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Children under 5


Information for parents regarding Special Educational Needs

What can I do if I think my child has a learning difficulty before starting school?

If your child is not yet at school, speak to your doctor, health visitor, social worker or anyone else you think may be able to help. Do not delay. Your child's early years are very important. Asking a professional is the first step to getting specialist advice. Whoever you speak to will be able to put you in touch with your local education authority.

If your child is under five and a health worker thinks that he or she may have special educational needs, they must consult you. The health service must then tell the Local Authority and give you information about any voluntary organisation that may be able to advise you.  You can also take a look at the information on Tameside's local offer pages

What help can my child get before starting school?

Even if your child is not yet at school, your LA will be happy to discuss his or her needs with you and look at what help he or she needs.

There are many services that may be able to help you, for example:

  • teachers who will visit your home if your child has hearing or sight problems, or learning difficulties;
  • home based learning schemes - for example Portage Schemes - in which a trained home visitor helps you by suggesting activities that will encourage your child to develop new skills; and
  • playgroups and opportunity groups that can help your child develop socially and through play.

You may find it helpful to talk to other parents or to a voluntary organisation. There are many voluntary organisations and parents' groups all over the country.

Your LA may be able to help your child from a very early age. Even if your child is under two, you can ask your LA to assess his or her needs.

If your child is over two and you think that he or she has learning difficulties, you can ask your LA to make a statutory assessment, unless they decide it is unnecessary. Following a statutory assessment, the LA will decide whether it is necessary to make an Education, Health and Care Plan to meet your child's special educational needs.

There is an Early Years Panel to help with the process

Contact information

Send us a message
Special Educational Needs
Inclusion Team
Hyde Town Hall
Corporation Street
SK14 1AL
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