Special educational needs and disability

Young people with special educational needs or disability may need extra help to learn and train
A young person looking at the camera and smiling, she has a learning disability

About one in five young people have special educational needs or a disability and need some extra help to do their best at school or college.  

Special educational needs and disability: The local offer

This page is suitable for all readers, but also part of the Oxfordshire Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Local Offer which collects together information, services and support for children and young people in Oxfordshire with special educational needs and disabilities and their families.

There are different kinds of special educational needs, including:

  • Communicating 
  • Thinking and understanding
  • Mental health
  • Physical development

Whatever the need is there is support to help you. 

Take Action: Watch these videos on how young people with SEN and disabilities are supported at local colleges.

Getting support at school or college

To get support your parents should talk to someone at your school or college. You can also talk to somebody at your school or college yourself. 

  • Be clear – try and explain exactly what you are feeling and the difficulties you are having
  • Be practical – try and think about what would help you 
  • Stay involved – all the decisions should involve you

Each school has a teacher called the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo for short) who will help to make sure that you are listened to and get the right support. 

Crucial: The are different services that can provide support, like the SEN Support Services (SENSS), Oxfordshire’s School Inclusion Team (OXSIT) and The Early Years SEN Team.

Extra help

Sometimes young people with SEN or disability can get extra help with exams and assessments. You can find out more on the Access to Assessments webpage.

16-18 and don't have a place in learning?

If you are aged 16-18 and do not have a place in learning you should register with the EET support service.  They help you think about your future and find learning which is right for you – no matter what support you need.

Crucial: All young people should be in education, learning or training until they are 18. This is especially important for young people with special educational needs. Make sure that you get all the free education you are entitled to, and that you have the best skills for your adult life.  

Your local offer belongs to you!

The Local Offer explains support available to children and young people with special educational needs and disability, and to their families. We hope you found this page helpful. If you would like anything changed, updated or added, please use this online form.

Find out more


Posted by Alistair Noakes
Posted ago

Hi, I work as a Careers Adviser in another part of the country.
I have been supporting a 16+ young person who is going to be moving to Oxford. Who should I contact to make sure that he receives the support he needs to move on to the next stage in his life?
Can you suggest a programme at a local FE college that could support for next steps and provide support for those with Special Educational Needs (SEN, SEND)
Your help would be much appreciated.
Many thanks

Hi Alistair, I have passed your full message to the EET Support Team, and they will contact you. Young people  16+ who are likely to need more support to access EET can be referred to the EET Service by filling in the form here: eet support service | OXME.INFO We can offer signposting or more intensive support for those young people who need more. 

Our local FE Colleges also have dedicated SEND study routes and these can be directly contacted via their websites:

Abingdon & Witney Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) - Abingdon & Witney College (abingdon-witney.ac.uk) 

Activate Learning SEND - City of Oxford College (activatelearning.ac.uk) , SEND - Banbury and Bicester College (activatelearning.ac.uk) , SEND - Reading College (activatelearning.ac.uk)

Leave a comment or question

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.