Section 1: High Quality/Ordinarily Available Provision:

  1. Strategic Context – The One Family Approach
  2. Ordinarily Available provision linked to the SEND Code of Practice
  3. Voice of the Child/Young Person
  4. SEND in Mainstream (EEF)
  5. The Graduated Approach (including the Assess, Plan, Do and Review Cycle)
  6. Expectations on all settings – High Quality Inclusive Practice

Section 2: Ordinarily Available Provision linked to specific needs:

  1. Identification of SEND
  2. Support for Broad Areas of Need:
  3. Support, Advice and Resources linked to the four broad areas of need.
  4. Legislation and Local details
  5. Jargon Buster

Ordinarily Available Provision

Guidance on the provision that mainstream settings, including Early Years, Schools and Colleges need to make for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.

This document has been created from a working party of people who work with children and young people aged 0 – 25, including:

  • Practitioners from Nursery to Post-16 settings including Headteachers/Managers and SENDCos.
  • Children and Young People within North Lincolnshire (voice collated from a range of professionals, including SEND Teaching Team/Education Inclusion, ASET/COBE, BST, EP/Portage, Lead SEND Officer, Quality and Participation Team, Short Breaks and Family Voice representatives).
  • SEND Team, including the Lead Teacher for SEND, Education Inclusion Teacher and Educational Psychology/ Portage
  • Project and Practice development Officer and Access and Inclusion Development Officer.
  • In addition, Health, SENDIASS, Governors and our Local Parent Involvement and Participation (PIP) forum have been involved in further updates and amendments.

Three children doing crafts sat at a table

A teenage male and female talking with a tutor looking at a machine

It reflects our Children’s Commissioning Strategy and our integrated One Family Approach.

Any provision or support for children and young people should not be dependent on any formal diagnosis. The One Family Approach is how we respond to the needs of children and families in North Lincolnshire in the context of an integrated service for children and young people. It provides a vision for a new system that places children and families at the centre – a One Family Approach to strategy, commissioning, planning, and practice. It is founded upon our North Lincolnshire culture, values and beliefs, capturing our intent to keep children in their families, their schools and their communities. It provides a model for innovative, integrated working which builds upon strengths, finds solutions in families and communities, builds resilience and confidence, and enables independence.

Our ambition is for children, young people and families to be supported by a workforce that is resilient, confident, competent and with the authorisation to do what they think is the right thing to do without propelling children and families through a range of systems and pathways when our day-to-day contact can make the difference. This requires the workforce to operate within an organisational model which is clear and consistent.

Section 1: One Family Approach – ‘ORGANISATIONAL MODEL’, right service, right time, right outcome

Organisational model - Text version below this image

One Family Approach- ‘MODEL,’ right service, right time, right outcome.

Universal (self-help and enablement)

Within the right conditions, via the integrated children families offer, and through taking self-responsibility, children, young people and families;

  • actively participate in under supported by their schools and communities;
  • access available information, amenities, settings and support that are accessible to all to help themselves to raise awareness, develop skills and resilience and enable behaviour changes that will contribute to them being safe, well, prosperous and connected, without the need for interventions;
  • actively engaged with proactive, preventative, health promotion activity and receive the benefits of early intervention and support to maximise their health, well-being and resilience, as well as improving health outcomes and reducing inequalities.

Within specific populations, schools, neighbourhoods communities, family community hubs and area wide.

Targeted (Focused and preventative)

Children, young people and families are entitled to equality of opportunity and equality of outcome and through the integrated children and families offer, children, young people and families are helped, supported and empowered to enable behaviour changes that will build resilience, enable self-help and contribute to them being safe, well, prosperous and connected, preventing the need for more specialist help.

Within specific populations, schools, neighbourhoods, communities, family community hubs and area wide for those who seek out and/or are identified as requiring additional help via consultation/formulation.

Within specific populations through targeted, intensive home visiting and evidence based interventions.

Specialist (Protection)

Where there are serious concerns, through early, swift, creative, flexible and responsive integrated children families offer, children, young people and families are helped, supported and empowered to protect themselves and enabled behaviour changes around the whole family that will contribute to reducing harm, enabling the family to remain together and independent in their community, leading to them being safe, well, prosperous and connected.

Within specific populations, schools, neighbourhoods, communities, family and community hubs and area wide for those who are identified as requiring help to protect themselves and/ or others from harm.

Within specific populations through targeted, intensive home visiting and evidence based interventions.
enablers: workforce development, stakeholder voice an engagement, outcomes framework and data maturity.

