About education

Coventry SEND Local Offer

In the About Education section, you can find out about:

  • the kinds of education provision that are available in Coventry.
  • the support a child or young person can have while they are in education.
  •  non-mainstream education, when a child or young person isn’t part of mainstream school.

More specific learning-related information by age:

Find out about:

View full details of Alternative provision - Extended Learning Centre


Coventry Extended Learning Centre is a Pupil Referral Unit for Key Stage 3 & 4 pupils who have struggled to be in mainstream school education due to Social, Emotional & Mental Health (SEMH) issues leading to challenging behaviour.  

The core purpose of the ELC is ‘Enhancing Futures’ - maximising the potential of all our students though getting them into mainstream or special education settings or meeting their needs within their centres.

They pride themselves on providing the best quality teaching, fostering ambition and showing their students that they can fulfil their potential through hard work .

Their staff are committed to supporting and developing students to become confident and well equipped with skills to continue their learning journey when they leave them.  They have positive expectations of the behaviour and performance of every pupil and foster an atmosphere of mutual respect between pupils and staff. 

Students receive a broad and balanced curriculum, with opportunities in Key Stage 4 to access Work Relating Learning.

The Coventry ELC has three centres:

  • Wyken - Key Stage 3 
  • The Link - Key Stage 4
  • Swanswell - Key Stage 4


Please visit the Extended Learning Centre website for more information. 

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View full details of Early Years Education, Support and Childcare - general overview


In Coventry we have several different types of childcare to meet the needs of children and families.

These include:

  • Day Nursery
  • School Nursery Class
  • Preschool
  • Childminder
  • Out of School Care
  • Nanny
  • Independent school

The majority of childcare in Coventry is regulated by a government body called Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). Ofsted make sure that people working with children and in childcare setting are safe and suitable to do so. Ofsted regularly inspect childcare sites to make sure they meet minimum Ofsted standards.

All schools and Ofsted-registered early years childcare providers must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which explains the learning, development and care that a provider is expected to give children between birth and five years of age.

Childcare providers who offer childcare using 2 year old, 3 year old  and 4 year old funding must be clear about how they will support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and make this information available to help parents to choose the right setting for their child.  Childcare providers are required to make sure that all of their staff members know what is required of them in relation to the SEND Code of Practice and the Equality Act 2010.

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View full details of Hospital Education Service


The Hospital Education Service is team of teachers and other education support staff who provide education for school age children who are unable to attend their usual school temporarily due to accident or illness. Their illnesses could be mental or physical.

We have knowledge and experience with:

  • The need for children and young people to remain in education, even if they are in hospital or have an illness
  • The ways that medical conditions affect learning and development.
  • The ways that missing school for long periods of time can affect a child or young person’s capacity for reaching their potential.

We work with children, teachers, parents/carers, medical staff and other agencies to promote the development and learning of children aged 4 -16 years.

We work directly with children and young people who have difficulties with things like:

  • Attending their usual school following hospitalisation or long term illness
  • Reaching their full potential because of time missed at their usual school due to various medical conditions
  • Re-integrating successfully back into their usual school
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View full details of Looked After Children - The Virtual School


Looked After Children are young people whose care provision is the responsibility of a local authority.

The Virtual School makes sure that there is educational provision for Looked After Children, regardless where they are placed. We are asked to do "all that a good parent would" by encouraging and supporting Look After Children's educational, social and emotional development.

The Virtual School monitor their pupils' education by supporting Personal Education Planning (PEP) meetings. Support for Looked After Children is implemented via the educational provider. Since April 2018, The Virtual School has also offered support & advice to pupils who hold the status  'Previously Looked After'.


024 7683 4162

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View full details of Ordinarily Available Provision for children and young people without an EHC plan


Not all children and young people with SEND have or want to have an Education Health and Care Plan. In this case, it is important to know the educational provision that is available without one of these plans.

Find out about the education provision that children and young people can expect to access in the three main stages of education when they don't have an EHCP.


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View full details of Post 16 Education - Sixth Form and College


At the age of 16, a young person can make a choice about whether to continue in education, employment or training.

Some schools offer sixth forms so that a young person can stay in school; however this depends on which school the young person attends. Individual schools and the Prospects Careers advisers will be able to provide more information about this.

A young person could also apply to sixth form college, 16-19 academies, specialist post 16 institutions or vocational training providers in the voluntary or public sector.

The range of study programmes is broad and includes A Levels, vocational qualifications at all levels, apprenticeships, traineeships, supported internships.

