Responding to special educational needs and disability

A Graduated Approach

The majority of children and young people (CYP) with Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) will be supported within their mainstream setting through a graduated approach to SEN. This document briefly outlines the key aspects of this and how it should be planned and evaluated and how it is resourced.

The Graduated Approach can be seen as encompassing three levels of provision and support:

  • Quality First Teaching can be seen as underpinning all provision and support. The most important factor for all CYP including those with SEND is to have access to an effective and inclusive learning environment as a basis for achievement and attainment.
  • Targeted Provision and Support will be used where a CYP, despite Quality First Teaching, is not making the expected rate of progress. Identification and assessment will focus on the area of need relevant to the CYP and may lead to provision which is ‘additional to and different from’ most CYP, this may include a response and support for resulting behaviour and attendance. Parents and the CYP will be involved in the cycle of assess-plan- do- review.
  • Personalised Provision and Support will be used where despite Quality First Teaching and targeted intervention, the CYP is not making the expected rate of progress. Provision and support at this level will include advice from external agencies and professionals in collaboration with parents and CYP. CYP with the highest level of need will also have an EHC Plan/Statement of Special Educational Needs.

Essential to all provision and support for CYP with SEND is that provision is appropriately planned, monitored and evaluated. This requires the use of tools that incorporate the ‘assess, plan, do and review’ cycle, and have a clear focus on outcomes. Settings can use the tools they feel are most helpful and appropriate to achieve this; examples could include tools such as Individual Provision Maps, IEPs and pupil passports.

The table below illustrates the three levels of a graduated approach and how each level is resourced:

Quality first teaching:
Inclusive and accessible learning environment
Element 1 resource    
Targeted support and provision:
Responding to identified and assessed educational need
Element 1 resource Element 2 resource  
Personalised provision and support:
Responding to long term and complex need
Element 1 resource Element 2 resource Element 3 resource