Ordinarily Available Provision

The SEND Code of Practice sets out key responsibilities that all settings should comply with for SEND pupils.

“A pupil has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that ordinarily available to pupils of the same age.” SEND Code of Practice 2014 (para 6:15)

Schools and education settings should read this in the context of their responsibility to take a Graduated Approach to assessing, planning for, reviewing and providing for the majority of pupil and student needs in their settings.

Every pupil with special educational needs should have SEN support. This means help that is additional to or different from the support generally given to most of the other children of the same age. The purpose of SEN support is to help children and young people achieve the outcomes or learning objectives set for them by the school in conjunction with parents and pupils themselves. Therefore, there should be a regular cycle of Assess, Plan, Do, Review to ensure children and young people are making progress.

SEN support can take many forms, through more bespoke strategies, such as:

  • Extra help from a teacher or a teaching assistant – see EEF guidance: Making Best use of Teaching Assistants document.
  • Making, providing or changing materials and equipment, for example access to an I-Pad.
  • Working in a small group as required.
  • Helping the pupil to take part in the class activities.
  • Making sure the pupil has understood things through encouragement, scaffolding, and support.
  • Encouraging them to ask questions and to try something they find difficult.
  • Supporting with physical or personal care (if appropriate) such as eating, getting around school safely, toileting or dressing.
  • Accessing advice and/or extra help from specialists such as specialist teachers, educational psychologists and therapists if required.
  • Reasonable adjustments to access trips and additional provision, such as extra-curricular activities.

Ordinarily available provision is made from funding ordinarily available to the setting through their core, delegated budget or own funding source. The education setting must always consider their Graduated Approach and show evidence of interventions over time before they consider whether it is necessary for an EHC assessment to take place.

Broadly speaking, Ordinarily Available Provision will be an integral part of the school’s provision for all children/young people and so this document outlines some of the practices and adaptations that are part of quality first teaching. The provision and strategies may be required for children and young people with SEND but will undoubtedly be of benefit to many of the pupils in the setting.

Special Educational Needs in mainstream schools: Voice of the child/young person

A collage of resources created by children

Special Educational Needs in mainstream schools: Summary of recommendations

  • An inclusive school removes barriers to learning and participation, provides an education that is appropriate to pupils’ needs, and promotes high standards and the fulfilment of potential for all pupils. School should:
  • promote positive relationships, active engagement, and wellbeing for all pupils
  • ensure all pupils can access the best possible teaching and
  • adopt a positive and proactive approach to behaviour, as described in the EEF’s Improving Behaviour in Schools guidance report.
  • Schools should aim to understand individual pupil’s learning needs using the graduated approach of the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ approach.
  • Assessment should be regular and purposeful rather than one off event, and should seek input from parents and carers as well as the pupil themselves and specialist professionals.
  • Teachers need to feel empowered and trusted to use the information they collect to make a decision about the next steps for teaching that child.
  • Schools should aim to understand individual pupil’s learning needs using the graduated approach of the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ approach.
  • Assessment should be regular and purposeful rather than one off event, and should seek input from parents and carers as well as the pupil themselves and specialist professionals.
  • Teachers need to feel empowered and trusted to use the information they collect to make a decision about the next steps for teaching that child.
  • Small group and one-to-one interventions can be a powerful tool but must be used carefully. Ineffective use of the interventions can crate a barrier to the inclusion of pupils with SEND.
  • High quality teaching should reduce the need for extra support, but it is likely that some pupils will require high quality, structured, targeted interventions to make progress.
  • The intensity of intervention (from universal to targeted to specialist) should increase with need.
  • Interventions should be carefully targeted through identification and assessment of need.
  • Interventions should be applied using the principles of effective implementation described in the EEF’s guidance report Putting Evidence to Work: A School’s Guide to Implementation.
  • Effective deployment of teaching assistants (TAs) is critical. School leaders should pay careful attention to the roles of TAs and ensure they have a positive impact on pupils with SEND.
  • TAs should supplement, not replace, teaching from the classroom teacher.
  • The EEF’s guidance report Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants provides detailed recommendations.

The Graduated Approach

Support at the Graduated Approach spans from the Universal to the Specialist high needs level. All levels will be delivered across North Lincolnshire schools, underpinned by The One Family Approach. The majority of children and young people will benefit from attending mainstream schools and have their needs met through the quality teaching and learning available to all pupils, including that at school support. Some children and young people may require Education, Health and Care plans and some, who have significantly delayed development, complex and/or multiple needs, may attend a specialist school provision.

