Birmingham City Council

What are special educational needs?

An explanation of special educational needs

The law says that a child has special educational needs if he or she has learning difficulties, which call for special educational provision to be made for them.

Children have a learning difficulty if they:

  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age

  • have a disability which prevents or hinders the child from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age

  • are under compulsory school age and fall within the above groups or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them.

Full information about the definition of special educational needs is described on the DirectGov web site.