SEND Support

SEND Support

About SEND support and the Graduated Approach

SEN Support is the category of support for children/young people with SEN but without EHC Plans. It focuses the system on the result of the support provided to that individual child/young person, rather than how children/young people access support according to the category they fit into. It places emphasis on a Graduated Approach (assess, plan, do and review).

  • Assess – the child/young person’s difficulties must be assessed so that the right provision can be made. This should include asking parents/carers and/or the child/young person their views, talking to any professionals involved and looking at records and other information.
  • Plan – the education setting needs to agree, with your involvement, the outcomes that SEN Support is intended to achieve – in other words, how they will benefit for any support they receive. Everyone involved will have a say in deciding what support will be provided and when it should be reviewed.
  • Do – the education setting will put the planned support in place. The class teacher (or equivalent) remains responsible for working with the child/young person on a daily basis, but the SENCO and any other supporting staff will work closely to monitor the effectiveness of the support.
  • Review – At the agreed time the support should be reviewed to see if it having a positive effect, whether the outcomes have been, or are being, achieved and if or how any changes should be made.

SEN Support will be implemented and after a period the effectiveness of the provision/strategies will be reviewed. If adequate progress is made changes may be required to enable continued progress. If adequate progress is not made different provision/strategies will be planned, implemented and reviewed again (see the Assess Plan, Do, Review cycle pdf on the right).

Graduated approach - Principles and Processes   Graduated Approach - Intervention Guidance 

Graduated Approach - Transitions Toolkit               Ordinarily Available Provision


SEND Support plan

In Buckinghamshire, we have developed an SEND Support Plan document for the purpose of identifying the SEND of children/young people, monitoring their progress towards desired outcomes and tracking resources utilised within the educational setting.

Many people will be familiar with IEPs (Individual Education Plans) or Provision Maps – this document contains the same type of information, but much more in addition. In Buckinghamshire we recommend that schools and other educational settings use this document for children/young people who have SEND which require targeted support over an extended period and/or require support from external specialists for example, specialist teacher, educational psychologist etcetera.

Documents to support Early Years Practitioners can be found on the Early Years Website

Buckinghamshire SEND Support Plan Guidance October 2023

Buckinghamshire SEND Support Plan form


High Needs Block Funding

It is expected that most children and young people will have their needs met within setting’s existing resources, however settings may request High Needs Block Funding (HNBF) for specific short term targeted interventions to support an individual’s SEN where support is required above the £6,000 delegated funding. HNBF will not be agreed in the first instance for any longer than two academic terms. Should an extension be required, evidence of impact to date must be submitted via ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ processes.

Requests for an extension to HNBF must be accompanied by provider/school/setting/college evidence of how funding given to date has been used and the impact it has had for the outcomes of the individual. Information supporting how any extension to HNBF will be used must also be provided. The setting should demonstrate that they have taken purposeful, relevant and sustained action to meet the individuals SEN before making a request for additional funding. The setting must clearly detail what the request is for, the cost of this and how the interventions will be measured.

High Needs Block Funding Guidance September 2023

Form to request High Needs Block Funding



The Purpose of the Forum

  • to provide consistent and focused decision making in line with current legislation
  • to work collaboratively and be solution focused in ensuring children and young people’s needs are effectively met
  • to inform positive inclusion for all

What does the Forum look at?

  • Requests for EHC Needs Assessments (EHCNA)
  • Temporary allocation of High Needs Block Funding (HNBF)
  • Under 5 Notifications Initial case discussions for pupils experiencing emotional based school avoidance
  • (EBSNA) Initial case discussions for pupils moving into the authority
  • Requests for equipment
  • Requests for personal budgets
  • Requests for increase in hours allocated to an EHC Plan above 30 hours
  • Spot purchasing for therapy outside of commissioned arrangements

What are the Forum arrangements?

  • The iSEND Forums are weekly.
  • They are chaired by an iSEND Manager
  • Settings are invited to attend alongside professionals from various sectors within Buckinghamshire such as education, psychology, health, and social care
  • Before attending a Forum, settings will have submitted detailed information about the child or young person. This may include an application for HNBF or EHCNA, SEND Support plans and any reports from supporting adults.
  • Settings are invited to attend Forums to provide a brief summary of the child or young person’s needs and why they are making their request
  • Decisions will be recorded during the Forum and an outcome summary sheet will be sent to all attendees
  • Parents will receive an update from the EHC Co-ordinator 48 hours after outcomes are shared

The iSEND team will invite SENCOs/a school representative to attend when their cases are at Forum.  If you would like to attend the Forum at any other time, for example, to observe, please let your annual review EHCCO know and they will send you an invite.

When to request an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment

If you and the professionals who support your child believe s/he requires support which is over and above that ordinarily available from mainstream resources, a request may be made for an EHC Needs Assessment. The request will usually be made by your child’s education setting, but parents can make the request themselves.

The legal test for an EHC Needs Assessment is from section 36 of the Children and Families Act 2014

More about EHC plans

Role of the SENCO and EHCCO

Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) work in educational settings and Education, Health and Care Coordinators (EHCCOs) support them. A parent/carer should always speak to the SENCO for help and guidance at first, as they work with the EHC Coordinators and can go to them for advice if needed. Learn more about these different roles and how they work.


The Autism Toolbox for parents and carers

Our Autism Toolbox brings together advice, local support, services and resources for parents and carers of autistic children.


Nurture Groups

If you have any questions please contact the Buckinghamshire Nurture team at  

About Nurture Groups

Nurture groups were first devised by Marjorie Boxall in the early 1970s.

They consist of small ‘classes’ in mainstream schools for pupils with social and emotional needs. The Nurture programme is a targeted intervention for children and young people who may have ‘missed out on’ early family / home experiences that promote positive development. The aim of Nurture is to enable children to better manage without the support of the nurture group within 2 to 4 terms.

The Six Principles Of Nurture

  1. Children's learning is understood developmentally
  2. The classroom offers a safe base
  3. The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing
  4. Language is a vital means of communication
  5. All behaviour is communication
  6. The importance of transition in children's lives

The six principles of nurture were developed by educational professionals Eva Holmes and Eve Boyd (1999).

Background and theoretical underpinnings

Nurture is underpinned by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory and Attachment theory. The practices within Nurture groups are based on building positive and affirming attachments with children.

Through these attachments, practitioners are able to alter how children view themselves so that they develop a clearer understanding of themselves and are more able to regulate their responses to stressful situations.  Nurture practitioners model appropriate behaviour and social skills to children and provide a ‘secure base’ within the school setting.

Educational Psychologists’ involvement

  • Providing initial training to school staff wishing to become Nurture practitioners and refresher training to existing practitioners
  • Offering supervision sessions each term to existing Nurture practitioners
  • Offering CPD events to Nurture practitioners to continue their knowledge and skills development

Boxall profile

As part of the programme, Nurture practitioners should assess pupils with the Boxall profile before joining a Nurture group and at the end of their time in the group. The Boxall Profile is a two-part assessment tool designed to track the progress of cognitive development and behavioural traits of children and young people through their education.  It identifies the levels of skills the children and young people possess to access learning.

In setting up a Nurture group, schools will now need to set up an account to access the Boxall Profile online. For more information about this please see: Boxall Profile.

For more information about Nurture Groups please see the NurtureUK website.


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