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SEND Guidance for schools

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

Local Offer

Involving specialists

Services that support schools

Monitoring and evaluation

Involving the child or young person


Local Offer

SEN Policy

Schools must publish a SEN policy. National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN) have an Updating your SEN policy factsheet.

SEN Information Reports

The law says that all schools must publish a SEN Information Report on their website. It should include detailed information about their arrangements for identifying, assessing and making provision for pupils with SEN and the arrangements for admission of disabled pupils.

We have worked together with schools and parents to develop an optional template. It can be used by schools to publish their SEN Information Report or as a checklist to make sure they have covered everything in their report. The questions included in the template reflect the information that is important to parents.

Local offer template with guidance

Local offer blank template for schools


Involving specialists

Schools may involve specialists at any point to advise them on early identification of SEN and effective support and interventions. 

When special educational needs begin to present as severe and complex so that higher levels of funding are required, external agencies would always be involved e.g. Educational Psychologist, SEN Advisory Service Consultant, Speech & Language Therapist. 

The SENCO and class teacher, together with the curriculum, literacy and numeracy leads and external specialists, should consider a range of different teaching approaches and appropriate equipment and teaching materials, including the use of specialised programmes and information technology.

The external specialist may act in an advisory capacity, or provide additional specialist assessment or in some cases intervention.  In some instances improved management or adjustments based on advice from health professionals such as CAMHS or Occupational Therapists for example may considerably reduce the child’s special educational needs.  


Services that support schools



Social Care:

Early Years:

Early Help


Monitoring and evaluation

The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice makes reference to children and young people making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances and measuring progress once needs have been identified. Identifying progress is how individual children or young people, families, schools and the LA can measure the effectiveness of the provision made for students.

During the Review within an assess, plan, do, review cycle, class teachers and SENCOs should agree any changes to outcomes set and support for the child in light of the child’s progress and development.

Parents should have clear information about the impact of the support provided and be involved in planning next steps. This cycle of action should be revisited in increasing detail and with increasing frequency, to identify the best way of securing good progress.

Students and their needs are individual. What is appropriate progress is therefore also individual and has to be defined by success in meeting appropriately challenging SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) targets over time and the achievement of identified outcomes. 

An outcome is defined in the SEND Code of Practice as ‘the benefit or difference made to an individual following an intervention’. Children/young people who do not have a special educational need progress at different rates and the same is true for children with an

As part of any Ofsted expectation, Ofsted will expect to see evidence of pupil progress, a focus on outcomes and a rigorous approach to the monitoring and evaluation of any SEN support provided.

P scales: attainment targets for pupils with SEN are a useful tool for judging the progress of children and young people with SEN across each key stage, based upon their age and prior attainment. 

P Scales will continue to exist for all National Curriculum subjects, to enable schools to report on the attainment for children with special educational needs (5-16 years) who cannot access the National Curriculum. Small steps of progress within P scales will need to be measured using tools such as PIVATS or B squared.


Involving the child or young person

Person-centred thinking tools

Person-centered thinking tools are essentially methodical ways to ensure that education is meeting the needs of each child or young person, recognizing that each has a unique style of learning, communicating, building relationships and making decisions. The focus on individual children and the range of tools that can be used to put them at the heart of all school planning, could seem a daunting task to teachers, but using person-centered practices pays dividends – contented learners make for happier and more effective schools.

Person-centered thinking tools and practices have their foundation in person-centered planning, an approach to social justice and inclusion originally developed to support people with learning disabilities. The Learning Community for Person-Centered Practices ( developed the person-centered thinking tools and they are now evidenced-based practice, used in health and social care.

Person-centered practices can be powerful when used within schools and colleges. The tools can be used directly with pupils - but can also be applied to school management practices such as staff performance reviews.