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Education (Local Offer)

Education for children with Special Educational Needs

Children with Special Educational Needs may need extra help because of a range of needs, such as in thinking and understanding, physical or sensory difficulties, emotional and behavioural difficulties, or difficulties with speech and language or how they relate to and behave with other people.

Many children will have Special Educational Needs of some kind at some time during their education. Schools and other organisations can help most children overcome the barriers their difficulties present quickly and easily, but a few children will need extra help for some or all of their time in school.  In Peterborough we have 67 primary and secondary schools, and a further 10 special schools or pupil referral units.  

"In year" transfers from one school to another within the same local authority for children with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) should be done via the Statutory Assessment and Monitoring (SAM) Service, not the admissions service. You can contact the SAM Service on 01733 863733 or by email to

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

Information on COVID-19 support can be found on the Local Offer COVID-19 - Information page and the SEN and Inclusion Services COVID-19 Support page. 

Local support groups can be found by using the search term 'COVID-19' in the search box at the top of the page.

What does the term special educational needs mean?

Children engaging in craft at school

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

What can I expect from a school or educational setting?

Children playing sport

Every school is required to identify and meet the learning needs of every child in their school, including those learners identified as having a special educational need or those with a disability.

At school, most children will make progress with the support of their class teacher through the school’s arrangements known as SEN Support.  School governing bodies are required to publish detailed information about their arrangements for identifying, assessing and making provision for pupils with SEN. This must be school-specific and describe a school’s arrangements for providing a graduated response to children’s SEN.

For the small number of children with complex/severe needs who do not make enough progress despite intervention from the school, it may be necessary for a statutory assessment of the child’s special educational needs to be undertaken by the Statutory Assessment and Monitoring Service (SAMS).

‘Mainstream schools’ are maintained schools and academies (that are not special schools); maintained nursery schools, 16 to 19 year old academies and Pupil Referral Units.

Mainstream schools must:

  • Use their best endeavours to make sure that a child with SEN gets the support they need – this means doing everything they can to meet children and young people’s special educational needs
  • Ensure that children and young people with SEN engage in the activities of the school alongside pupils who do not have SEN
  • Designate a teacher to be responsible for co-ordinating SEN provision (the SEN co-ordinator, or SENCo)
  • Inform parents when they are making special educational provision for a child
  • Prepare an SEN information report and their arrangements for the admission of disabled children, the steps being taken to prevent disabled children from being treated less favourably than others, the facilities provided to enable access to the school for disabled children and their accessibility plan showing how they plan to improve access progressively over time.

So what is it like to be a young person with SEND in mainstream school?

The video Below was made by The Unstoppables to share their reflections and experiences of mainstream education in Somerset.

The Unstoppables share their reflections and experiences of mainstream education in Somerset.

SEN Support

Schoolboy smiling

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

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

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Hubs

School children eating their lunch at school

What are the Peterborough SEND Hubs?

Peterborough has established a network of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities hubs, known as SEND hubs. Each hub is commissioned by Peterborough City Council and is hosted by a Peterborough education setting.

Each hub has a specific SEND focus area.

All hubs are commissioned to raise the quality of support for all children and young people with SEND in Peterborough Local Authority and to promote the “SEND is Everybody’s Business” approach. The hubs do this by:

• Modelling high quality inclusion, and whole school approaches particularly in their SEND focus area

• Offering training to support children and young people in Peterborough settings

• Offering general advice and bespoke “peer to peer” support to other Peterborough settings • Sign posting to and/or lending resources

• Working in partnership with Peterborough Local Authority to promote inclusion strategies

SEND hubs do not offer formal assessments of children and young people.

The SEND hubs can offer support to settings beyond their own setting age range.

There are a limited number of places in the hubs for children and young people with particular types of SEND to be directly supported by the school / hub. These places are allocated by the SEND Panel as part of the Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment process. For full details please see the Assessment and EHC Plan page of the Local Offer.

SEND hub report and appendix for the period 2016 - 2019

Peterborough Specialist Hub Network, Review of progress and plans for the future.

APPENDIX A: Examples of good practice and innovation.

Where are the SEND hubs and what do they offer?

Details of the Peterborough SEND hubs and their focus area are below. If you contact the school for SEND support for your setting please ask for the SEND hub manager.

View a map of special schools and hub in Peterborough by clicking on this link.

