The graduated approach



The Code of Practice 2015 introduced the category of SEN Support, replacing School Action and School Action Plus. The graduated approach of Assess, Plan, Do, Review should be used to remove barriers to learning and put effective provision in place. There is an element in the school’s budget to meet the needs of pupils receiving SEN Support. One of the biggest changes within the SEND reforms has been a shift away from narrow objectives or targets, towards a greater emphasis upon ‘outcomes’. The SEND Code of Practice states that “an outcome is the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention” (Code of Practice 9.66). Outcomes should describe the step that the child or young person should take next, to be prepared for a happy, healthy, independent and secure adulthood.



High Quality Teaching that is differentiated and personalised to meet the individual needs of the majority of CYP. ‘Teachers should set high expectations for every pupil. They should plan stretching work for pupils whose attainment is significantly above the expected standard. They have an even greater obligation to plan lessons for pupils who have low levels of prior attainment or come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Teachers should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious.’ (Teachers’ Standards 5, section 4.1)


SEN Support is special educational provision that goes beyond usual differentiated and personalised teaching and learning approaches. It is provision that is additional to, or different from, that made for other children of the same age. Settings must use their best endeavours to ensure that such provision is made for those who need it. Settings should use the graduated approach of Assess, Plan, Do, Review to remove barriers to learning. If a setting is making this special educational provision, they must inform the parents.


SEN support and education, health and care plans


The majority of children and young people with additional needs will have their needs met within SEN Support. A small minority will require a Statutory Integrated Assessment. To inform its decision the local authority will expect to see evidence of the action taken by the school as part of SEN Support, including ‘best endeavours’ and the graduated approach – assess, plan, do, review. Schools may involve specialists at any point to advise them on effective support and interventions. Schools should implement strategies recommended by specialists and review their effectiveness.


Information from:




Image from Lancashire SEND Tool Kit Chapter 3