Code of Practice
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice
The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice provides statutory guidance on the SEND system for children and young people aged 0 to 25. It is statutory for all schools. Where the code uses the word ‘must’, it means that this is something required by law; where ‘should’ is used, it means that the guidance must be considered, with explanation if not followed.
The basic principles underpinning the SEND Code of Practice are set out in the Code but also summarised in a guide for parents and carers written when the Code of Practice was first published:
‘The basic principles you need to keep in mind when thinking about your child’s needs are:
- All children have a right to an education that enables them to make progress so that they:
- achieve their best
- become confident individuals and live fulfilling lives
- make a successful transition into becoming an adult – whether that’s into
- further and higher education, training or work
All children with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities should have their needs met, whether they are in early years settings (like a nursery or a childminder), in school or in college.
- When making decisions about SEN or disabilities, your local authority must:
- have regard to the views, wishes and feelings of children, their parents and young people
- make sure that children, their parents and young people participate as fully as possible in decisions that affect them
- provide support to children, their parents and young people so that children and young people do well educationally and can prepare properly for adulthood
Parents should have a real say in decisions that affect their children, should have access to impartial information, advice and support and know how to challenge decisions they disagree with.
Local authorities must also involve children, their parents and young people in developing local provision and services for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
This includes developing their Local Offer (see section in this guide, The Local Offer)
Services that provide help for your child (such as your local authority and local health
organisations) need to work with each other to benefit your child.’
From Special educational needs and disability: A guide for parents and carers DfE 2014
Links to Documents
Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years (DfE & DfH 2015)
Guides for Parents and Carers
Special educational needs and disability: A guide for parents and carers (DfE 2014)
Changes to special educational needs and disability support: Easy read guide for parents (DfE and Mencap 2014)