Helping Shape Your Future

Since 1986

Helping Shape Your Future

Since 1986

Personal Development theme of the month:

Focus on Special Educational Needs (SEN)

& Learners with Learning Difficulties or Disabilities (LLDD)

What is SEN / LLDD?

Special educational needs is a legal definition and refers to learners with learning problems or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most learners the same age.

Learners with Learning Difficulties or Disabilities – Learners with special educational needs (SEN) tend to be referred to as ‘learners with learning difficulties or disabilities’

How is SEN defined?

The Children & Families Act 2014 defines Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) in the following way. 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.

What percentage of learners are SEN?

The proportion of learners with a statement of SEN/ Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan increased to 4.0% in 2022, continuing a trend of increases since 2017. Prior to this, the rate had remained steady at 2.8%. Learners with an EHC plan made up 24% of all learners with SEN in January 2022.

What are the 4 types of SEN?

The four broad areas of SEND need are:
  • Communication and interaction.
  • Cognition and learning.
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
  • Sensory and/or physical needs.

Examples of SEN are:

  • Emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD)
  • Autism
  • Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder (ADHD/ADD)
  • Specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Communication difficulties
  • Medical needs such as Epilepsy and Cerebral Palsy
  • Mobility difficulties

Focus on Dyslexia

According to the British Dyslexia Association (BDA), ten percent of the British population may have dyslexia, meaning that there are likely to be three pupils with dyslexia in every school class. It is currently estimated that four per cent of students in higher education (HE) have a specific learning difficulty.

5 Interesting Facts About Dyslexia

  • People with dyslexia are often more creative. Dyslexia is not related to low intelligence
  • Dyslexia is highly hereditary
  • Dyslexia is very common
  • The symptoms of dyslexia aren’t always what you think
  • Dyslexia is not a disease.

Why is dyslexia so common?

It’s linked to genes, which is why the condition often runs in families. You’re more likely to have dyslexia if your parents, siblings, or other family members have it.

How can you support people with learning disabilities?

  1. use accessible language.
  2. avoid jargon or long words that might be hard to understand.
  3. be prepared to use different communication tools.
  4. follow the lead of the person you’re communicating with.
  5. go at the pace of the person you’re communicating with, check you have understood and be creative.

How can you support people with learning disabilities?

Special educational needs (SEN) and disability quite often, but not always, overlap and interconnect. Children and young people can have SEN but no disability and vice versa. While others may have both, which can mean they have complex needs.

NWCS staff awareness of SEN/LLDD

Did you know that during October 2022 NWCS staff attended Supporting Learners with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities CPD training with Dr Louise Karkowski. This learning programme covered the following key concepts:
  • The causes of learning disabilities
  • Key pieces of legislation relating to learning disabilities
  • Barriers facing people with learning disabilities
  • How to improve communication
  • How to promote positive care practices

NWCS can offer support for learners with learning disabilities which will enable learners to achieve their goals by following the defined process below:

  1. Learning Difficulty or Disability (LLDD) Support Plan to be sent out to all new enrollees via the IPegs system at the initial recruitment stage.
  2. LLDD form upon return to be forwarded to Shirley Ashcroft for action.
  3. Learners who have identified Yes within boxes 1 to 6 will be interviewed by Shirley Ashcroft to establish the full detail and agree upon what support arrangements can be implemented.
  4. The details as to what is agreed will be added to the induction support plan completed by Sylvia Jones to be forwarded to the allocated Training Officer.
  5. Shirley Ashcroft will visit the learner within their first two weeks of learning at the Employer premises to ensure that initiated support is in place. Also, with the agreement of the learner the Employer is supportive.
  6. Training Officers will be responsible for carrying out the monthly reviews and all other paperwork in relation to this learner. Support arrangements for Learners must be identified on their Individual Learning Plan (ILP)

Support Services

Special Educational Needs & Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)

Free and confidential impartial information, advice and support to children/young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), and their parents/carers.

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Links to support services and resources that may be available to you on the Government website

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

SEN services abailable from Leeds City Council

SEN Magazine

SEN Magazine is the UK’s leading journal for Special Educational Needs. Useful and thought-provoking articles written by specialists in the field.

Dyslexia Foundation

Encouraging and promoting a positive attitude towards dyslexia and offer an environment in which to enable support and to talk about dyslexia.


Caretutor - Barriers to healthcare

Short animated video on how to help people with learning disabilities get access to  healthcare