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SEND Reviews

A review of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) within schools in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire Opportunity Area as a means of helping to secure the OA’s Priority 2: Strengthen the provision of support for children and young people with mental health concerns and those with special educational needs.‚Äč


Head Teachers / School Leaders, Pastoral and Support Staff, School Teachers, Trusts

Aimed at

KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5


Inclusion and SEND


Whole School

Why was the project needed?

Although all schools with the Opportunity Area had SEND provision, many were not able to readily assess it’s effectiveness. The SEND review process allowed schools to take stock of their current provision in a focussed way and to plan improvements and new ways of doing things.

What happened and what was the impact?

We setup a clear process allowed schools to assess their SEND provision and to access examples of best practice from within the OA. This review allowed school to identify areas for development and to access funding for implementation.

  1. Each section of the review was broken down using reflective questions and the supply of potential source of evidence.
  2. The schools completed the sections of the review: this helped identify strengths and areas for development.
  3. The schools performed a Red, Amber, Green (RAG) rating process: allowing them to develop a set of actions and to prioritise these.
  4. Having identified development areas, the school completed a cost sheet. This allowed them to apply for additional OA funding to support their SEND development.
  5. Once they had secured funding, the schools planned actions and implemented them to develop their SEND provision.
  6. The process was cyclical, the schools revisited the review process; allowing them to plan future developments and strategies.


What did and didn't work?

We were delighted that 44 schools in our area signed up to take part in the project; 39% from Fenland and 61% from East Cambs.

The review process allowed us to identify common priorities, in terms of the overall SEND experience, among the school that took part:

  1. Acting on pupil voice and active involvement.
  2. Listening to pupil feedback (including documentation).
  3. Making reasonable adjustments for pupils.

How did you measure success?

  • Every school involved rated the SEND review process as either very useful or useful.
  • 95% of schools have subsequently used their SEND review outcomes to inform their School Development Plan and/or SEND Action Plan.
  • 75% of schools expressed an interest in following up their SEND review with further training.
  • 91% of schools expect to continue using the SEND review process once the Opportunity Area Programme ceases.

“This has helped us identify what areas we needed to target as well as what we were already doing well. Having access to funding helped us address these areas quickly for greater impact. The 2nd review has helped show how far we have come and the impact we have made, and identify where we want to go next.”

“Having the opportunity to review the strengths and development of our SEND practice is good for keeping our aims on track. The funding that accompanies it gives the opportunity for immediate action on these development points.”

Two of the many examples of positive feedback received from participants.

Next steps to do something similar yourself

Read the EEF Guidance Report on Social and Emotional Learning here

Read the EEF Guidance Report on Improving Behaviour here

Read the EEF Guidance Report on SEND in Mainstream Schools here

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