Child Development and SEN


Investigate an aspect of child development



Special Educational Needs (SEN) is used to refer to the limitations in young people’s participations in and benefit from education as a consequence of enduring physical, cognitive, sensory, communicative or behavioural difficulties or any other condition which is said to require particular pedagogic responses (Meegan and Macphail, 2006; Smith, 2004). The Department for Education and Sport (DofES) (2001), states that a person who has a learning difficulty and needs special provisions to be made for them is determined to have Special Educational Needs. Students are said to have a learning difficulty if they either; have far greater difficulty in learning than the majority of students their age, or, have a disability which prevents/hinders them from using the educational facilities provided for students of the same age in schools within the area of the Local Education Authority (LEA).


There are three legislations specifically for SEN; Special Educational Needs Disability Act (SENDA), National Curriculum for Physical Education (NCPE) and Every Child Matters.

            SENDA is an amendment of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995, a description of SENDA in practice would be that it will be unlawful for responsible bodies to treat a disabled person ‘less favourably’ than a non-disabled person for a reason that relates to the person’s disability. An example to explain this could be that a dyslexic student applies to do a degree in law. The university tells her that they do not take dyslexic students on law degrees. The treatment she receives is less favourable compared to other students, and the reason for the treatment relates to her disability, therefore university is likely to be acting unlawfully. If a disabled person is at a ‘substantial disadvantage’, then the responsible bodies are required to take reasonable steps to prevent that disadvantage. ‘These preventative measures may include: changes to policies and practices, changes to course requirements or work placements, changes to the physical features of a building, the provision of interpreters or other support workers, the delivery of courses in alternative ways and the provision of material in other formats (Anderson, 2004)’.

            Schools have a responsibility to provide a diverse but balanced curriculum that is inclusive for all students. The national curriculum gives a good basis for where each individual school can go with its version of the national curriculum i.e. selecting different areas’ of activity for the NCPE (AoA’s). There are three principles stated within the NCPE (2007) which were included in it to make Physical Education more inclusive to all students and they are;

1-    Setting suitable learning challenges

2-    Responding to pupils diverse learning needs

3-    Overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils

With regards to the first of the three principles; teachers should plan to create the opportunity for everyone to experience some sort of success and help them to achieve the highest mark they can when it comes to assessment. The NCPE (2007) states what content


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