Statutory guidance

SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years

Guidance on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 to 25, from 1 September 2014.


This statutory code is issued by law; you must follow it unless there’s a good reason not to. It explains the duties of schools and colleges to provide:

  • reasonable adjustments for disabled children and young people
  • extra aids and services for disabled children and young people

This code, which applies to England, is for:

  • headteachers and principals
  • governing bodies
  • school and college staff
  • special educational needs (SEN) coordinators
  • early education providers
  • health and social services staff
  • local authorities

It applies to:

  • local-authority-maintained schools
  • pupil referral units (PRUs)
  • academies and free schools
  • non-maintained special schools (special schools not maintained by a local authority)
  • colleges

This document replaces the ‘Special educational needs (SEN): code of practice’ 2001.

We have also published a revised ‘SEN and disability Code of Practice 0 to 25 years’ containing updated guidance on support for children and young people in youth custody.

This will come into effect from 1 April 2015, subject to approval by Parliament. In the meantime you should still follow the July 2014 code.

Other SEND guides are also available.