Graphic showing the cycle, assess, plan, do and review

From the SEND code of practice, schools and settings must:

  • Identify the Children or Young Person (CYP) who are having difficulties in learning.
  • Assess the needs of CYP including any special educational need.
  • Plan and deliver provision to help CYP overcome their difficulties.
  • Review the provision to understand if adjustments and support have helped or are helping the CYP to overcome difficulties.
  • Involve parent/carers and CYP in planning and reviewing any adjustments or support that is put in place; securing parent/carer and CYP input throughout the assess/plan/do/review process.

High Quality Inclusive Practice: Roles and Responsibilities

The Head Teacher, or managers should …

  • Have overall strategic oversight of the effective and consistent implementation of the SEND policy across school and reasonable adjustments.
  • Lead on the culture within a school; they set the standard, modelling the expectation of inclusivity and meeting the needs of all CYP, including the physical environment. Headteachers are the champions of all CYP, including those with SEND.
  • Ensure that SEND provision at a strategic level is monitored and evaluated routinely within the school’s overall quality assurance framework.

The SEND Governor should …

  • Have strategic oversight of SEND provision.
  • Conduct strategic monitoring.
  • Regularly receive a range of information specific to the SEND cohort in their school (recommended termly). This might include progress and attainment, attendance rates, to include persistent absenteeism, part-time timetables, suspensions.
  • Provide both support and challenge.

The Class Teacher and practitioners should …

  • Be aware that every teacher is a Teacher of SEND.
  • Deliver universal, high-quality teaching for all, which meets the needs of all CYP in their class, including making reasonable adjustments when necessary.
  • Know which CYP in their class has SEND, the nature and level of that SEND, and the current plan to support the CYP’s needs; they should be involved in its creation (APDR cycles), supported by the SENDCo.
  • Have high aspirations for and high expectations of CYP with SEND and tailor provision to meet need, with expertise and guidance from the SENDCo, and external agencies as and when appropriate.
  • Identify and effectively use resources to provide the adjustments and adaptations a CYP may require ensuring every CYP makes progress.
  • Direct any additional adults working with the class effectively. Teaching assistants should enhance the teaching, with the CYP continuing to retain direct access to the high-quality teaching in class. Additionally, the teacher can direct teaching assistants to deliver short, intensive spells of one to one or small group interventions, if this is appropriate.

The SENDCo should …

  • Provide strategic leadership and professional guidance to colleagues, working closely with those colleagues, parent/carers, and external agencies, in the best interests of CYP with SEND.
  • Model inclusivity and best practice in teaching, provision, the environment and resources, to support strong outcomes for pupils with SEND.
  • Must be a qualified teacher working at the school. From September 2024 the NPQ SENCO is mandatory and will replace the NASENCO award, this NPQ must be completed within three years. Anyone that has already completed the NASENCO award will not be required to take the NPQ SENCO.
  • It is beneficial for them to be part of the senior leadership team, or someone have someone in that role championing SEND.
  • Ensure all staff, pupils and parents/carers are aware of CYP’s individual needs and provision; this is understood by all and regularly reviewed with external agencies, where applicable.
  • See further suggestions within the SEND responsibilities, on page 108.

High Quality Inclusive Practice: Developing the Workforce

SEND Education and Inclusion Plan 2022 – 25

A key factor to ensuring improved outcomes for our SEND children and young people is that we have a workforce (across the full range of services and provision from universal to specialist) that is equipped with the appropriate skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications to meet the needs of our children and young people with SEND. Moreover, that we have a workforce that has inclusive practice and high aspiration right at the centre.

North Lincolnshire has a strong record of recruiting and developing a skilled, professional workforce capable of making a real difference to the lives of children and young people in the area.

Our ambition is that every member of the children’s workforce is equipped to meet a broad range of children’s learning and developmental needs at the first point of contact, to be able to work confidently with families to build their capacity and to ensure that the right support is available at the right time and in the right place.

One Family Approach to workforce development

  • Blended integrated workforce without boundaries
  • Consistent systematic approach to business
  • People are resilient and have the right skills and experience
  • People do the right thing at the right time in the right place to meet need
  • Management of supply and demand.

