Every human being is unique, and so are our brains. Just as we have different colour hair, skin, and eyes, we all have a brain that is individual to us – like a fingerprint. We have different likes and dislikes, and different strengths and weaknesses.

Everybody learns at different speeds and in different ways. Some people need extra help with reading or writing, or with physical skills, or with talking and listening.

SEN stands for Special Educational Needs. The phrase describes someone with a learning difficulty or a mental or physical disability. The World Health Organisation estimates that about 20% of young people will have a special educational need at some point in their school career. When those people get the right support, everybody reaches their full potential.

But around the world, children with learning difficulties and disabilities face many forms of discrimination, leading to their exclusion from society and school. According to UNICEF (the world’s leading organisation working for children in danger), nine out of 10 disabled children living in poorer countries do not go to school.

The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation) has a scheme, Education for All, that wants children around the globe to be able to get to primary school. What should be done to ensure everyone has access to education?

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Watch Eurovision contestant SuRie perform her song Storm in sign language. How does it make you think about the meaning of the words?


  1. Without using a dictionary, write definitions for the following words: inclusive, unique, discrimination.
  2. Make a SEN-friendly mask that gives a better view of the face for people who rely on lipreading or sign language. For inspiration, see the instructions collected by the National Deaf Children’s Society.