We support children and young people (up to the age of 25) who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)

We deliver services and provide access to information, advice. We carry out specialist assessments and give ongoing support where necessary.

Click on each of the boxes below for more information. Some of the links will take you to wording further down this page. Other links take you to a new page, if the information is more detailed. And don’t forget that a comprehensive array of information is on our Reading SEND Local Offer website too (we’ve linked to this below as well).

We've collated an at-a-glance list of all our SEND guides to help you access the information you need quickly and easily.

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SEND Guide for Parents

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Reading SEND Local Offer

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Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS)

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Our SEND teams

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Preparing for Adulthood

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Under 5s with SEND

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Schools and SEND support

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Section 41 Approved List

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Statutory Needs Assessment

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Short breaks

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Transport for young people with SEND

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SEND and employment

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Parent Carer Needs Assessment

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New SEND provision updates

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Direct Payments

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SEND Guide for parents

A quick and easy guide for parent carers of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

This guide has been put together with parent carers, in partnership with other services, to help families access information on local SEND services for children, young people with additional needs.

To read or download a copy go to readingsendlocaloffer.org

Click the image above for the latest SEND local offer newsletter.

Reading’s SEND local offer

All Local Authorities must publish information about services available for children and young people with SEND, both in and out of the borough, from birth to 25. This is known as the ‘Local Offer’. In Reading, we  are responsible for that, on Reading Borough Council’s behalf.

Our Local Offer is on the Reading Family Information Service which features a vast array of information for Reading’s residents.

You can get straight to the Reading SEND Local Offer section of that website here. The Local Offer aims to provide you with clear, comprehensive and accessible information about all support and services available, and to make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations.

To contact us, email localoffer@reading.gov.uk or call us on 0118 937 3777 (option 2)

Our teams

Our Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) team supports children and young people aged 0–25 who have special educational needs and who require the support of an Education, Health & Care (EHC) Plan.

The team co-ordinates statutory needs assessments and works closely with families, schools and practitioners from across education, health and social care, to help put support in place through EHC Plans.

If you need to contact the SEND Team, please call us on 0118 937 2674 or email us at sen@brighterfuturesforchildren.org

Our Children & Young People’s Disability Team (CYPDT) is a team of social workers and occupational therapists who support children and young people with disabilities, and their families.

More information on the CYPDT team, including eligibility for services provided, can be found on the Reading SEND Local Offer here.

For new referrals, please contact us directly through our Children’s Single Point of Access (CSPoA). You can do this via this website on our CSPoA page, or call us on 0118 937 3641 (aged under 18) or through the Contact Centre on 0118 937 3747 (aged 18-25).

Information, Advice & Support Service

Finding your way through all the SEND services can be daunting and confusing. You may find it helpful to contact Reading’s independent and impartial Information, Advice & Support Service for SEND, which is known locally as Reading IASS, but sometimes referred to as a SENDIASS service in national documents.

For free advice contact Reading IASS.


0118 937 3421

Visit website

Reading IASS

Family Support at Children's Centres

You can follow Reading Children’s Centres on Facebook to keep up to date with all activities on offer. You can also contact them at reading.childrencentres@brighterfuturesforchildren.org. Go to this page for registration details and each centre’s programme of activities.

Click the headings below to expand for details.

If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, you can access speech and language drop-in centres at your local children’s centres to seek advice from a therapist. You can access the speech and language from all children’s centre hubs.

This group runs in each of the hubs and is a fun, interactive session developed to provide a “stay and play” session that is planned to support your child with school readiness based on individual needs including emerging or diagnosed special educational needs or disabilities.

It provides an opportunity for parent peer support and networking as well as activities for the children to extend their learning and development. Speakers from different services are invited to come to the group, as requested by parents.

We know how important it is for children to be school ready and therefore we run groups that enable parents and children to understand the transition to school/nursery process. We offer practical sessions that really help your children when they start school/nursery.

Evidence based parenting courses can be accessed via your local children’s centre throughout the year.

