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The Rissington School
Aspire - Belong - Challenge

01451 820857

The 4 areas of need

The SEND Code of Practice 2014 (updated January 2015) sets out four broad areas of special educational need that include a range of difficulties and conditions:

1. Communication and Interaction (C&I)

2. Cognition and Learning (C&L)

3. Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties (SEMHD)

4. Physical and/or Sensory Needs (P&SN)


At The Rissington School, our learning support is organised in a structure around the four areas of SEND need. Students will be identified by their primary area of need. The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a student into a category.

The SEN code states that: 

“These four broad areas give an overview of the range of needs that should be planned for." 

The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to takenot to fit a pupil into a category. In practice, individual children or young people often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time. For instance, speech, language and communication needs can also be a feature of a number of other areas of SEN, and children and young people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may have needs across all areas, including particular sensory requirements. The support provided to an individual should always be based on a full understanding of their particular strengths and needs and seek to address them all using well-evidenced interventions targeted at their areas of difficulty and where necessary specialist equipment or software.

 Children's needs are reflected in their targets in their My Plans. These plans are reviewed and updated each term.