SEND Reflection Framework

Free CPD tool for teachers launches nationwide

Department for Education data projects that 13,000 additional children and young people requiring some form of specialist education or alternative provision will enter the system in the next nine years.

This data highlights the need for schools to ensure that teachers are equipped to support these pupils, whether in mainstream or special provision. It is therefore essential that all schools review their provision and put in place effective CPD to ensure that teachers feel confident supporting pupils with SEND.

All teachers are teachers of SEND, but one in seven (15 per cent) respondents to the May 2017 teacher voice survey said they disagreed/strongly disagreed with the statement “I feel able to meet the needs of pupils on SEN support". 

To help support the development of the necessary competence and confidence, Whole School SEND are launching the SEND Reflection Framework, part-funded by the Department for Education.

The SEND Reflection Framework – free to download at from the 22nd November – will help build teachers confidence by providing a structure within which teachers can support each other to critically evaluate cultures and practices, in order to ultimately improve the quality of their provision for learners with SEND. 


The SEND Reflection Framework was developed in response to feedback from teachers and school leaders in the Whole School SEND community of practice. It follows in the footsteps of the SEND Review Guide, the first of several Whole School SEND Reviews, developed in 2016 by London Leadership Strategy and partner schools to facilitate the evaluation of SEND provision across a whole school.

The SEND Reflection Framework has a tighter focus on classroom cultures and practice. It can be used in groups, across departments, or across a whole school, enabling teachers to coach each other through the process of better understanding their own strengths and areas for development.

The Framework was developed in collaboration with children, families and professionals from early years, primary and secondary, including both mainstream and specialist providers, placing those who would use and benefit from SEND Reflection at the heart of the development process. This is reflected in the approach of the framework itself, which is one of reflection rather than inspection, supporting staff to review their provision in a non-judgemental, collaborative manner.

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A classroom trial conducted by LKMco found that “Overall, participants perceived that the Classroom Review’s most promising potential impact was that it helped them recognise what they were already doing well”. They also found that “participants in leadership positions felt that a strength of the [SEND Reflection Framework] was its transferability and applicability to staff in different roles, in different settings and at different stages in their career.”

One NQT in the trial commented: “Nobody has ever spoken to me about where I should be going with the attainment of my lowest ability SEN learners... if [no-one is] going to talk to me about it, how can I evaluate it?”.  

An Assistant Head commented: “I found the coaching model really useful; it allowed me to apply the principles [in the document] to my current role and reflect back on previous classroom practice. [My coach] was not trying to tell me what I needed to do, he was supporting me to reflect on my professional conduct and skills”

The project was a collaboration between Whole School SEND, London Leadership Strategy and the National Education Trust. We are very grateful to all those who contributed, and to the Department for Education for part-funding the project.

“Working with children, families and practitioners gave us crucial insight that might otherwise have been missed. Hearing the experiences of the project group and trial schools was a real reminder of why we do what we do, and we hope that this guide can become a standard tool for reflection across the sector, in order to improve outcomes for children and young people.”

Simon Knight - Director of Whole School SEND

“Our next step is to roll out the Framework in schools in the Opportunity Areas and Local Authorities, and to support capacity building in the system around coaching and Reviewing. We hope ITT and CPD organisations will pick it up and use it in their own work, and we will continue to support all those organisations and individuals who use the resource.”

Anita Kerwin-Nye - Chair, Whole School SEND

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Whole School SEND is an open community of practice, free to join, committed to sharing learning and opportunities in order to improve outcomes for learners with SEND. It comprisesover 4000 schools, practitioners, parents and NGOs committed to improving outcomes for learners with SEND. It is hosted by London Leadership Strategy and draws together work funded by the Department for Education and other investors.

The SEND Reflection Framework sits within a broader suite of free Review frameworks, developed by Whole School SEND partners to empower practitioners to reflect on and improve their practice in a number of different areas. These include the SEND Review, the Teaching Assistant Deployment Review and the Preparing for Adulthood Review, set for release later this year. The guides can be used internally or as tools of school to school support. For updates and opportunities relating to the Whole School SEND Reviews join the mailing list here.

For press enquiries please contact Jack Davies, Programme and Communications Officer, via or call 020 3096 7705.