A new national survey has found a quarter of all teachers don’t think there’s appropriate training in place for supporting Special Educational Needs (SEN) pupils.

The School Snapshot Survey, commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE), found that one in four teachers don’t believe that there’s appropriate training in place for teachers to support SEN pupils.

The news arrives as the Government announces its new teacher training framework, aimed at addressing disparity in the training offered to newly qualified teachers (NQTs).

Welcomed by the education sector, the framework holds both a commitment to “understanding different pupils needs and adapting lessons while maintaining high expectations for all”.

The framework also has explicit reference to the SEND Code of Practice.

However, the School Snapshot Survey revealed that a third of teachers found the current training on offer ‘not at all useful’ in improving their ability to provide support to pupils with SEN.

The results have raised questions as to whether the new framework has the scope to address the confidence crisis in teacher training for SEN support, and whether it will address these concerns in its implementation on the ground.

Anne Heavey, National Director of Whole School SEND, said “I’m heartened to see that understanding how to support pupils with SEND and work with the SENCo made it into the Early Career Framework – these are key elements for teachers to deliver effective teaching for all pupils.

“However, there a lot of details to be clarified, including can we make this work on the ground for new teachers?”.

The reality on the ground paints a concerning picture for children with SEN, who have dramatically different success rates across the country when learning to read.

Analysis from the national phonics screening check showed that some authorities were able to help eight times as many children with SEND as the worst performing authorities.

Just 6% of children with an EHCP in Coventry reaching the expected standard in the check compared to 47% of children in Hammersmith.

Karen Wespieser, Director of Operations at Driver Youth Trust, said “Improving awareness and knowledge of SEND to enable teachers to meet the requirements of all learners is vital. But with no mandatory training at ITT level we are setting them up to fail”.

Driver Youth Trust calls for ITT providers to offer a comprehensive programme on SEND.


For further information contact: Ben Drinkwater ben.drinkwater@driveryouthtrust.com 020 3897 0341