Question Sam Education

How does improving SEN provision help with the performance of the school?

How does improving SEN provision help with the performance of the school?

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Answer Internal Staff

Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision in schools is vital to get right to meet the needs of all learners in a mainstream school. In terms of Ofsted, the grade descriptor for the ‘Outstanding’ boundary is that ‘the progress across the curriculum of disadvantaged pupils, disabled pupils and those with SEN currently on roll matches or is improving towards that of other pupils with the same starting points’ (Ofsted 2015, p.57). To achieve this, not only is high-quality teaching needed, but careful implementation of evidence-based interventions where necessary for individual pupils. Both of these factors will contribute to the effective running of a school, as they can assist in dealing with potential issues before they arise. Where needs of children are identified and dealt with immediately, resources can be more effectively managed, leaving the school free to invest in other projects to benefit its cohorts. Employing rigorous assessment processes also contributes to school performance, as it allows leaders to monitor how SEN provision is supporting learners compared to their non-SEN peers and to implement improvement processes as soon as they become necessary. Improved SEN provision leads to better inclusivity, which contributes not only to quality of teaching and learning for all pupils, but can also educate peers and help them to develop tolerant and understanding attitudes about difference. Promoting inclusion is vital in a culture which becomes more aware and accepting of individual differences all the time, and ensuring that SEN learners have the best opportunities for learning is a crucial factor in judgement of a school’s adequacy. Overall, school performance is enhanced by supporting, developing and investing in SEN pupils as it boosts overall achievement (even if this is relative), allows more careful allocation of resources and funding, and encourages high-quality teaching practice across the board.


Ofsted (2015). School inspection handbook: Handbook for inspecting schools in England under section 5 of the Education Act 2005. London: Ofsted.