school decides that your child needs SEN support it must tell you. The school should talk with you about the outcomes that will be set, what help will be provided and agree a date for progress to be reviewed. 


Your child’s class or subject teacher is usually responsible for the work that is done with your child, and should work closely with any teaching assistants or specialist staff involved. The school should tell you who is responsible for the support your child receives.  All those who work with your child should be made aware of their needs and support agreed.


The school should review your child’s progress, and the difference that the help your child has been given has made, on the date agreed in the plan. You and your child should be involved in the review and in planning the next step.  Sometimes it helps to involve other professionals in further assessment or to support planning the next steps.

If your child has not made reasonable progress it will be important to agree with the school what should happen next. You and the school can look at the Local Offer to see what support is available that could help achieve your child’s outcomes.

SEN Support - what does it mean for your children - A video by Nasen

This link takes you to a video - SEN Support - what does it mean for your children

The video is of a webinar hosted by the charity organisation, National Association of Special Educational Needs (nasen) and posted on YouTube.

It addresses 3 key questions,:

  • What is SEND legislation and what does it mean for your children?
  • How do schools identify and support pupils with SEND?
  • How should parents be involved in this process?

Assessment and Education, Health and Care plans

Further information

You may well have heard the term Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP). You can find more information about these plans on our Assessment and Education, Health and Care Plans webpage

Admissions Guidance for Peterborough Special Schools

Children at school

Appropriate placements

Peterborough special schools provide appropriate placements for children and young people with the most significant needs and who require a curriculum which is wrapped around them so that they can engage in learning.

There are overlaps between the provision of services in some of the Peterborough special schools to enable the right of parents to express a choice for a type of school (including a mainstream school).

Peterborough recognises the 'presumption' of mainstream outlined in the Code of Practice. However, for some children and young people the combination of their needs and current context suggests the appropriateness of a special school placement.

The Local Authority is responsible for the decision to place a child or young person in a special school.  A provision panel with a multi-professional membership considers individual children or young people with a statement or Education Health and Care Plan where a special school placement is requested and advises the Local Authority.

Children and young people who are successful in a specialist setting may return to a mainstream setting at any time, following appropriate review of their statement of SEN/EHCP.  However it is especially important to consider mainstream options at times of transition, e.g. transfer between primary and secondary phases.

Detailed guidance for making the decision about whether a child or young person would be appropriately placed in a particular special school is available to download

Request for involvement of Specialist Teachers and Portage Service

Updated Request for Involvement Form

The SEN and Inclusion Services have updated the Request for Involvement form, responding to feedback from education settings and partners.

View the Request for Involvement form. Please note that this is a word document and doesn't open in a new window like a pdf document. Instead it downloads to your computer. Check your downloads folder to open the document.

Education Settings (nurseries, schools and academies) can request the support of the Specialist Teaching Services including:

  • Advisory teachers for ADHD and Autism
  • Specialist teachers for children and young people with vision, hearing or multi sensory impairment
  • Specialist teachers for children and young people with physical disabilities
  • Portage Service (for Early Years children)

Through the Request for Involvement formPlease note that this is a word document and doesn't open in a new window like a pdf document. Instead it downloads to your computer. Check your downloads folder to open the document.

The form must be signed by the Headteacher / Lead practitioner in the setting and submitted to

The request will be reviewed by the SEN and Inclusion Services Management Team in order to ensure the most appropriate service responds in a timely manner.

If the matter is urgent, please contact SEN and Inclusion Services directly (the contact details available on Peterborough Local Offer).

For further information please contact or 01733 863702



SEN Information Report

report to parents written on paper

Yearly report

Schools are required to produce a SEN Information Report every year.  The report
must include:

  • the kinds of SEN that are provided for
  • policies for identifying children and young people with SEN and assessing their needs, including the name and contact details of the SENCO (in mainstream schools)
  • arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEN and involving them in their child’s education
  • arrangements for consulting young people with SEN and involving them in their education
  • arrangements for assessing and reviewing children and young people’s progress towards outcomes. This should include the opportunities available to work with parents and young people as part of this assessment and review
  • arrangements for supporting children and young people in moving between phases of education and in preparing for adulthood. As young people prepare for adulthood, outcomes should reflect their ambitions, which could include higher education, employment, independent living and participation in society
  • the approach to teaching children and young people with SEN
  • how adaptations are made to the curriculum and the learning environment of children and young people with SEN
  • the expertise and training of staff to support children and young people with SEN, including how specialist expertise will be accessed
  • evaluating the effectiveness of the provision made for children and young people with SEN
  • how children and young people with SEN are enabled to engage in activities available with children and young people in the school who do not have SEN
    support for improving emotional and social development. This should include extra pastoral support arrangements for listening to the views of children and young people with SEN and measures to prevent bullying
  • how the school involves other bodies, including health and social care, local authority support services and voluntary sector organisations, in meeting children and young people’s SEN and supporting their families
  • arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with SEN about the provision made at the school

It should also include arrangements for supporting children and young people who are looked after by the local authority and have SEN.

