What is the Graduated Approach?
High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who may have SEND. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching. Educational settings should regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all pupils, including those at risk of underachievement. This includes reviewing and, where necessary, improving teachers' understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable children and young people and their knowledge of the SEND most frequently encountered.
Where a child or young person is identified as possibly having SEND, settings are expected to adopt a graduated response following the 'Assess, Plan, Do and Review' cycle. A setting should also act to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. This SEND support should take the form of the four part cycle, through which earlier discussions and actions were revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the pupil's needs and of what supports the pupil in making good progress and securing good outcomes.
The graduated approach draws on more detailed approaches, more frequent review and more specialist expertise in successive cycles in order to match interventions to the SEND of the child or young person.
Flexible Graduated Approach
The cycle of 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' should continue in a graduated and flexible way in response to changing needs. Independence and self-efficacy should be encouraged.
The child or young person should be taken off SEND Support once they can achieve their desired outcomes without substantial reliance on support that is different or additional to that which is being offered to most children and young people in the school or setting.
When this is the case, the child or young person should no longer be considered to have special educational needs. If, however, new educational needs emerge at a later stage, the cycle can be revisited and the child or young person, once again is placed on SEND Support.
Cycle of 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review.'
When a child or young person is placed on SEND Support, a cycle of 'Assess, Plan, Do, Review' is started. Decisions are made together with the child or young person and the parent/carer. Actions are agreed. The length and regularity of the cycle depends on the needs of the child or young person and the family at the time. The child or young person and their parents/carers are central to this cycle.
Assess: The child or young person's difficulties must be assessed so that the right support is provided at the right time. This should include asking parents/carers, the child or young person and professionals such as the class or subject teacher who work closely with the child or young person what they think. This needs to be reviewed regularly so that the support provided continues to meet the child or young person's needs.
Plan: The setting and parents/carers need to agree the outcomes that the SEND Support is intended to acheive: in other words, how the child or young person will benefit from any support they get. All those involved will need to have a say in deciding what kind of support will be provided and decide a date by which they will review this so that they can check to see how well the support is working and whether the outcomes have been or are being achieved.
Do: The setting put the planned support into place. Parents/carers may also have support and strategies that they can use at home. The teacher remains responsible for working with the child or young person on a daily basis, but the SENDCo and any support staff or specialist teaching staff involved in providing support should work closely to track the child's progress and check that the support is being effective.
Review: The support the child or young person receives is reviewed regularly by all (usually a minimum of three times a year).
The Assess, Plan, Do and Review Cycle Diagram
A text version of the Assess, Plan, Do, Review diagram is available here.