The Graduated Approach

At Carlton Vale we use the graduated approach to ensure that a child or young person’s needs are fully understood. It is known as the graduated approach or response because it may take several cycles of intervention and different strategies being tried, before it is possible to identify the ones that work. 

The Assess, Plan, Do and Review cycle 

A graduated approach is a four-part cycle (Assess, Plan, Do, Review) which allows decisions and actions to be reviewed and refined as the understanding of the learners needs and what supports them in making good progress and securing good outcomes grows. The graduated approach can encompass a number of strategies, which are underpinned by a number of central principles:

  • all children or young people can learn and make progress
  • all teachers are teachers of SEN/D
  • a differentiated curriculum is not SEN provision
  • differentiated learning opportunities should be given to all learners
  • a provision for a child or young person with SEN/D should match their needs
  • there should be regular recording of a child’s or young person’s SEND, of the planned outcomes, of the action that the setting is taking, and of impact of those actions and the outcomes achieved. 

High quality teaching ensures that the learning needs of all children are met by schools and settings.

Developed in partnership with Brent Parent Carer Forum, SEND specialist teams, School Effectiveness Service, Health, Youth Offending Services and Early Help Service, the Graduated Approach Framework is designed to be the blueprint for settings and schools when educating children and young people with Special Educational Needs.

The SEN Code of Practice 2014 defines a ‘Graduated Approach’ as: 

“a model of action and intervention in early education settings, schools and colleges to help children and young people who have special educational needs. The approach recognises that there is a continuum of special educational needs and that, where necessary, increasing specialist expertise should be brought to bear on the difficulties that a child or young person may be experiencing.”