II. WHAT ARE SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS?
9. For the purposes of the Education Orders, a child
has "special educational needs" if it has a learning
difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be
made for it. For these purposes, "learning difficulty"
includes a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the
majority of children of the same age, or a disability that prevents
or hinders it from making use of educational facilities of a kind
generally provided for children of the same age in ordinary schools.
In the case of a child below compulsory school age, the definition
is whether, if special educational provision was not made for
it, the child is likely to fall within one of the above categories
when it attains that age. The special needs may be temporary,
for example when recovering from a period of illness, or long-term.
In 1978, the Warnock Report estimated that one child in five would
have special educational needs at some stage during their time
at school. These needs will of course vary in nature, extent and
duration. We set out in Section V how they are met.