Staff working together at training event

Staff working together at training event

Staff working together at training event

High quality teaching is effective for all children…

Although not exhaustive, the following are key features of high-quality, inclusive teaching and provision:

  • Ensuring wellbeing needs are met so that CYP are in ‘the right place’ emotionally to learn.
  • High expectations of all CYP.
  • Teachers knowing the contexts of CYP and the characteristics of learners, whilst not stereotyping or applying a label in a way which might have a negative impact on expectations or opportunities.
  • Access to a broad curriculum and to learning which is sequential, cohesive, relevant and contextualised to develop the holistic education of the EYP.
  • A wide range of on-going, responsive, diagnostic assessment, monitoring and review that informs and shapes the teaching and learning.
  • Explicit instruction and skilled, varied and or/ open-ended questioning; asking the right questions at the right time, which are tailored to the needs of pupils.
  • Skilled research based, pedagogical intervention: using knowledge of how CYP learn to craft and reshape learning experiences.
  • Modelling to reveal the thought processes of an ‘expert’ learner to aid understanding and help develop metacognitive skills.
  • Dedicated teaching of metacognitive and executive functioning skills; helping CYP to understand how they learn and make decisions about learning, in order to problem-solve and select the most effective learning strategies for different tasks/contexts.
  • Building on prior knowledge, understanding, skills and ideas which CYP bring to new and subsequent learning opportunities and experiences.
  • Embedding key skills and understanding, to gain fluency and mastery across different contexts of learning.
  • Opportunities to elaborate on learning; to use describing and explaining which helps integrate new information with prior knowledge and embed it in memory.
  • Planned sequences and cycles of learning which stretch and challenge all pupils.
  • Pre-teaching which acknowledges the different starting points of CYP and attempts to enable all CYP to access the core teaching and learning from the main lesson(s).
  • Flexibility in teaching and learning to adjust, differentiate and personalise in response to CYP, while ensuring that any long-term and generic adaptation is always available, practised routinely and part of everyday adjustment if needed to ensure every child achieves success.
  • The explicit teaching of key vocabulary and use of resources to assist in conceptual understanding and building knowledge.
  • The impact of any adjustments, personalisation, intervention or support critically evaluated, with these evaluations used to inform subsequent teaching and learning.
  • Strong, positive relationships within the learning environment and wider school culture. To foster independence and positive relationships, all parts of the day, structured and unstructured, are important for learning.
  • A physical environment which is conducive to learning, taking into account such aspects as sensory and physical needs, including consideration of seating, flexible grouping and the environment.
  • Effective skilled classroom management-this should be consistent in all aspects of school life.
  • Skilled deployment of any additional adults with appropriate training and clear, focused remits to support learning, independence, metacognition and self-regulation.
  • The use of technology and other equipment, visual information, practical demonstration and concrete representation to support learning.

Teaching & Learning Strategies:

Practitioners are aware of the additional needs of their pupils; they understand the nature and impact of these and know how to respond to them:

  • Planning incorporates more detailed specialist advice.
  • Aspects of structured teaching are used according to pupil needs, such as visual timetables, clear concise instructions with written or visual prompts (e.g., now and next cards), particularly during transitions.
  • Pupils are given appropriate time to process information before being asked to respond.
  • Tasks are broken down into small manageable steps. These steps are shown explicitly.
  • The pace and order of activities is varied to maintain interest and attention of all pupils.

Practitioners differentiate, to provide suitable learning challenges and cater for different learning needs and styles. Individualised and/or small group planning and programmes are used where appropriate to scaffold and support pupils. Steps to success or similar promote independence:

  • Modelling is used to aid understanding.
  • Visual/audio demonstrations and visual cues/audio commentary are used.
  • Key vocabulary is displayed with visuals/visual representation.
  • Alternatives to written recording are used routinely.
  • Study skills are explicitly taught.
  • Homework is differentiated appropriately for pupils. Pupils have access to homework clubs, or additional support with homework.
  • Teachers’ handwriting on the board and in pupils’ books is clear and legible.

Practitioners ensure that pupils have opportunities to work in different ways, e.g., independently, in a variety of small groups and/or in pairs:

  • Access to whole classroom environment, predominantly taught by the teacher. Age-appropriate-accessing learning with peers academically and cognitively and who are of the same age.
  • Strategies are used to actively promote independent learning, e.g., through pre-teaching, overlearning, appropriately differentiated resources.
  • Seating plans and groupings take account of individual needs and routinely provide opportunities for access to role-models, mixed-ability groups, structured opportunities for conversation and sharing of ideas, with access to additional adults where they are available.
  • Use of additional adults is planned to maximise impact on learning and engagement in the classroom.

Practitioners ensure that collaborative learning and peer support is a feature of lessons:

  • Strategies are used to build and maintain positive relationships across the whole school community (e.g., restorative approaches).
  • There are opportunities to develop peer awareness/sensitivity.

