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Getting Extra Help

This page provides an introduction to getting extra help at school

Extra help in school

Your child’s school may decide that they have special educational needs because they need more or different help from other children.

The school must tell you about this and involve you at every stage. You should be told about any extra help your child is given.

School Action

To start with, the school will probably provide extra help at School Action. Your child’s class teacher will involve the Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at the school. The SENCO will be responsible for planning and monitoring but day-to-day teaching will be carried out by individual class or subject teachers. School support staff may also be involved.

What kind of help?

The exact help will depend on the circumstances of your child. This may include:

Individual or small group work

Social skills groups

Different learning materials or special equipment

Staff training

Individual education plans

At school action your child should have an individual education plan (IEP) setting out a few precise short-term targets with details of teaching strategies and resources. It should also set out which staff will be delivering the programme and how your child’s progress will be evaluated.


IEPs should be reviewed at least twice a year and preferably once a term. Parents should be involved in these reviews.

School Action Plus

If your child has had extra help at School Action and is still not making good enough progress, they may need more specialist help. This is known as School Action Plus and will usually involve professionals from outside the school such as a behaviour support teacher, a specialist dyslexia teacher, an educational psychologist or speech and language therapist. There should be regular IEPs in the same way as for School Action.

Some children may be put on School Action Plus straightaway without going through School Action if they need specialist help. Some children have severe or complex needs and need more help than the school can provide under School Action Plus. They may need a statutory assessment to find out what their difficulties are and the precise help they need. You can find more information on assessments and statements from the links below.

Back to Special Educational Needs (SEN)

My Child in School series

Links to more ACE information on special educational needs

Support ACE

By supporting ACE, you can help children to get the best out of their time at school.