Statutory guidance

Special educational needs (SEN) code of practice

Statutory code of practice on special educational needs.

This publication was withdrawn on

This document remains valid until 2018, for people who entered the SEND support system before September 2014.

The new statutory ‘SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years’, came into force on 1 September 2014. Separate guidance on managing the change to the new SEND support system is also available. Everyone receiving support will have transferred from the old system to the new by 2018.

Applies to England


Special educational needs (SEN) code of practice


This statutory code is for:

  • headteachers
  • governing bodies
  • school staff
  • SEN coordinators
  • early education providers
  • health and social services staff
  • local authorities

It applies to:

  • maintained schools
  • pupil referral units (PRUs)
  • academies and free schools
  • non-maintained special schools

The code explains the duties on schools to:

  • provide reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils
  • provide auxiliary aids and services to disabled pupils

More information and a practical guide to these duties are available on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s website.

A guide for parents and carers on the main points of the SEN code of practice is also available.

This code relates to:

The new ‘Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years’ has now been published and comes into effect on 1 September 2014.

Published 1 November 2001