What Are Special Needs?

At St George’s, we use the definition of Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) given in the SEN Code of practice (2015):

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made to him or her.


A child or young person has a learning difficulty if he or she:

  • Has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.

Special education provision is educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age.’


The main areas of SEND encompass the following four broad areas:


  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Sensory and/or physical needs


Many children will have an overlap of their needs and will fall into multiple categories.