View a list of schools and their websites

Further Education

Further education (often abbreviated to FE) covers the type of education which goes beyond compulsory education (ages 5-16), but which is not at degree level (higher education). It may be at the same level, at a higher level, or at a lower level than secondary education.

There is a range of colleges in Coventry. The Prospects Careers advisers will be able to give more information +about these or you can contact the colleges directly to ask for information about courses and the support they offer.

School 6th Form and Further Education Colleges 

The majority of schools in Coventry offer 6th form provision, for more details see the individual school websites.

There are 2 colleges in Coventry – Coventry College (Henley and City campuses) and Hereward. They both offer a wide variety of courses and support arrangements. There are also several colleges in the areas surrounding Coventry that Coventry young people can access.

Hereward is a much smaller college, with smaller class sizes, than Coventry College.  All students at Hereward have an Education Health and Care Plan. Hereward offers a range of study programmes that relate to sport, business, computing, performing arts, music and visual arts.

Colleges outside of Coventry that might be of interest are: Warwickshire College Group, NWH College, and Solihull College.

Level 1 and above course usually require students to have GCSE level qualifications. 

All colleges also offer general supported learning programmes. These allow students to continue to develop their basic skills in English, Maths and ICT.  Students can also access personal development opportunities and do taster/foundation courses in a range of vocational areas available at the college.


Coventry College

This college is organised over two Campuses. Henley Campus and City Campus.  It offers full and part time courses and Apprenticeships

Hereward College

Hereward offers a range of full time courses and supported internships. The majority of applicants will need to have an Education Health and Care Plan.

Warwickshire College Group

Leamington Spa, Moreton Morell, Rugby Campus, Pershore, Warwick Trident Centre, Evesham and Malvern Hills.  

Offers full and part-time courses and Apprenticeships.

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College

North Warwickshire and Hinckley College offer full and part-time courses and Apprenticeships.

Solihull College

Full and part-time courses and apprenticeships

Stratford upon Avon College

Stratford upon Avon College offers full and part time courses and apprenticeships

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View full details of School attendance requirements


Parents and carers have a legal duty to ensure that their children of compulsory school age receive a suitable full-time education. It is also vital that they encourage their child's regular and punctual attendance at school.

It is important that everyone works together to help children obtain the best possible start in life with a good education. Parents and carers should work in partnership with the school, notifying them of the reason for any absences and highlighting any areas of concern so they can be addressed promptly.

If you have school attendance concerns or queries, your child has received a fixed-term or permanent exclusion or is at risk of exclusion, view the Attendance and Inclusion website.

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View full details of SENCOs - Special Education Needs Coordinators


Who are SENCOs?

SENCOs are Special Educational Needs Coordinators. It is a legal requirement for every school to have a designated SENCo in place. This person has to be a qualified teacher and must have completed the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination.

What do they do?

The SENCo identifies the children and young people who are on the schools SEND (Special educational needs) register. They monitor the  progress of the children and young people on the SEND register and usually co-ordinate the interventions for these individuals. The SENCOs liaise with and refer to specialist outside agencies to ensure that children and young people have the support that they require. The SENCO is responsible for all children and young people with Education Health and Care Plans and their annual and interim reviews. They will also write requests for Education Health and Care plans, although these can be requested by anyone, not just educational professionals.

Who do they work with?

SENCOs work with external professionals including health care, social care and educational professionals. These professionals include, but are not limited to, speech and language therapists, CAMHS (Rise) professionals, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Educational Psychologists, Doctors/Nurses, Social Workers, Mental Health Nurses, Sensory Support and Coventry SENDIASS. The SENCo also has a link SEN officer who works for the local authority.

How does a parent or carer get in touch with a SENCo?

The best way to get in touch with the school SENCO is to speak to the school reception team. They who will know who  the school SENCO and will be able to direct you to that person.

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View full details of Special Schools


Special Schools 

The majority of children and young people with Special Educational Needs will have their needs met within a mainstream school or college setting.

The SEND Code of Practice 2014 says that it expects that children and young people will be in a mainstream setting, and that parents and young people have the right to express the choice to be in a mainstream setting.

However, a minority of children and young people will need a more specialised curriculum to support their needs. This is delivered in a specialist setting.

Coventry has a range of special schools including:

  • Generic special schools for primary and secondary pupils
  • A secondary school for complex communication and interaction difficulties
  • A school for social emotional and mental health difficulties
  • A number of primary Enhanced Resource Provisions for pupils with complex communication and interaction difficulties
  • Enhanced Speech and Language provision
  • Schools which can support Hearing and Visually Impaired pupils. 

