The Code of Practice defines special educational needs as follows:
xiii. A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
xiv. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
has a 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 or mainstream post-16 institutions
xv. For children aged two or more, special educational 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 by mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools, mainstream post-16 institutions or by relevant early years providers. For a child under two years of age, special educational provision means educational provision of any kind.
xvi. A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if he or she is likely to fall within the definition in paragraph.
xiv. above when they reach compulsory school age or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them (Section 20 Children and Families Act 2014).
Children who have SEN may also have a disability, defined as ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a long term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’