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What is a disability?

A pupil will be deemed to have Special Educational Needs “where their learning difficulty calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from, or additional to, that normally available to pupils of the same age.” (SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25, 2014, p94) A pupil’s Special Educational Need will be identified in discussion with parents and, where appropriate, with pupils.

At Shawlands Primary School we will endeavour to identify pupils with SEND at an early stage in their education although we recognise that some pupils’ needs will only become evident as they develop.

Where a pupil is identified as having a Special Educational Need or Disability, their needs will be categorised as per the SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 (2014) into the following four categories of SEND:

  • Communication and Interaction – children with speech, language and communication needs, including those with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
  • Cognition and Learning – children with moderate, severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties.
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties – this includes children who show with withdrawn or challenging behaviours for a variety of reasons, have attention deficit disorder, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder or attachment disorder.
  • Sensory and/or physical needs – this includes children with a visual impairment, hearing impairment, multi-sensory impairment or a physical disability.

Equality Act 2010


A disability is 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.


This definition includes:


  • Sensory impairments such as those affecting sight and hearing
  • Long term health issues such as asthma, epilepsy and cancer