Local Offer - Education, Schools & Learning

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The vast majority of children who have special educational needs or disabilities in Sefton will access their educational entitlement alongside their peers in mainstream schools. There is a rich and varied range of schools in Sefton including faith schools, maintained schools, academies, a free school and proposals for Studio schools. 

For further information on school nurseries and schools, including admissions procedures, please visit the Sefton Council website.

Sefton has a range of support services [Sefton SEN and Inclusion] that work with early years settings and schools to help children or young people with special educational needs or disability to develop, be included and make good progress across the academic, social and emotional aspects of their life.

Schools both mainstream and special develop timetables,  either full time or part time, which meet the needs of the child/young person. For further information please contact individual schools.

Each school will also provide information about the Local Offer and each school will publish a SEN Information report on it's own website, please contact the school to obtain this information. You can find a complete list of schools, including their website and contact details by visiting Sefton Council's Schools finder

Sefton's Quality First Teaching offer to all pupils

The Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years (DfE, 2014) says that a pupil has Special Educational Need where their learning difficulty calls for special educational provision, that is provision that is different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age.  Making higher quality teaching normally available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support. 

All children and young people have the right to a good education and all schools are encouraged to ensure that a ‘quality first’ teaching approach is adopted in the classroom which is well planned, engaging, active and differentiated so that all pupils progress in every lesson:

If required additional classroom support will be provided by schools for students with additional needs to ensure that they can access the curriculum and make expected progress. Parents and carers will be fully informed by schools of any extra support which is provided.

If you think your child may have a special educational need that has not been identified by their school or nursery, you should talk to your child’s teacher first, or ask to see the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or Headteacher. 

The SENCO is the person in the school who has a particular responsibility for co-ordinating help for children with special educational needs or Headteacher. Working together with your child’s teachers will often help to sort out worries and problems.

Click here for information about SEND and the role of Schools

Click here to find out about Person Centred Meetings.

Special Educational Provision

Some children will need additional support.  This kind of help is called “special educational provision”. From September 2014 children and young people will receive support under a single school based category called “SEN support in schools”.

When a special educational need has been identified, the school or nursery should start a cycle of actions. This cycle is called the graduated approach and involves the teacher, the SENCO, teaching assistants, and sometimes other professionals. You, as parents/carers are involved and so is the child or young person.

In addition to Quality First there are further expectations about Special Educational Need provision in Sefton Schools:

The majority of children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) will have their needs met by mainstream education providers using the resources available within their own budgets or accessing additional funding from the local authority. A request for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment should not be the first step in the process for helping to meet the needs of a child or young person but should build on co-ordinated work that is already happening between families, educational settings and support services, health and social care professionals. It should be noted that in Sefton, educational settings can apply to the local authority for top-up funding from the High Needs budget where the additional support necessary to meet a young person's needs exceeds around £6000, (These are the costs the school/academy would not incur if the child was not on roll).

The authority can provide top-up funding to the school/college or early years setting without the need for an EHC plan to be completed. 

There may however come a time when despite the best efforts of all involved parents/carers, professionals or the young person themselves (over the age of 16) feel that the young person’s special educational needs cannot be met by the additional resources available to the mainstream setting and there is evidence that the child/young person is not making adequate educational progress.

Where the special educational provision required cannot be provided through the resources and services that are available to the mainstream setting, it may be necessary to apply for an EHC needs assessment. 

Specialist Provision For Pupils With Complex Needs

Sefton has a range of specialist provision for those with the most complex needs. Sefton has some enhanced provision in mainstream school schools; often called resourced provision or units. There are also six special schools. You can view/download the range of provision below:

Resourced Nurseries Leaflet for Parents and Carers

Specialist education for complex needs

These settings are supported by the Complex Needs Team at Sefton's SEN and Inclusion Service, to find out more about this service please click: Sefton SEN and Inclusion Service

Special Provision Capital Plan

Sefton is ambitious in providing high quality provision for pupils and is currently in the process of applying for funding to support the development of provision.


Since the Children & Families Act (2014) and the subsequent reforms, there has been an increase in parental preference for specialist provision.  The number of children and young people with an education health care plan in Sefton has increased from around 850 in 2014 to nearly 1,450 currently.  The local authority needs to ensure there are sufficient places to meet the needs of children and young people who live in the local area.

Our aim, within Sefton, is for children and young people with SEND to be able to attend a school within their own community.  In order to do this we want them to be able to be supported to attend a local mainstream school or access a place in high quality specialist provision without having to travel long distances.

Some of our school buildings are old and require work to keep them in good condition and fully able to meet the needs of the pupils who go to these schools.

The Pathway of Support in Sefton Video

We are always looking at improving Sefton’s SEND Local Offer, please click here to give us feedback.

Last Updated

Last updated: 20/05/2022

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