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Education and neurodiversity

Neurodivergence affects the way a child and young person learns. Neurodivergent children and young people may have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). All education settings have a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO), who you can speak to if you feel that your child may need additional support in school.

Educational settings must legally support students with special educational needs and disabilities; this means that settings must put reasonable adjustments in place to support them (Section 1.34 SEND Code of Practice).

Students DO NOT need a formal diagnosis for school to put specialist support in place.

An individualised, needs-led is taken in Leeds where every child and young person can get the educational support they need whether they have a formal diagnosis or not.  This approach may be enough to support a child/young person to thrive without a formal diagnosis.

This needs-led approach is supported by the Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) Graduated Approach to support in schools. The Graduated Approach is a repeated and ongoing process, including 4 stages:

  1. Assessment of your child’s strengths and challenges, with the support of the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCo) in the setting.
  2. Plan – make a plan of specific support to meet your child’s needs and agree progress deadlines.
  3. Do – provide the extra support in the plan and measure progress.
  4. Review – your child’s progress and decide the next steps with you and your child.

This is a video explaining the Graduated Approach to support made by Leeds City Council.

If a setting has taken every possible action to identify and meet the child or young person’s needs but they are still not making expected progress, it may then be appropriate to request specialist assessment and support from outside agencies. This may lead to additional funding to support the child, applying for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or specialist diagnosis.

See further information below about the different support available in schools, funding available and more on Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).

Support in schools

Read more about what neurodiversity support is available in schools.

Read more about support in schools

Support services

Find out which specialist services can offer neurodiversity support in schools.

Read more about specialist support services for ND

EHCPs and Funding

Find out more about support funding and Education, Health and Care Plans for Neurodiversity.

Read more about funding and EHCPs

Top tips for supporting ND students

There are lots of simple ways to support neurodivergent learners in education. 

Read more about top tips

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