Education Endowment Foundation – Supporting students with SEND

Generating evidence to support children with special educational needs or disabilities

In 2016, just 14% of pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths at age 11 – compared to 53% of their classmates. There’s a larger attainment gap for pupils with SEND than for any other group.

We wanted to make sure teachers had practical guidance to help them close this gap. So, we co-funded with the Education Endowment Foundation an independent review of the evidence on effective approaches for teaching students with SEND.

The Education Endowment Foundation is an independent charity that focuses on boosting the educational outcomes of disadvantaged children and young people by generating evidence for effective teaching and learning.

  • At age 16, pupils with SEND in English state-funded schools, have an average attainment score of 31% compared with 53% for pupils without SEND.
  • We partnered with EFF on an independent review of the evidence on effective approaches for teaching students with SEND.
  • Teachers now have evidence on how to best support pupils with SEND in their classrooms.

About the research

The aim of this evidence review is to provide:

  • the best available international evidence on effective teaching and support for pupils with SEND in mainstream schools.
  • clear and actionable recommendations.


The review was conducted by academics at the Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR), at the University of Warwick. Teachers, academics and other experts then collaborated on the guidance report published by April 2020. You can read the report here and download it using the button at the top of the page.  

“This new programme of work, including a new guidance report co-funded with Kusuma Trust, will provide much-needed information about how we can give schools and teachers the tools they need to best support their pupils with special educational needs.”
Sir Kevan Collins, CEO, Education Endowment Foundation

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