The SEND Code of Practice is the document that all schools should be using when dealing with SEN issues. Fortunately it’s a public document so parents and other professionals are free to download and read it too.

The Code of Practice is a translation of the CAFA (Children’s and Families Act 2014) into workable language. Unless they can demonstrate extremely good reasons not to, every mainstream and special school in England has to pay due regard to the contents. (Private schools do not need to follow the guidance.)

It should be noted that the CAFA is law, and as such it sometimes gets adjusted as new cases are heard and ‘case law’ is generated. The Code of Practice is not updated as frequently and sometimes can be a little ambiguous. It has been written in such a way that it’s interpretation is sometimes misunderstood!

The Code of Practice (January 2015) can be downloaded from the DfE website for free as a pdf file. Be prepared to load a full ream of paper into the printer and to spend 20 minutes hole-punching and storing in a lever arch file. Alternatively, you can buy a printed copy from Amazon (and in the process you help me to keep this site up and running as I make a few pennies from the sale.)