understanding the send code of practice

In a Nutshell, what is the SEND CODE of PRACTICE?

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Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years is a comprehensive guide issued in January 2015, providing statutory guidance for organizations working with and supporting children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). The document is extensive, with a total of 53 sections. Here, I will provide a high-level summary of the core principles and elements discussed in the initial sections of the document:

Overview of the Send Code of Practice

  • Target Audience: Organizations working with children and young people aged 0 to 25 who have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).
  • Legislation Reference: The guidance refers to various legislations and mandates that organizations must adhere to.
  • First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability): Details about the tribunal and its functionalities are discussed.
  • Changes from the Previous Code: Highlights the previous SEN Code of Practice changes.

Chapter Summaries

  1. Principles
    • Coverage: Outlines the principles underpinning the code of practice.
    • Participation in Decision-making: Encourages the involvement of children, young people, and parents in decisions about their support.
    • Collaboration: Advocates for cooperation between education, health, and social care services.
    • Inclusive Practice: Focuses on inclusive practices and removing barriers to learning.
  2. Impartial Information, Advice, and Support
    • Coverage: Discusses the provision of impartial information, advice, and support to children, parents, and young people.
    • Support for Armed Forces Families: Addresses the support available for families in the HM Armed Forces.
  3. Working Together Across Education, Health, and Care for Joint Outcomes
    • Coverage: Focuses on establishing effective partnerships and joint commissioning arrangements across various sectors.
    • Personal Budgets: Introduces the concept of personal budgets for greater control over the support received.
  4. The Local Offer
    • Coverage: Discusses the “Local Offer” which includes educational, health, care provision, training, apprenticeships, and transport.
    • Involvement of Stakeholders: Encourages the involvement of children, young people, parents, and other stakeholders in preparing and reviewing the Local Offer.
  5. Early Years Providers
    • Coverage: Addresses the identification and support of SEN in early years, including the role of the SENCO in early years provision.
    • Early Identification: Stresses on early identification of needs and the necessary assessments.
  6. Schools
    • Coverage: Discusses the responsibilities of schools in identifying and supporting students with SEN.
    • Role of SENCO in Schools: Highlights the role of the SENCO in schools and the funding available for SEN support.
  7. Further Education
    • Coverage: Addresses the statutory duties on post-16 institutions and the support available for young people in further education.
  8. Preparing for Adulthood from the Earliest Years
    • Coverage: Focuses on strategic planning for the best outcomes in adult life and the support available from year 9 onwards.
    • Transition to Adult Services: Discusses the transition to adult health and social care services.


This summary covers the initial sections of the SEND Code of Practice document, outlining the core principles and frameworks established to support children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities. The document further delves into detailed guidance on various topics including EHC needs assessments and plans, resolving disagreements, and provisions for children and young people in specific circumstances, among others.

For a detailed understanding, it is recommended to explore the full document which is structured to provide comprehensive guidance on the SEND Code of Practice.

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