Implementing SEND reforms

Implementing the SEND reforms in an FE setting

The 2014 Children and Families Act introduced new responsibilities and new legal duties for post-16 providers in relation to learners with SEND, which they began to implement in September 2014. In addition, from September 2015, for the first time, under the new Common Inspection Framework (CIF), provision for high needs learners will be explicitly inspected to ensure it is meeting learners’ needs and supporting them to prepare for adulthood.

Many providers are now taking stock, reflecting on their progress in responding to their new legal duties and responsibilities – and reviewing their provision against the new CIF.

Local authorities have a budget to support the implementation of the SEND reforms; some of these funds are being used to help FE colleges respond to their new duties. There is more information on regional sources of free support on the Preparing for Adulthood Programme website.

ACER would like to offer you some bespoke support, tailored to your organisation’s specific needs so you can reflect on progress and take forward further improvements. Here’s how we can help you:

  • Deliver a wider staff information session on the SEND reforms
  • Provide an introduction to the Code of Practice either for LLDD teams or wider staff
  • Facilitate a short introductory/reflective session for governors and/or senior managers on their responsibilities in relation to the SEND reforms (usually as an agenda item within SMT or governors’ meetings)
  • Deliver training sessions for LLDD teams on understanding and implementing the SEND reforms to include:
    • Key duties for post-16 providers under the Children and Families Act
    • Core content of the Code of Practice for post-16 providers
    • What might be expected of staff in different roles
    • EHCPs and person centred reviewing
  • Guided use of a self-assessment tool to review your progress in responding to the SEND reforms and to identify areas for improvement
  • Facilitate a small group or full team session to discuss outcomes of the self-assessment
  • Consultancy support, including:
    • Developing skills for supporting young people into employment
    • action-planning in light of self-assessment findings
    • implementing new approaches and reviewing progress
    • evaluating new provision or practice
    • developing study programmes based on aspirations and outcomes

We can also focus on one or more aspects such as outcome-focused programmes, introducing supported internships, personalising provision, developing more autonomous learners, involving parents/carers.

For more information on any of the themes explored here and to find out more about our team of experts, please visit ACER’s website: or contact Christine Stewart by email, or by phone, 01480 409300