Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

The term ‘Special Educational Needs and Disabilities‘ (SEND) has a legal definition, referring to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn or access education than most children of the same age.

If your child has a special need, they may need extra help in a range of areas, for example:

  • school work
  • reading, writing, number work or understanding information
  • expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying
  • making friends or relating to adults
  • behaving properly at school
  • organising themselves
  • some kind of sensory or physical needs which may affect them in school

Parents can find guidance information and guidance on the legal requirements for local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges in the SEND Code of Practice which covers the SEND system for children and young people aged 0 to 25.

Section 2.23 directs parents in the Armed Forces to CEAS for further support and guidance.

Consultation on funding arrangements

Recently (July ’19), the RAF Families Federation (RAF FF) joined forces with the Naval and Army Families Federations to make a joint response (below) to the Department for Education’s call for evidence – ‘Provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and for those who need additional provision: how the financial arrangements work.’ You can read the full online news story.

Help and advice

The Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) is a great source of information and help.

Register the need with the RAF

If your child has special educational needs and disabilities then you are advised to register with CEAS. They can help in the transfer process between local authorities, ensuring that the needs of your child are met.


If your child has a disability, the SSAFA Forces Help website page for families with special needs and disabilities is very helpful. Alternatively go to the Family support section on our website.

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