Staff Skills & Training:

All practitioners, including Teaching Assistants, make a positive contribution to pupil progress:

  • Additional adults are deployed proactively in the classroom and their impact on the pupil is monitored carefully to ensure progress is supported. All adults are aware of and make reasonable adjustments throughout the school day.
  • Grouping/seating arrangements and additional support are used to promote independent learning as far as possible.
  • Strategies used in interventions are integrated into class teaching so that pupils can sustain progress.

There is a plan for on-going Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in relation to the needs of the pupil:

  • There is a planned programme of ongoing CPD in relation to SEND for the whole setting and individual teams and departments.
  • Best practice is shared within the school and with other schools via Peer Leader Programmes, North Lincolnshire SENDCo networks and the professionals area of the Local Offer website.

Staff collaborate and have effective links with other relevant outside agencies and specialists:

  • Practitioners know when to refer for extra support or advice; processes are clear for what needs to be included within referrals.
  • The setting is aware of, and regularly communicates with, any other professionals who are involved with each pupil.
  • Advice received from other professionals is used to inform teaching and learning.

EEF: Making Best use of Teaching Assistants Guidance:

The effective use use of TAs under everyday classroom conditions

1. TAs should not be used as an informal teaching resource for low attaining pupils

2. Use TAs to add value to what teachers do, not replace them

3. Use TAs to help pupils develop independent learning skills and manage their own learning

4. Ensure TAs are fully prepared for their role in the classroom.

The effective use use of TAs in delivering structured interventions out of class

5. Use TAs to deliver high quality one-to-one and small group support using structured interventions

6. Adopt evidence-based interventions to support TAs in their small group and one-to-one instruction.

Integrated learning from work led by teachers and TAs

8. Ensure explicit connections are made between learning from everyday classroom and teaching structured interventions

The level/extent of transition can vary from small transitions, in and around school within the school day, to much larger transitions, such as transitioning from one class (year group) to the next, or moving between education settings (EYFS to Primary, Primary to Secondary, or Secondary to Post 16).

Staff are aware of those who will need additional support for all or most transitions and plan for these; this may include leaners who:

  • Have insecure attachment, including, but not limited to, CIC, CIN, CP, Forces pupils and previous CIC
  • Have social and communication difficulties, including ASD
  • Have suffered trauma, loss or bereavement
  • Are anxious
  • Pupils who transition on their own-without any peers.

Transitions can include:

  • Moving around the setting
  • Moving from lesson to lesson
  • Special events: visitors, visits, celebrations
  • Changing from structured to unstructured times
  • Moving from break to lesson times
  • Life events: birth of a sibling, change in parenting arrangements, e.g., change in parents’ relationship status, loss and bereavement, contact visits and puberty
  • Moving from one activity to the next within a lesson
  • Changes of staff – permanent and temporary
  • Moving year groups
  • Moving schools
  • Starting and leaving school.


  • Safe spaces are available within the classroom, or an identified area of the school, for time out.
  • Visual timetables are used, events are removed or ticked off when finished.
  • Timers are used to show pupils how long they must work for/how long they have remaining to finish.
  • Opportunities for periods of respite using withdrawal to smaller groups. This might include self-directed /individual time-out.
  • Plans are made for unstructured times: safe spaces are available; there are structured alternatives such as games club, use of library for vulnerable pupils.
  • Social stories/photographs can support pupils with transitions.
  • Additional visits/building relationships prior to a transition point.
  • Accurate passing on of relevant information.

Procedures are in place for ensuring smooth progression through settings, particularly during all transition phases, including on entry and exit. Information is actively sought and shared about pupils to support successful transitions and manage change both within the school and beyond. This information is available for the pupils parents and carers, other colleagues within the setting and receiving or previous settings as required. Practitioners are aware of pupils who need additional support while transitions and adjustments are made.

Useful information on Transition:

Also, more information on supporting pupils transition/preparation for adulthood can be found on the Preparing for Adulthood webpage.

Section 2: Identification of SEND

It is a national expectation that all schools and settings have a clear, defined approach to identifying and responding to SEND; good practice would be to identify the pupils strengths, as well as special educational needs. The SEND Code of Practice defines SEND in four broad areas of need (quotes are taken directly from the Code of Practice, where further information can be found):

Communication & Interaction:

Includes Autism (ASD) and Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN).

‘Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication… They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.’

Social, Emotional & Mental Health:

‘Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.’

Cognition & Learning:

  • Includes Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD), Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD), Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty (PMLD) and Severe Learning Difficulty (SLD).
  • MLD ‘Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs.’
  • SpLD: ‘Specific Learning Difficulties affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.’
  • SLD: ‘where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication.’
  • PMLD: ‘where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.’

