The Graduated Response

The SEND Code of Practice outlines the requirement for educational settings to have arrangements in place to support children and young people (CYP) with SEN. This includes a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEN. Code of Practice (CoP), Chapter 6.

The importance of early identification of the needs of CYP so that appropriate provision can be put in place at the earliest opportunity is central to the CoP.

Educational settings should offer an inclusive approach to learning and teaching, with high quality teaching which is differentiated for individual CYP. This approach should be embedded in their provision in all subject areas, and at all levels, and support the teaching of all CYP, including those with SEN as per the Teacher Standards 2021.

For most children or young people where there is a concern, the school should work through a graduated response ‘to ensure the relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of the child or young person has been taken.’ (CoP 9.14) and as per the Code of Practice 6.44. ‘In a very small minority of cases of children or young people may demonstrate such significant difficulties that a school or other provider may consider it impossible or inappropriate to carry out its full chosen assessment procedure.’ (CoP 9.3) The Graduated Response

The graduated response is ‘a four-part cycle through which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the pupil’s needs and of what supports the pupil in making good progress and securing good outcomes.’ Code of Practice 6.44.Progress should be monitored at every stage of the graduated response process.Please see the SEN Graduated Response Flowchart in the additional documents available on the Local Offer.


Identify a child or young person (CYP) as needing SEN Support, drawing on assessments, the individual development in comparison to peers, and CYP and parent carer input


School, CYP and parent carers create a plan with appropriate support and intervention provided to meet the identified needs. Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Time-bound (SMART) targets are set and a review is arranged


Professionals, parent carers and CYP carry out the agreed plan


Professionals, parent carers and CYP review progress towards SMART targets. If there are still a SEN that are not being met, the cycle starts again with a reassessment of need updated SMART targets and provision

Last reviewed:October 14, 2022 byNick

Next review due:April 14, 2023

Back to top