What is SEND Code of Practice?

SEND Code of Practice – All You Need to Know

In the United Kingdom, all schools must abide by the guidelines with regards to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code while taking decisions involving pupils with disabilities or special education needs (SEN). This code of practice is applicable from all academies, maintained schools, and free schools.

What is SEND Code of Practice?

Earlier, the 2001 code of practice had unconnected sections for secondary and primary secondary schools, however, the current code SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years does not differentiate between the secondary and primary phases. The code clarifies that local authorities (LAs) must make certain that young people, children, and their parents are included in all decisions and discussions regarding their individual backing and local provision. Additionally, schools, early year’s providers, and colleges should also take measures to make certain that young people, children, and their parents are vigorously supported in providing inputs to needs valuations, evolving and going through education health and care (EHC) plans.

Also, the valuation and preparation process must permit children, their parents, and young people to bring forward their viewpoints, needs and aspirations, and be part of the supervisory process. The process should also:

  • Be stress-free for young people, children, and their parents to comprehend and use easily understandable images and language, instead of professional jargon
  • Bring together appropriate specialists to talk over and come to an agreement about the complete line of attack
  • Bring a result-oriented and synchronised plan for young people and children and their parents
  • Empower young people and children to speak their ideas and state what they have done and are interested in doing; also, state the results they are looking for in the times to come
  • Focus on young people and children as an individual
  • Focus on children's or young individual’s strengths and capabilities
  • Arrange valuations to reduce demands on families
  • Tailor support to the requirements of an individual

The Children and Families Act (2014) transformed regulation relating to young individuals and children with SEND. The SEND Code of Practice is constitutional direction for organisations that support and work with young individuals and children with special educational needs and disabilities. This constitutional code of practice encompasses:

  • Informations of lawful requirements that an individual must keep an eye on without exclusion
  • Statutory guidance that an individual must keep an eye on by law except there is a specific reason to avoid it

The code of practice describes the responsibilities of schools and colleges, health bodies such as NHS, and local authorities to be responsible for those with SEN under part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014. The code, which applies to England, is for:

  • Principals and head-teachers
  • College and school staff
  • Early education providers
  • Governing bodies
  • Local authorities
  • Social services and heath staff
  • Special educational needs (SEN) coordinators

The SEND code of practice document substitutes the ‘Special educational needs (SEN): code of practice’ 2001. However, the SEN: code of practice 2001 is still applicable for individuals who have a special education needs (SEN) statement covered under part 4 of the Education Act 1996, instead of an education, health and care (EHC) plan covered under the Children and Families Act 2014.

Children and young people with SEN: specific circumstances

The guidelines provide information on assisting young individual’s and children people who have special educational needs (SEN) and such individual conditions have need of supplementary concern. It provides information about young people and children with SEN who are:

  • Care leavers or looked-after
  • Children of service personnel
  • Educated out of area, in alternative provision, in hospital or at home
  • Having certain social care needs, comprising those who are youngsters in need
  • In youth custody

Key Insights

As per a report published in May-17, there were a total of 175,233 young individuals and children with constitutional Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans and 112,057 young individuals and children with declarations of special educational needs (SEN) upheld by LAs as of Jan-17. Collectively, the total number of young individuals and children reached 287,290, an increase of 12.1% or 30,975 individuals as compared to 256,315 young individuals and children as in Jan-16. Below mentioned table described the total number of young individuals and children since 2012

Children and young people with statements or EHC plans at census date each year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Statements Statements Statements Statements EHC plans Total Statements EHC plans Total Statements EHC plans Total
Number of children and young people with statements or EHC plans:                        
Under 5 years of age 10,416 10,944 11,482 10,575 675 11,250 1,984 8,529 10,513 281 11,348 11,629
Aged 5-10 82,360 84,843 88,732 89,162 1,883 91,045 68,627 23,586 92,213 43,477 53,902 97,379
Aged 11-15 115,992 114,966 113,796 111,013 1,327 112,340 90,434 20,791 111,225 54,442 58,098 112,540
Aged 16-19 21,388 22,678 23,101 25,230 308 25,538 21,061 20,239 41,300 13,857 44,177 58,034
Aged 20-25 . . . 10 10 . 1,064 1,064 . 7,708 7,708
Total 230,156 233,431 237,111 235,980 4,203 240,183 182,106 74,209 256,315 112,057 175,233 287,290
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About the author
Blog Author

Sumit Agarwal
Sumit Agarwal (ACMA ACA India), the Managing partner of dns accountants is a highly respected accountant with expertise in helping owner-managed businesses.


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