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My child has learning difficulties

Guidance for parents and carers about help in school.

Schools have a responsibility to make provision for pupils with special educational needs.

We provided funding through normal school budgets to help schools to support pupils with special educational needs. We've produced The Derbyshire Descriptors of SEN Provision.

The descriptors offer guidance and advice to primary and secondary schools about the level and type of support they should provide for pupils with additional needs. They're used by us to monitor provision for pupils with SEN without a statement. They outline how schools should:

  • assess, plan and review provision
  • arrange teaching groups
  • adjust the curriculum and teaching methods
  • provide resources, such as access to additional support from a teaching assistant for up to 3 hours per week for pupils at School Action or up to 8 hours a week for pupils at School Action Plus

Your child may:

  • have difficulties with reading, spelling and writing
  • have difficulties with numeracy, and with understanding time, measurement and money
  • have difficulty transferring skills and using them in different situations
  • have delayed speech and language skills - typical of a younger child
  • have a short attention span and poor listening skills
  • be poorly motivated and resistant to learning
  • have poor memory or spatial skills
  • have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia
  • be socially and emotionally immature

School can:

  • use teacher assessment and observations to establish clearly what your child can and can’t do and what style of teaching and learning suits them best
  • discuss your child with relevant professionals who visit the school and follow their advice
  • help your child by using different levels and types of teaching materials
  • use appropriate programmes for pupils with particular needs such as dyslexia and dyspraxia
  • follow guidance from the Files for Dyslexia and Language Friendly Schools
  • arrange for your child to have some additional support in smaller teaching groups supported by a teaching assistant
  • support your child’s self esteem by ensuring that they have learning tasks they can be successful at
  • involve you and your child in planning and review of progress

Who else can help?

Schools have access to a range of professionals who visit regularly or can be contacted in order to discuss arrangements for supporting pupils with special educational needs These include:

If your child has other difficulties as well as their learning, all schools have access to county services which can offer support and advice for pupils with:

You or your child’s teacher (with your permission) can ask a speech and language therapist to see your child.

Your GP can make a referral for physiotherapy and occupational therapy, and will also advise on child and adolescent mental health services and voluntary services such as Barnardo's.

Other advice

We have published comprehensive advice and information on dyslexia, speech and language difficulties and autism.

Contact us

  • Buxton office, tel: 01629 533535
  • Chesterfield office, tel: 01246 204851
  • Denby office, tel: 01629 533815
  • County Hall, tel: 01629 536850

The full version of the SEN Descriptors is available in every school.