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Special education provision we expect from places of learning

Social, emotional, mental health (SEMH)

Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties.

These can manifest themselves in many ways. They may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour.

These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Self-harming
  • Substance misuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Physical symptoms that are medically unexplained

Other children and young people may have disorders such as:

  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Attention deficit hyperactive disorder
  • Attachment disorder

Schools and colleges should have clear processes to support children and young people. This includes how they will manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour, so it does not adversely affect other pupils.

Our full Provision Expected at SEN Support (PEaSS) guidance describes the difficulties and learning profiles a child might have.

It describes what the whole school or setting can do to support children. It also describes the approaches a classroom teacher can use and the strategies a SENDCo can use. These can include:

  • Providing appropriate training about SEMH and mental health to ensure staff confidence
  • Having effective pastoral systems which support emerging difficulties at an early stage
  • Displaying classroom rules and routines for pupils to refer to and use visual prompts as reminders
  • Identifying a key person to talk about worries and support with problem solving
  • Building self-confidence by finding out what children know about or are good at, and celebrating this
  • Making tasks short, with frequent breaks and opportunities to move around

Read the full PEaSS guidance document to find a full list of the different aspects of SEMH. It also gives suggested approaches for support in the classroom, school, and for the SENDCo.

You can access the guidance document from the Schools and Learning Providers website..

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