SEN Home to School Transport

Girl in wheelchair in school library


Travel assistance is not automatically given because a child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, and many children with special educational needs and disabilities travel to school without special provision.

However, some children with specific needs will require additional support, often for an agreed period of time and in such cases we will arrange transport to meet the specific needs of the students.  This might include various forms of transport including public transport, taxi, minibus, wheelchair accessible vehicle and bus/coach. 

See our school transport page for more information.


Home Education

Although most children are educated in a school, some people choose alternative education for their children. This is usually by opting to educate their children themselves, in the family home. This type of education must still be efficient and suitable for your child.

Special educational needs (home education)

  • If your child has special educational needs you have an equal right to home educate.  However, if your child currently attends a special school his/her name cannot be removed from the roll of that school without the agreement of the Local Authority.
  • If a child who is home educated has an Education, health and care plan (EHCP), the Local Authority remains responsible for ensuring that the child’s needs are met and are under a duty to maintain the child’s statement and to review it annually.
  • It may be appropriate, once it is established that a child’s special educational needs are being met without any additional support from the Council, to review the EHCP.
  • If the home education which the parents are providing falls short of meeting the child’s needs, as identified in the EHCP, then this education would not be deemed “suitable”.
  • If, after a period given to address the concerns, the education is still considered not suitable, you will be asked to send/return your child to school.
  • If you fail to do so a School Attendance Order may be served.
  • If you are educating your child at home and feel he/she has special educational needs you may ask the Council to carry out a statutory assessment (or reassessment) for an EHCP.

You can also find out more on the Home Education page on the Peterborough City Council website.

Complaints and Mediation

Two ladies looking at a booklet

Unhappy about certain decisions?

If parents or young people are unhappy about certain decisions made by the Local
Authority, they have a right to appeal. This would include the following areas:

  • not carrying out an EHC needs assessment
  • not issuing an EHC plan
  • content of a final or amended EHC plan
  • decision not to amend an EHC plan
  • cease an EHC plan
  • placement named in a plan

More information can be found on the following two pages:

Resolving disagreements about an Education Health and Care Plan

Compliments and complaints 


Educational Psychology Service

Thought bubble drawn on a blackboard with a lightbulb in the thought bubble

Specialist training and qualifications

The Educational Psychology Service is for children and young people aged 0 to 25. All of the Educational Psychologists (EPs) we employ are registered with the Health Care Professions Council and have specialist training and qualifications in Child Development, Psychology and Education.

You can see more on our Educational Psychology Service page

Feedback from the Local Government Association SEND Peer Review


Peterborough City Council approached the Local Government Association (LGA) to undertake a peer review of our special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) services, in order to assist the system in its preparations for a Joint Ofsted / CQC inspection.  The peer review was undertaken in October 2018. The Council received a robust report from this review including the following highlights:

  • The team saw strong leadership around the SEND agenda, which is clearly a priority for the senior leadership team. It is equally apparent that there is also a commitment from council officers, councillors and school governors to progress the SEND reform agenda. The push from senior leaders has enabled partners to ‘come around the table’.

  • Partners are engaged and committed to making SEND everyone’s business. The review team saw examples of good collaboration and a collective problem solving approach has been employed to resolve challenges and establish specific initiatives.

  • There has also been an increase in pace over the last two years. There is a rigour and energy to drive progress and a collaborative approach is producing improvements.

  • Staff are passionate and dedicated, with a strong team ethos, across the whole partnership. Staff work positively together to maximise the local offer.

  • We prioritise the voice of parents, carers, children and young people and we saw how this is being weaved into strategic planning.

  • We are increasing our collaboration and joint working with Cambridgeshire County Council. This is producing synergies and learning for both authorities. As yet the desired end point of this journey is yet to be defined.

  • Demographic and other data suggests changing patterns of need and increasing demand at a time when financial pressures on all partners are increasing. It will be a challenge to meet these competing trajectories.

  • Developing our approach to the use of data; we have good sources of data which could be used more effectively by including consideration of 'softer' intelligence.

  • Co-production is an evident priority and was consistently referenced by a range of stakeholders but there are inconsistencies in understanding and application of the term.

These recommendations will be incorporated into the Joint Cambridgeshire and Peterborough SEND Strategy Action Plan for monitoring.  The Joint SEND Executive Board will monitor progress.

Information from neighbouring authorities

Image of a school

Interested in finding out about schools in neighbouring local authorities?

If you are interested in finding out about schools in neighbouring local authorities, included here are links to Local Offers nearby.

Cambridgeshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council

Northamptonshire County Council

Leicestershire County Council

Independent special schools and colleges

The Government produces lists of approved independent educational institutions, independent special schools and post-16 institutions (Section 41 Secretary Approved List) and non-maintained special schools and independent schools.

These can be found on GOV UK.