Ordinarily Available Provision 


The Graduated Response

Aims and principles 

  • The Code of Practice states that a graduated approach to meeting SEND should be used: high quality teaching is the first step when a pupil is not making expected progress. The vast majority of children and young people  will have their needs met through this.
  • A small minority of these pupils may require support in addition to this, at the targeted and specialist level 
  • Schools/settings and colleges have the responsibility to identify and address SEND. They must put in place a graduated approach to increasing support for pupils with SEND, implemented in a structured and coherent way.   In addition to the range of targeted interventions developed and implemented by schools and colleges, there should be work undertaken in partnership with appropriate professionals and services, in order to extend the range of knowledge and skills used to meet needs
  • There should be equality of provision available across different mainstream settings, ensuring that regardless of where a pupil is educated, they will have access to similar approaches to meet their needs. Whilst it is important that schools and colleges make decisions about provision based on the individual needs of their pupils, and their school/college populations more widely, it is imperative that decisions about intervention are underpinned by evidence-based practice and that there is a high level of consistency between schools and colleges.
Universal Targeted Specialist

Universal support is generic and available to all children and young people. It includes differentiation as part of whole class teaching and support that is included within the mainstream environment. 

It also includes changes to groupings of pupils as well as use of evidence-based intervention and group work. Development of staff knowledge is also included within universal support and may include whole school training, or training for a specific group of staff in relation to an individual/group of pupils. 

This should always be the first level of intervention, in which individual targets are set and monitored in line with high quality teaching. 

Targeted support is additional to the universal, quality first teaching offer. 

It is used to provide more focused intervention and support for some pupils identified as being in need in a certain area of development. 

This is additional support which is different to that of the mainstream teaching and learning. 

When pupils require additional support, it should be focused on areas of need, as identified through assessment, and reviewed and put in place following a plan, do, review approach. 

Targeted support includes evidence-based interventions and increased small group support.

Specialist support is required when despite high quality teaching and provision of targeted intervention pupils needs persist.

This support is additional and different to what would usually be put in place for pupils and may be delivered by an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).   

Pupils may have additional needs across all areas of development. Pupils will have persistent and ongoing learning difficulties. 

It is likely that advice about support arrangements would have been sought from external professionals. 

It is expected that some specialist provision would be provided in mainstream settings. 



The SEND Code of Practice (para 6:15) says:

“A pupil has SEND where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that ordinarily available to pupils of the same age.”

This would include:

  • Provision that mainstream schools, academies and colleges make available for children and young people from their own budgets
  • Provision and funding made available by mainstream schools, academies and colleges for children and young people 
  • For early years  education settings, it includes provisions funded by Early Years SEND Inclusion Funding (EY SENDIF) from the Local Authority for a small number of children, in addition to the free childcare and education funding.

Ordinarily available provision is what is made for children and young people whose special educational provision can be reasonably provided from the resources ordinarily available to the education setting.

The SEND Code links high quality teaching with ordinarily available provision, explaining in para 6:15 that:

“ …..higher quality teaching ordinarily available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support.”

A graduated response

The SEND Code of Practice described a graduated response and the Assess, Plan, Do and Review cycle through which children and young people, placed at SEND Support have their needs met.


Paras 6:96 – 6:99 of the SEND Code, explains that schools (including academies) are expected to:

  • Make provision available for children and young people with SEND from their delegated budgets.
  • Have an amount identified within their overall budget called notional SEND budget.  This is not a ring fenced amount and it is for the school to provide high quality support from the whole of its budget
  • Plan the use of their SEND resources to support the progress of children and young people with SEND, in the context of their other resources, such as pupil premium
  • To be clear about the provision they make for SEN from within their Core budget (Elements 1 and 2) and up to a nationally prescribed threshold

Equity of decision making

Therefore, a description of the type of provision that should be ordinarily available across Sutton will assist in ensuring equity in decision making about when a child or young person might need higher level provision through an EHC assessment and possible an EHC Plan, and therefore the distribution of Element 3 funding to schools, colleges and settings (see Funding Arrangements for Pupils with SEND in Sutton for further details).



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