Send focus Areas - Autism

Welbourne Primary Academy 

Tel 01733 576642


view website

Nene Park Academy

Tel 01733 368300


view website

Ken Stimpson Community School

Tel 01733 765 950

Email or

view website

Does the local authority offer placements at these hubs?


SEND in the Early Years

Caverstede Nursery School

Tel 01733 571742


view website

Does the local authority offer placements at this hub?


Hearing Impairment (Deafness)

Middleton Primary School

Tel 01733 262696

Email  office

view website

St John Fisher Catholic High School

Tel 01733 343 646

Email enquiries@stjohnfisherschool.or

view website

Does the local authority offer placements at these hubs?


Moderate Learning Difficulties


Tel 01733 568058


view website

Does the local authority offer placements at this hub?


Physical Disabilities

Ormiston Meadows Academy

Tel 01733 231 008


view website

Jack Hunt School

Tel 01733 263526


view website

Does the local authority offer placements at these hubs?


Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Nenegate School

Tel 01733 349438


view website

Ormiston Bushfield Academy

Tel 01733 233014


view website

Does the local authority offer placements at this hub?

Yes - Nenegate school, No - Ormiston Bushfield Academy

Specific Learning Difficulties

Thomas Deacon Academy

Tel 01733 426060


view website

Does the local authority offer placements at this hub?


Speech, Language and Communication Needs


Tel 01733 562873

Email hub@southfields.peterborough.s

view website

Does the local authority offer placements at this hub?


Vision Impairment

Arthur Mellows Village College

Tel 01733252235


view website

Does the local authority offer placements at this hub?



Post 16 Education Offer

Peterborough Post 16 Education Offer 2021-22 - For any young adults who are transitioning to college this academic year and have not decided on a place this may help.

Mencap’s Traineeship Programme

Mencap’s Traineeship Programme supports young people with a learning disability or autism, aged 19 – 24, to develop the skills and experience needed to find a job. This could be paid work or an apprenticeship.

View their leaflet Mencap’s Traineeship Programme:trainee’s guide which is published on their website.

You need to:

  • be aged 19 to 24 (but you don’t need to have an Education, Health and Care Plan)
  • have no qualifications above level 3
  • have a learning disability, learning difficulty or autism
  • want to find a job or move onto an apprenticeship.

This programme is available in Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.

They have plans to start programmes in Summer 2021 in: 

  • Bristol
  • Peterborough

(view more details on their website page What is a traineeship?

  • Somerset
  • Warwickshire
  • London.

How do I take part?

If you are interested in this programme, please fill in this online form and we will contact you when we have an opportunity to offer.

Or you can contact Hiba Momen by emailing


Admissions Guidance for Peterborough Special Schools

Children at school

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

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

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 form.

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

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.

Funding for SEN

Funding for SEN

Arrangements for funding educational provision for pupils and students with high needs were introduced in 2013 for maintained schools and academies. Funding for all high needs pupils in mainstream schools and academies is broken down into 3 main elements.

Element 1 - the basic entitlement

This is the basic amount funded to the school for each pupil and varies between primary and secondary schools.

Element 2 - additional need funding

Part of the overall school budget is classified as the notional Special Educational Needs budget. It is from this budget that mainstream schools and academies are required to put in place support for all children with SEN and to contribute the first £6,000 (equivalent to approximately 11.8 hours teaching assistant time per week).

Element 3 - top up funding

Where the cost of additional support is more than £6,000, the council will provide funding from their high needs block. The level of need is agreed by the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities panel and funding is provided to the school for that pupil.

Although academies receive their main funding directly from the Education Funding Agency, the top-up funding (element 3) is still the responsibility of the council.

Defining high needs

Children and young people with high needs are those who need educational provision that costs more in total, including the provision given to all pupils, than about £10,000 per year. This threshold defines the level of need that would be expected to be met through mainstream funding and those for whom additional funding is required.

Post-16 students with special educational needs

Like academies, all post-16 providers receive their main funding directly from the Education Funding Agency. However, the funding for students with special educational needs follows the same principles as for mainstream schools and academies.

They will receive:

Element 1 – core funding for each student calculated by a national 16 to 19 funding system
Element 2 – an allocation of up to £6,000 to support identified students with special educational needs based on agreed numbers
Element 3 – top-up funding from the council to meet the agreed needs of individual pupils placed with them who require additional support.

