The SEND Code of Practice 2015 aspired to:

  • achieve better outcomes for children with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities
  • develop a system of identification and support with confident and skilled class and subject teachers playing a central role
  • give children with SEN and disabilities ‘a real voice’.

In 2023, the government set out its plans for system changes to SEND provision in England to be implemented over a number of years in light of responses to a consultation with children and families and people working in relevant sectors. In the ministerial foreword, the Secretaries of State for Education and for Health and Social Care comment that ‘many children and young people with SEND… receive excellent support from thousands of dedicated education health and social care staff.’

In aspiring to good outcomes for children and young people with SEND, there is little difference to the ambitions of the 2015 Code of Practice. However, the new plans recognise the difficulties many parents have faced in navigating the system and the lack of financial sustainability for local authorities trying to meet the needs of increasing numbers of children and young people eligible for support. 

For the time being, the SEND Code of Practice (January 2015, last updated 30 April 2020) remains in place, as does the requirement for teachers to understand their role in identifying and meeting the special educational needs of the children and young people they teach.

This course focuses on the nature of a range of special educational needs, the importance of collaborative working in meeting needs and practical ways to support children and young people with SEN in the mainstream classroom.

Aims and outcomes

  • Maintain an inclusive whole-school environment, considering the needs of all pupils.
  • Deepen understanding of a range of common special educational needs.
  • Understand and recognise how specific needs impact on pupils’ learning.
  • Know how to support pupils in the classroom and overcome their barriers to learning.

Course content

  • Unit 1: Revisiting the underlying principles of the SEND Code of Practice
  • Unit 2: Teacher-teaching assistant (TA) partnerships
  • Unit 3: Supporting children and young people on the autistic spectrum
  • Unit 4: Supporting children and young people with sensory impairments
  • Unit 5: Promoting good mental health
  • Unit 6: Supporting children and young people with ADHD
  • Unit 7: Supporting children and young people with developmental language disorder (DLD)
  • Unit 8: Supporting children and young people with dyslexia or dyscalculia


After a career in education and as Head of Child Protection Publishing and Film at the NSPCC, William now works as a freelance specialist editor in the fields of child development, child protection and safeguarding, and other issues affecting...