Sensory & Physical:

‘Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support. Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties… Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.’

What does the SEND Code of Practice say about Identification of Needs?

6.14: ‘All schools should have a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEN. The benefits of early identification are widely recognised – identifying need at the earliest point and then making effective provision improves long-term outcomes for the child or young person.’

6.20: ‘… parents know their children best, and it is important that all professionals listen and understand when parents express concerns about their child’s development. They should also listen to and address any concerns raised by children and young people themselves.’

6.27: ‘The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a pupil into a category. In practice, individual children or young people often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time … A detailed assessment of need should ensure that the full range of an individual’s needs is identified, not simply the primary need. The support provided to an individual should always be based on a full understanding of their particular strengths and needs.’

6.45 ‘In identifying a child as needing SEN support the class or subject teacher, working with the SENCO, should carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs. This should draw on the teacher’s assessment and experience of the pupil, their previous progress and attainment, as well as information from the school’s core approach to pupil progress, attainment, and behaviour. It should also draw on other subject teachers’ assessments where relevant, the individual’s development in comparison to their peers and national data, the views and experience of parents, the pupil’s own views and, if relevant, advice from external support services.’

SEN Support in Mainstream Schools

  • If assessments indicate that a CYP needs provision beyond universal high-quality teaching, the next level is SEND Support.
  • This guidance focuses on SEN Support, which is broadly the adaptations, adjustments and additionality that should be ordinarily available within mainstream schools to support CYP with SEND.
  • There is delegated funding for primary and secondary mainstream schools for SEND. The national expectation is that up to £6,000 of additional provision can be made, for those who need it, each year. This funding can be used flexibly by a school to develop provision which benefits a wide group of students, for example, a nurture hub. The SENDCo should be aware of what the school’s SEND Notional Budget is (Element 2 funding).
  • 6.23 ‘Slow progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that a child has SEN and should not automatically lead to a pupil being recorded as having SEN.’ 6.21 ‘Persistent disruptive or withdrawn behaviours do not necessarily mean that a child or young person has SEN.
  • As part of the ordinarily available provision, it expected that schools will purchase and provide equipment to meet the individual needs of pupils through the use of element 1 and 2 funding for SEN Support. Although this list is not extensive, this may include equipment such as writing slopes, an I-Pad or Laptop, specialist pens or scissors.

What is an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment?

The vast majority of children will have their needs appropriately met using the approaches and strategies set out in this guidance (SEN Support). Only those with the most exceptional level of needs will require a statutory assessment of their SEND and provision to be made in accordance with an EHC Plan in order to meet needs.

Please refer to the North Lincolnshire Local Offer Document Library for further guidance on:

  • Guidance on Identification of SEND Needs – further details about each of the four broad areas of need, plus links to assessments that may support with decision making.
  • When and how to make a request for an EHC assessment and what evidence you will need.

Identification of SEND: Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

This provision should be in addition to the expectations in section one.

Approach and strategies

  • Curriculum and timetabling which provides opportunities for pre-teaching and reinforcement of vocabulary when new concepts or units of work are introduced.
  • Key vocabulary and concepts targeted first with consistent visual representation or contextual cues; this can promote generalisation of understanding across learning opportunities.
  • Opportunities for guided reading to support decoding comprehension, and inference, with targeted comprehension groups identified through appropriate assessment (e.g., blank level questioning).
  • Pupils will access strategies and resources typically available in the ordinary classroom, with an emphasis on visual teaching aids to support learning and social activities.
  • Specific attention and listening activities built into daily learning experiences. In general, attention and listening skills can be promoted through consistent use of visual support by the adults to assist understanding of the expectations, use of specific praise and feedback and consistent access to appropriate learning resources.
  • A range of opportunities for CYP to develop their understanding of curriculum specific and general vocabulary, such as digital media, real life experience and visits. This will need to be supported by curriculum and timetabling at key opportunities (e.g., introduction of a new topic).
  • Modify the language that adults use; avoidance of information overload by reducing and chunking language, use language with simple grammatical structure and support verbal speech with a visual representation of the information (appropriate to the developmental needs of the CYP).
  • Use of resources and strategies to alleviate load on auditory memory and organisation of information (e.g., task plans, sequence boards, visual time¬tables, subject specific word banks and glossaries, post-it notes, digital recorders, smart phone apps).
  • Structured opportunities to learn how to work collaboratively and to practice those skills regularly.
  • Careful use of language and avoidance of information overload by reducing and chunking language.
  • Use of adult/peer facilitator to scaffold and check understanding at key points in learning.
  • Access to low distraction areas.
  • For CYP with more significant or persistent difficulties, the development of language use and or understanding via targeted interventions should coincide with a SaLT referral.
  • Teaching of specific interaction skills and social use of language, with opportunities to generalise skills on a daily basis.
  • Modify the language that adults use; address the CYP by name, reduce, slow down, give take up time, use non-literal language with care.
  • Use of a visual timetable to manage changes and lesson transitions.
  • Use of peer mentor and peer support systems.
  • Tasks may need to be differentiated by level/outcome/pitch/pace and grouping.
  • Aspects of structured teaching might be helpful, e.g., precision teaching.
  • Staff are skilled in adjusting the pace and order of activities to maintain interest and attention.

