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Devon’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Local Offer

School support plans

A child or young person with SEND will receive special educational provision, which means they get extra help at school.

The school will work with you to identify your child’s needs and decide how best to support them. This is called a support plan (although the school may refer to it using a different title as it varies from school to school) and will include what goals your child will work towards, and how exactly the school will help your child achieve them. You should get a copy of the plan in writing.

‘Support’ is anything that will help them achieve their full learning potential, and could include things like small group teaching, extra time with an adult in school, perhaps a teaching assistant, using different equipment, support from advisory teachers or additional training for staff. The school can also request support from specialist education and health services, for example, educational psychology or speech and language therapy.

Once the plan has been agreed upon, your child’s teacher will work with teaching assistants or specialist staff to put it into action. They will make sure everyone is aware of your child’s needs and the plan’s aims, and will continually consider how helpful the support is.

You should meet with your child’s teacher each term (in addition to parent’s evenings) to discuss how effective the support has been, review progress and adapt the plan if necessary, for example, if your child’s needs have changed, or the support needs to change because they’re not making reasonable progress or you’re unhappy with the support.

This continual cycle of ‘assess, plan, do, review’ helps make sure that the support is working. It’s known as the graduated approach.

The Devon Graduated Response to SEND is a tool that can be used to support teachers and SENCos to identify, assess and record the needs of children and young people requiring special educational provision. It supports the planning and recording of appropriate provision and provides guidance for reviewing progress. It has been designed to help educational settings meet their duties as outlined in the SEND Code of Practice.

The graduated response aims to ensure the foundation levels of support are effectively implemented before moving a child onto higher levels of support.

There are three levels of SEND provision within the graduated response and your school will discuss your child’s level with you.


  • Pupils operate broadly within the expected range of abilities for their age but their progress/development may occur at a somewhat slower pace than that of other pupils.
  • The pupils remain part of the mainstream teaching timetable for all activities.
  • Individual goals for improvement are identified and the quality of teaching and learning is monitored to ensure its appropriate to pupils’ needs.


  • Pupils progress with learning and development is at a very slow rate and additional support is needed to achieve this.
  • Pupils may be attaining at a level significantly below age-related expectations and there may be evidence of an increasing gap between them and their peers.
  • Evidence-based interventions (whether group or individual) have been identified and put in place on the basis of the identified need.
  • Evidence of the impact of the intervention is recorded, to inform decisions about whether that intervention remains appropriate.


  • Pupils have significant and persistent learning difficulties despite access to appropriate learning opportunities and support.
  • Provision required to meet the pupil’s needs cannot reasonably be provided from within the delegated resources normally available to mainstream schools.
  • Pupils may have life-long learning difficulties or disabilities, across several areas of development, and will require more specialist intervention.