Parents and carers can express a preference for a specific school to be named within a child or young person's Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). The Local Authority has a duty to name this choice unless:

  • It would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEN of the child or young person, or
  • The attendance of the child or young person there would be incompatible with the efficient education of others, or the efficient use of resources (In this case, ‘others’ is intended to mean the children and young people with whom the child or young person with an EHC plan will directly come into contact on a regular day-to-day basis).

Efficient education means providing each child or young person with:

  • A suitable and appropriate education in terms of their age, ability, aptitude
  • Provision for any special educational needs they may have. 

Only children and young people with complex needs which cannot be met within mainstream would require a specialist setting.

Therefore, to be considered for a specialist setting a child or young person will need to have an Education, Health and Care Plan where the setting would be named in Section I.

The SEN Code of Practice 2014 section 9.80 outlines when a Local Authority would name a specialist setting:

The local authority must consult the governing body, principal or proprietor of the school or college concerned and consider their comments very carefully before deciding whether to name it in the child or young person’s EHC plan, sending the school or college a copy of the draft plan. If another local authority maintains the school, they too must be consulted.

For more information, please email the Coventry City Council SEN Team 

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View full details of Support available in primary and secondary education settings


Support available in primary and secondary education settings

All pupils in Coventry schools have access to a broad and balanced curriculum, including extra-curricular activities.

All Coventry schools take account of a child’s additional needs in every area of school life and all children have the opportunity to experience the full range of subjects and activities offered by our schools. Teachers and support staff make sure all children’s needs are met by arranging appropriate classroom organisation and activities. Learning activities are made up of small, achievable steps that are made to meet the needs of individual children. Extra adult support will be offered where needed.

To enable families, children and young people to understand what schools should be providing to meet SEN needs in Coventry, view the Ordinarily Available Provision in Coventry schools. This outlines provision that should be provided without an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Teachers adapt the way they teach to ensure that the written and spoken language can be understood by students. When they prepare for lessons, teachers identify key concepts/ideas in the curriculum and teach and reinforce these to prepare children with SEND to learn successfully alongside other children. Teachers use adaptations to the curriculum to recognise and respond to moderate or severe levels of sensory impairment such as a hearing or visual impairment. Sometimes, special one-to-one or small group programmes are taught alongside other lessons.

All schools are required to make reasonable adjustments for any child or young person who has specific long or short term health needs or a disability. This might include looking into and following recommendations about physical adaptations or assistive technology that would make the school environment more accessible for the student.

Some examples are:

  • handrails
  • lighting and contrast application and training
  • specialist furniture
  • adapted materials and ancillary aids like writing slopes
  • specialist IT equipment
  • assistive technology (Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) that would include signing and more specialist communication aids)

If after this additional help the child is still not making progress, the SENCo (Special Education Needs Coordinator) might decide that the child or young person should receive SEN Support. Parents and carers must be informed as soon as SEN Support begins.

Children who receive SEN Support usually have a written plan or a provision map prepared for them that describes what additional or different support the school will offer, and how parents/carers and  the school will work together to help the child make progress. Our schools will work together with parents/carers to plan and monitor the impact of the SEN Support.

SEN Support might include extra help with reading, writing and maths but might also focus on speaking and listening, visual enhancement, motor/movement or mobility skills or social and emotional development. SEN Support can be delivered by staff from the school or from outside professionals such as specialist teachers. Even when support is delivered by these external professionals, it is the responsibility of the child’s class teacher to monitor the progress the child is making as part of the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle. This is presented in more detail in the Criteria for EHCP Assessment

Schools have a number of approaches and programmes that they use to support children with social, emotional or mental health difficulties, and schools can also ask for advice from external specialists to tailor these approaches for individual needs. Underpinning this work is the on-going focus in Coventry schools to prevent bullying of any kind.

Children can receive support from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

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View full details of Youth Offending Service


Youth Offending Service

When a young person is placed in custody, the Youth Offending Service will contact the Special Education Needs (SEN) Team to find out if they have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). 

If there is an EHCP in place, the SEND Coordinator and the Youth Offending Services (YOS) Case Manager for the young person in custody will then meet with each other.

Together they will ensure that the custodial establishment (the person or organisation that has custody of the child or young person) has all the information that they need to provide education for the young person during their period of remand or sentence and plan for their release and re-integration into education within the community.

Please visit the Youth Offending Service website for more information. 

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