Whole school approach

The SEND Code of Practice is the legal framework that all schools, colleges and education institutions have to work within.

All schools must refer to the Code of Practice whenever decisions are taken relating to children with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities.

It is believed that making a school an environment in which children with additional educational needs can thrive will have a positive impact on all students.

These pages outline the criteria set out in the Code of Practice and introduce the British Dyslexia Association Quality Mark and Literacy Leap award programmes for schools. These two initiatives can help schools to not just meet but exceed the Code of Practice ensuring that all students are given the best support possible to enable them to reach their full potential.

  • The Code of Practice states that every school:
    • Must put the student and parents at the centre of the decision-making process and ensure they are actively involved in any decisions taken about the student's support.
    • Is required to identify and address the Special Educational Needs (SEN) of the pupils that they support.

    • Must do its very best to make sure that a child with SEN gets the support they need.

    • Must ensure that children and young people with SEN engage in the activities of the school ALONGSIDE pupils who do not have SEN

    • Must designate a teacher to be responsible for co-ordinating SEN provision (a SENCo). This does not apply to 16-19 academies.

    • Must inform parents when they are making special educational provision for a child.

    • Must prepare an SEN Information Report and make it available on their website. The report must be kept up to date and should include:

      1. The kind of SEN support the school provides

      2. Their approach to teaching children and young people with SEN

      3. What arrangements they have for consulting parents and involving them in their child's education (and engaging young people directly).

    • Should have a member of the governing body or sub-committee overseeing the school's SEN and disability provision.

    • Must provide parent/carers with an annual report on the child's progress, and meet with the parent/carers regularly (at least three times a year) to discuss agreed support, action taken and set clear outcomes.

    • Has a duty under the Equality Act 2010 towards individual disabled children and young people. They must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services for disabled children, to prevent them being put at a substantial disadvantage.

  • All post 16 education providers must: 
    • Be involved in plans for young people to leave school and enter college, so that they can be prepared to meet their needs.
    • Discuss with the young person how they will provide support to meet their needs.

    • Must make their best endeavours to provide the support that the student with SEN will need.

    • Should review the support it provides and discuss it regularly with the student and their parent/guardian.

    • Once the student is over compulsory school age the college (education provider) must communicate directly with the young person. Parents should agree their level of involvement with their son or daughter, who should then make the college aware of the agreed arrangements so that parents can receive information and support, in order to maintain support for their child.

  • Essential reading

    CReSTeDThe Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexia Pupils (CReSTeD) lists schools in the UK which have met their criteria for supporting children with SpLD.

    Gov.uk - SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 years

    NASENAn international SEND/ALN membership organisation for education professionals.

    British Dyslexia AssociationDyslexia friendly schools information pack

    MESH Guides: DyslexiaHere you can find excellent information and resources on teaching for dyslexia in the classroom, it includes information on a whole school approach. 

    London Leadership StrategyThe SEND Audit Tool has been developed to support school SEND reforms and development plans.

BDA Schools' Awards

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