This funding applies to:

  • Mainstream school sixth forms
  • Sixth form colleges
  • Post-16 in special schools
  • Colleges of further education
  • Specialist colleges
  • Other providers such as training providers
  • Out of area post-16 providers

Independent Special Schools and Colleges

Section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014 allows the Secretary of State by order to publish a list of approved independent educational institutions, independent special schools and post-16 institutions for the purposes of satisfying Section 38 (Preparation of an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan by local authorities) of the Act. Institutions can only be included on the list with their consent.

The Children and Families Act places specific duties upon institutions on the approved list:

  • Institutions on the approved list must "have regard" to the SEN Code of Practice;
  • Institutions on the approved list have a reciprocal duty to co-operate with the local authority on arrangements for children and young people with SEN;
  • local authorities’ published local offer must refer to the institutions on the approved list;
  • Specific duties and rights relating to admissions, in line with maintained schools, Academies, FE colleges and non-maintained special schools:

A child or young person has a right to request that an institution on the approved list is named in their EHC Plan;

  • If the institution is named in an EHC Plan, the local authority is under a qualified duty to secure a place;
  • If the institution is named in an EHC Plan, the institution must admit the pupil or young person.

The Government produces a list each term of the approved independent special institutions who have specific duties to work with the council in relation to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

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. Find out more on the Home Education page on the Peterborough City Council website.

Youth Custody

Professionals at a desk discussing a report

The Local Authority (LA) will promote the fulfilment of detained young people's learning potential whilst they are in custody and on their release.  The LA will use the EHC plan to actively monitor progress towards outcomes.  The LA and Youth Offending Service will prepare for release of the young person by reviewing their educational progress and their continuing special educational and health needs.

The LA will keep the EHC plan while the detained young person is in custody and will review it as soon as possible on release.

Support will be available to young people who are being released from custody. On the day of release from custody, they will report to the Youth Offending Service office, where their educational needs will be reviewed, linking to any agreement made whilst the young person was serving a custodial sentence and ensuring agreed provisions are in place.

Support to engage with provision being offered will be given by either the Youth Offending Service case manager or the Youth Offending Service Education, Training and Employment Officer or both to maximise the young person’s opportunity and ability to engage with the education, training or employment provision offered. The level of support provided will depend on the young person’s assessed needs and wishes.

Complaints and Mediation

Two ladies looking at a booklet

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 Appeals, Mediation and Complaints page.

Educational Psychology Service

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

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

Alternative Provision Census

The Alternative Provision Census is a statutory return that Local Authorities are required to send to the Department for Education on an annual basis.

The census covers pupils attending a school not maintained by an local authority for whom the authority is paying full tuition fees, or educated otherwise than in schools and pupil referral units, under arrangements made (and funded) by the authority.

Click here to view the webpage for the Alternative provision census information

Special Provision Capital Fund Plan

Local authorities must ensure there are sufficient good school places for all pupils, including those with SEN and disabilities. The Government has committed £215 million of capital funding to help local authorities create new school places and improve existing facilities for children and young people with SEN and disabilities, in consultation with parents and providers. This capital is not ring-fenced and local authorities can use it as they see fit to improve special provision for children and young people with education, health and care plans. This funding can be invested in mainstream schools and academies, special units, special schools, early years settings and further education colleges, or to make other provision for children and young people aged from 0 to 25.

Local authorities can invest their share of the special provision capital fund in:

  • Creating new (additional) places at good or outstanding provision
  • Improving facilities or developing new facilities

This can be through: 

  • Expansion(s) to existing provision including at the same site or at a different site.
  • Reconfiguring provision to make available the space for the additional places or facilities.
  • Re-purposing areas so that they meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • Other capital transactions that result in new (additional) places or facilities’ improvements.
  • Investing in provision that is located in another local authority where this supports providing good outcomes for children in their area.

The Government requires local authorities to complete and publish a short plan that sets out how they intend to invest their allocation, which is visible to parents, carers and other local groups. You can also view the published input form.

The plan for local authorities’ SEND capital provision allocations should sit coherently with their wider plan. 

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

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

Easy links to the SENCO Network and SEND resources pages

SEN and Inclusion Services Brochure - A Guide to our Services 2020/21

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 SEND Partnership Service Information, Advice and Support (SENDPS),

• 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 this guide