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Education for every child/young person

An education provider’s universal offer for all pupils,
including those with special educational needs/disabilities,

will encompass:

  • A broad, balanced and relevant curriculum;
  • High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised;
  • High expectations of every pupil;
  • Ambitious targets based on appropriate assessment;
  • Potential areas of difficulty identified and addressed in a timely way, and barriers to learning removed;
  • Regular assessment, monitoring and review of a child's/young person’s development and progress
    against outcomes.
The National Curriculum

All pupils should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The National Curriculum Inclusion Statement states that teachers should set high expectations for every pupil, whatever their prior attainment. 

  • Teachers should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious.
  • Potential areas of difficulty should be identified and addressed at the outset.
  • Lessons should be planned to address potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to pupil achievement.
In many cases, such planning will mean that pupils with SEN and disabilities will be able to study the full national curriculum. (0-25 SEND Code of Practice, 2015, section. 6.12)

The Statement on Inclusion

In addition to the summary given in the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice (2015) (see previous slide), the National Curriculum in England ‘Statement on inclusion’ (Department for Education, 2014) states that providing the SEND Code of Practice is taken into account:

  • There will be no barriers to every pupil achieving.
  • The majority of pupils will be able to study the full National Curriculum using only the aids which they use as part of their daily life.
  • A minority of pupils will be provided with access to specialist equipment and different approaches.

Statutory guidance on inclusion is provided by: Inclusive Schooling: Children with special educational needs (Department for Education and Skills, 2001).

Non-statutory inclusion guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage profile is provided by Inclusion and the EYFS Profile (Department for Education, 2014).

Circles of inclusion

The three circles of inclusion model is a useful representation of the three core ‘Inclusion statement’ principles. (Primary National Strategy, 2005)

Circles of inclusion
Assessment using P scales

The Department for Education’s statutory guidance, P Scales: Attainment targets for pupils with SEN (2014) supplements the National Curriculum by specifying performance attainment targets (P scales) and performance descriptors for pupils aged 5-16 with special educational needs (SEN) who cannot access the National Curriculum.


Using performance scales (P scales) is statutory when reporting attainment in English, mathematics and science to the Department for Education for children with special educational needs (SEN) who are working below the ‘entry level’ of the National Curriculum; they can also be used for other curriculum subjects (P scales are not required for children who are mainly able to access National Curriculum, even if they are working below it in one or more components).

Use of P scales descriptors (levels 1 to 8) for reporting on core subjects is statutory for pupils in key stages 1, 2 and 3 who are working below the National Curriculum. However, in key stage 4, the P scales and performance descriptors can be used as non-statutory guidelines.


Key principles for SEN support

Local authority maintained nurseries, schools and colleges must use their ‘best endeavours’ to ensure that special educational provision and support is made for those children/young people with special educational needs/disabilities who need it. (0-25 SEND Code of Practice, 2015 (CoP), section 1.24; Children and Families Act 2014, section 66)


‘Special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching and is compromised by anything less’. (0-25 SEND Code of Practice, 2015, section 1.24)


The key principles for working with children/young people with special educational needs/disabilities and their families are:

  • Personalisation;
  • Collaboration; and
  • Choice and control.

That is, professionals must work in partnership with parents using person centred planning and key working principles.


(Palmer, 2014)

Principles in practice

The principles underpin special educational needs/disability practice in educational settings:

  • Early identification of children's/young people’s needs and early intervention to support them and their families;
  • High quality provision to meet the needs of children/young people with special educational needs/disabilities;
  • Maximum participation of children/young people with special educational needs/disabilities and parents in decision-making;
  • Greater choice and control for young people and parents over support;
  • Involving children, young people and parents in planning, commissioning and reviewing services;
  • Collaboration between education, health and social care services to provide support;
  • Parent carer forums;
  • A focus on inclusive practice and removing barriers to learning;
  • Successful preparation for adulthood, including independent living, training and employment.

(0-25 SEND Code of Practice, 2015, Chapter 1)

Other publications
opened book
  • Palmer, C. (2014) ‘Implications of the Children and Families Act on Solihull’ (report). Solihull: Education, children and Young People Scrutiny Board.
  • Primary National Strategy (2005) Excellence and Enjoyment: Social and emotional aspects of learning. Annesley: Department for Education and Skills. [ARCHIVED]
  • Standards and Testing Agency (2013) ‘Teacher assessment: using P scales to report on pupils with SEN’. [Online at:; accessed: 16.3.15]