Children with developmental delay / learning difficulties may present with complex, global difficulties and need support accessing learning and social opportunities. Others may have difficulties in specific areas for example, reading, writing or maths and manage better or achieve more in other areas of the curriculum and school life.
Learning difficulties, particularly if undetected or not supported well enough, can have negative outcomes for children and young people’s emotional well-being. Early identification and support is important. Staff should be aware of individual differences in learning and development and ensure that expectations are in line with the child’s age, developmental stage and, in cases of children learning English as an additional language, their stage of language acquisition.
If a child or young person’s rate of progress is slower than others, this does not necessarily mean that they have SEN. Individuals learn and progress at different rates and times. If progress is much slower than others and/or slower than previously, then this should be immediately investigated and supported through an ‘assess, plan, do, review’ process.