Identification of SEND: Cognition and Learning

This provision should be in addition to the expectations in section one.

Approach and strategies

  • Effective use of IT equipment to support learning.
  • Pre-teaching of vocabulary.
  • Structured programmes for reading/comprehension, phonics (primary), maths and English.
  • Use of developmental language appropriate to the CYP in questioning and use of skilled explanation.
  • Curriculum adapted to promote full participation, support experiential learning, use talk for learning, promote independence, and support social inclusion.
  • Curriculum differentiated so that content can be accessed independently of specific difficulties while supporting the development of key skills.
  • Curriculum provides opportunities for repetition, over-learning and consolidation of skills at an appropriate level e.g., Precision Teaching).
  • Strong emphasis on meta-cognitive approaches (e.g., how can you help yourself to remember this?).
  • Use IT to support personalised learning and reinforcement of whole class learning, (e.g., speech to text software, predictive software, photograph of lesson work on whiteboard, iPad)
  • Support all topics with manipulatives/real objects and ensure a range of activities to support children in making conceptual links between topics (e.g., Dienes, Numicon, artefacts, images).
  • Use of specialist resources to support the development of numeracy (e.g., Numicon, number frames and rods, counting and number lines, 100 squares, etc).
  • Have writing supports available (not just on the wall), e.g., phonics and word mats, word banks, personal dictionaries and common spellings.
  • Use of strategies for scaffolding of literacy-based tasks (e.g., writing frames, sequencing, cue cards, highlighting).
  • Use individual and small group work to prepare the pupil for the learning that will take place in a later whole class activity and to teach particular skills.
  • Encouragement of pupils to verbalise, share and develop ideas prior to writing. Use strategies to support their independence, whiteboards for notes/recorders, etc.
  • Use whole word reading approach alongside phonics if appropriate.
  • Access to alternative methods of recording (mind-mapping, video or audio recording, posters, dictation, use of ICT).
  • Use models, representations (such as number lines and graphs) and multi-sensory resources purposefully and appropriately to promote understanding.
  • Emphasise the many connections between mathematical facts, procedures, and concepts.
  • Ensure that pupils develop fluent recall of number facts; games can be an effective way of achieving this.

Identification of SEND: Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)

This provision should be in addition to the expectations in section one.

Approach and strategies

  • A behaviour policy underpinned by a clear ethos and values. Flexibility is built into the policy to accommodate different SEMH needs, e.g., adjustments to uniform policies in accordance with reasonable adjustments set out in the Equality Act 2010.
  • Groupings to maximise a sense of belonging, esteem, communication skills, listening skills, emotional literacy, resilience, social and emotional aspects of learning, self- awareness, self-organisation and independence.
  • Opportunities to explore the development of close relationships, enabling the growth of self-assurance and promoting a sense of belonging, allowing CYP to explore the world from a secure base.
  • Identification of key adult to build positive and trusting relationship.
  • Small group or 1:1 work.
  • Support available for staff working with pupils with SEMH via group or individual supervision or debrief sessions.
  • Emphasis on choice rather than control and “take up time” to respond to choice whenever possible.
  • Use of distraction techniques and giving responsibility.
  • Use of PSHCE, circle time and curriculum approaches to explicitly teach rules and routines, build self-esteem and develop social and emotional skills to all leaners.
  • Nurture groups – use an emotional literacy support assistant (ELSA) for specific 1:1 work or small group work.
  • Time out opportunities within and outside the classroom which follow procedures agreed with the CYP and which focus on getting back on track/task completion.
  • Minimal change of routine, familiar key adults and environment. Support periods of transition and other key triggers times for the pupil.
  • Interspersing of non-preferred and preferred tasks.
  • Restorative approaches to build, maintain and repair relationships.
  • Specific support for unstructured times within the day.
  • Grouping to explicitly promote turn-taking and sharing. Seating plans and classroom layout adjusted to meet sensory, attention needs.
  • Range of additional opportunities for social and emotional development (e.g., social skills, buddy systems, circle time, circle of friends).
  • Co-regulation techniques leading to self-regulation.
  • Anti-bullying work.
  • Developing attachment aware strategies.