The Reading Portage Service is a model of support for Reading families who have pre-school children (0–4 years) recognised as needing additional support with their development. Portage is delivered in the home, in a group, or a combination of both. The offer of support is made up of three different interventions and families may be offered one, two or all of the interventions. These interventions include the Portage first steps group, Portage at home and Portage next steps group. During Portage at home, families are visited in their own home by a trained Portage Home Visitor who offers developmental support, encouragement and advice. In partnership with parents we design and record stimulating activities to encourage children to meet their individual learning goals. We also offer support with their transition into a nursery or school.

Professionals can refer (with parental consent) through the Children’s Single Point of Access.

Contact: Jessica Kenward 01189 372 089 or 07773 197 126.

You can also read our Reading Portage Service Guide here.

For more details about Portage Home Visitors, see our Portage service leaflet.

You can also find more information about Portage via the Family Information Service.

Schools and SEND support

The majority of pupils with special educational needs are supported by their school, without the need for an EHC Plan. In a small number of cases, however, where the needs might be more severe, complex and persistent, an EHC Plan may be required to provide further support. If you have concerns, in the first instance please talk to the SEND Co-ordinator (SENDCo) at your/your child’s school or educational setting for further information.

A child or young person with special education needs or disability (SEND) can usually be supported within the mainstream education system.

The following table is a list of Reading schools with varied levels of support available, ranging from full, specialist support to those with resources for different special educational needs and/or disabilities:

School Description Contact
The Avenue Special School All age special school for children with complex needs, including autism. 0118 937 5554
The Holy Brook Special School Primary special school for pupils with emotional, social and mental health difficulties. 0118 937 5489
Hamilton School  Secondary special school for pupils with emotional, social and mental health difficulties. 0118 937 5524
Blessed Hugh Faringdon School Secondary mainstream school with a resource for pupils with an autistic spectrum condition. 0118 957 4730
Christ the King Primary School Primary mainstream school with a resource for pupils with an autistic spectrum condition. 0118 937 5434
EP Collier Primary School Primary mainstream school with a resource for pupils with speech & language and communication difficulties. 0118 937 5470
Highdown School Secondary mainstream school with a resource for pupils with a visual impairment. 0118 937 5800
New Bridge Nursery Mainstream nursery with a resource for pupils with an autistic spectrum condition. 0118 937 5580
Prospect School Secondary mainstream school resource for pupils with moderate learning difficulties. 0118 959 0466
Thames Valley School All age special school for children with a diagnosis of Autism. 0118 942 4750
Young children with teacher

Section 41 Approved List

Section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014 allows the Secretary of State to publish a list of approved independent educational institutions, independent special schools and special post-16 institutions. Institutions apply to be included on the list.

Independent special schools and colleges – lists of section 41 schools and colleges, and independent special schools in England including non-maintained special schools (and excluding section 41 schools and colleges).

You can search the educational and support services available including the schools’ SEN Information Reports on SEND Local Offer Reading Services Guide.

In 2019, Ofsted changed the way it inspects and report on schools from September 2019. For more information on these changes please visit www.gov.uk/government/news/ofsted-is-changing-how-it-inspects-schools

Section 41 approved list

Statutory Needs Assessments

A statutory needs assessment can also be known as an EHC assessment. It is an assessment of your child’s educational, health and social care needs to see if they might need more help than can be provided in their educational setting.

A request for a statutory needs assessment is usually made by the school or educational setting, but parents and young people also have a right to ask us to consider starting an assessment.

We use criteria when considering a request, alongside the guidance detailed in the SEND Code of Practice.

Learn more on Reading SEND Local Offer

Preparing for Adulthood

We are working to help make the move from children’s to adults’ services as seamless as possible for young people with SEND. As well as meetings to explain the process at key stages, we have produced a booklet to help both young people and their parent carers understand the process. In addition to this, we have easy-read guides and we are working on a video and other resources to make the information as accessible as possible.

Learn more on Reading SEND Local Offer