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Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) find it harder to learn or access education than most children of the same age. These children may need extra or different help from that given to other children of the same age.

Information for parents, carers, young people and professionals about support and services for children and young people from 0-25 with SEND is available on Portsmouth Local Offer.

Inspection of SEND services - July 2019

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will be carrying out an inspection in Portsmouth between 1 and 5 July 2019. The inspection will look at how well organisations in Portsmouth identify and support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The views of young people and their parents and carers are very important. They will be gathered by Ofsted and the CQC through visits to schools and services, as well as through a webinar. You can also contribute by contacting your local Parent Carer Forum or by emailing Full details of how to get involved are included in the letter to parents, shown below.

We will be writing to all schools and services in the city to ask them to contact parents, but a copy of the letter is shown here, along with the letter send to the council notifying us of the inspection.

Letter to parents

Letter to council

Information for parents

Portsmouth City Council provides support for both children with special educational needs and their parents.

For more information email, phone 023 9284 1238 or write to special educational needs, Portsmouth City Council Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2EA.

What is a 'special educational need'? has more information on what defines special educational needs.

Children with special educational needs may need extra help because of:

  • difficulties thinking and understanding
  • physical or sensory difficulties
  • emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • difficulties with speech and language
  • how they relate to and behave with other people

Many children have special educational needs of some kind at some time during their education. Schools and other organisations can help most children overcome their difficulties quickly and easily.

A few children will need extra help for some or all of their time in school. So, special educational needs could mean that a child has difficulties with:

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

All teachers are teachers of special educational needs children (SEN), but all schools and early years’ settings also have a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) who provides a lead for the rest of the staff on special educational needs.

Portsmouth SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SEND IASS)

Portsmouth City Council makes sure that support for children with special educational needs is normally provided in mainstream schools.

The council also provides a support service for parents of children with special educational needs, offering independent information, guidance and advice on a wide range of educational issues. This is run on the council’s behalf by The Rose Road Association, which is a charity that has been established since 1952 across Hampshire and surrounding areas. Rose Road works with children and adults with complex and multiple disabilities and health needs, and their families. We use an external company to ensure that the service is independent. All information is treated in the strictest confidence, and details will not be passed on to anyone without permission.

Portsmouth SEND IASS Provides:

  • A free, impartial, confidential service, provided independently from education, health and care providers, by trained staff
  • Support to all Portsmouth parents and carers of a child or young person (aged 0-25) with a disability and/or special educational needs and/or the child or young person themselves
  • Information to help enable parents, carers, children and young people to take an active and informed role in theirs and their child’s education and development, and build partnerships with the professionals they are involved with

Portsmouth SEND IASS can help by:

  • Providing a confidential help line and listening to your concerns
  • Providing information about who to talk to, and how your child is assessed and helped in school
  • Answering questions about SEN Support and preparation of Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans
  • Explaining your options, rights and responsibilities
  • Preparing with you for meetings and when necessary attending meetings with you
  • Supporting you to resolve disagreements, and with mediation and appeals for admissions and SEN transport
  • Providing information on services and support available in Portsmouth for your family

For more information call 0300 303 2000 or email

Visit Portsmouth SEND IASS