Identification of SEND: Sensory and Physical

This provision should be in addition to the expectations in section one.

Approach and strategies

  • Use an environmental checklist to consider adaptations such as highlighting steps and keeping routeways clear.
  • Multi-sensory teaching approaches that enable the CYP to use their other senses to access learning.
  • Use of real objects and real-life contexts to support learning.
  • Lesson content prepared in advance and presented in a way which meets the individual CYP’s needs (e.g., preferred large print size and decluttered).
  • Favourable seating arrangements are identified.
  • Staff are aware that, for some pupils, a sensory or physical need could impact on their language and social interaction.
  • Staff should encourage students to wear appropriate sensory equipment and use physical aids.
  • Written recording demands reduced as appropriate and alternative means of recording made available.
  • Plan and adapt the classroom environment and any group or practical work to ensure that the CYP is in the optimum viewing position; this may change with different activities.
  • Repetition and oral clarification of instructions, vocabulary and new concepts.
  • Additional time to complete tasks if needed or modification to task (e.g., reduction in number of questions to be tackled) to allow completion at the same time as peers.
  • Access to specialist equipment such as technology to replicate the interactive whiteboard on a mobile device, low vision aids and magnifiers, sloping boards, large print materials, etc.
  • Peers may need awareness raising to understand and support the needs of the CYP.
  • Specialist advice and training on strategies and teaching approaches is provided by the qualified Teachers.
  • Additional support in new or unfamiliar environments.
  • Support for social interaction and inclusion.
  • Range of additional opportunities for social and emotional development (e.g., social skills, buddy systems, circle time, circle of friends).
  • Co-regulation techniques leading to self-regulation.
  • Anti-bullying work.
  • Developing attachment aware strategies.
  • Staff will need to follow advice from therapists regarding management of the CYP’s programmes of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and self-help skills.
  • Access arrangements for assessments.
  • Extra time allowed for thinking, processing and formulating responses.
  • The CYP may require emotional support with regards to their understanding and acceptance of any physical limitations imposed on them by the effects of their disability.

Support, Advice and Resources for further guidance:

School Improvement SEND Team: Education Inclusion SEND Teachers promote school improvement; we work with education professionals to:

  • Provide support and challenge around the implementation of the SEND Code of Practice
  • Promote the early identification of children and young people’s needs.
  • Develop whole school strategic management of SEND using the SEND Self Evaluation Audit or the SENDCo Peer Leader Programme to support.
  • Follow a graduated approach using the assess, plan, do and review model of intervention.
  • Offer whole-school, academy and federation SEND Reviews to continue to enhance SEND provision, providing a bespoke report with clear recommendations for the setting.
  • Offer CPD, training and networking for education professionals within North Lincolnshire.

For more information see the SEND Team webpage.

Other professionals that can offer support, advice or resources, linked to the four broad areas of need are included below:

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Early Help Assessment
Children’s Multi Agency Resilience and Safeguarding Hub
CAMHS / CAMHS resources
Life Central
Youth Counselling Service
Behaviour Toolkit
Education Psychology Service
Schools Nursing Service/ Toolkit
Behaviour Support Team
Therapy Pathways/ Referrals

There are a range of alternative screeners for pupils with SEMH available. For example, the Boxall Profile, The SNAP-IV Teacher and Parent Rating Scale, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and Thrive.

Legislation, Statutory Guidance, Department for Education Guidance and Local Guidance

Local details

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Acronym Definition
SEND Special Educational Needs/Disability
SLCN Speech Language Communication Need
SEMH Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs
ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder
ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
CPD Continued Professional Development
MLD Moderate Learning Difficulty
BST Behaviour Support Team
COBE Complex Behaviour Team
ASET Autistic Spectrum Education Team
VI Visual Impairment
CYP Children and Young People
CIN/ CIC Child in Need/ Child in Care
NPQ National Professional Qualification
SpLD Specific Learning Difficulty
SLD Severe Learning Difficulty
PMLD Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
EHCP Education, Health and Care Plan
APDR Assess Plan Do Review
TA Teaching Assistant
EEF Education Endowment Foundation
EP Educational Psychology
PD Physical Disability
HI Hearing Impairment
SENDCo Special Educational Needs/Disability Coordinator
EYFS/ KS1/KS2 Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
CP Child Protection
SENDIASS Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service
Last modified: June 7, 2024