School 1


This school is for pupils aged 11-18 years with social, emotional and mental health issues, as well as a broader range of learning needs.


Pupils usually have an Education Health and Care Plan for Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs, Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).


PSHE education is a core part of the school curriculum and students receive at least three PSHE lessons per week. Pupils come to school with a variety of emotional and mental health needs, which is reflected in the design of the PSHE education curriculum.


A major focus is placed on the Healthy Lifestyles strand, as some pupils find it particularly challenging to maintain healthy eating habits and need support with understanding the importance of a healthy diet. The learning outcomes in the 'Managing Feelings' section have proved especially helpful for planning different lessons to help pupils develop the skills they need to manage strong feelings.


The Planning Framework is also used to support pupils’ individual targets. Learning outcomes under each of the six strands (e.g. Self-care, support and safety, Healthy Lifestyles) are used as a basis for writing students’ Individual Education Plan (IEP) targets, particularly those related to taking care of personal health. Where possible, learning outcomes and targets are shared with pupils and also with parents.


At the beginning of term, pupils are set PSHE education targets which are based on the learning outcomes in the particular strand that is being studied. Many pupils have found it beneficial to know the potential learning outcomes they will be working towards each half-term.


  • The language that’s used in the Planning Framework for pupils with SEND is incorporated into the students’ IEPs. If they’re not being met then we go back to the Planning Framework for pupils with SEND and think, okay how can we potentially support them through their learning?

    School 1SEND case study

School 2


This is a specialist college for Communication and Interaction, and supports pupils with an Education and Health Care (EHC) Plan from Early Years to Year 11 (3-16 years old).


Pupils in the school have a wide range of special educational needs, including Moderate Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties, Complex Medical Difficulties, Downs Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Physical Difficulties, Hearing Impairment and Autistic Spectrum Disorder.


The SEND Planning Framework has helped develop staff expertise in effective teaching of PSHE education so that teachers can correctly pitch the learning for pupils using its learning outcomes. It has also enabled staff to feel more confident about PSHE education content as they can now refer to a guidance document used nationally by special schools and alternative providers.


Pupils receive an hour of PSHE education per week, covering health, relationships and sex education, and an additional 80 minute session which focuses on the learning opportunities in the PSHE Programme of Study Core theme: 'Living in the Wider World'.


The school has recently undergone a PSHE education curriculum review. The PSHE Association Programme of Study and the SEND Planning Framework provided a vital structure for establishing long-term planning objectives. The topics in the Planning Framework enabled the creation of a developmental programme for pupils, with the learning outcomes for the different stages (e.g. Encountering, Foundation, Core) being particularly useful in supporting pupils’ learning and personal development.


The learning outcomes from the Planning Framework have also been used to identify key performance indicators for pupils. This has meant that every pupil now has a PSHE education objective on their individual education plan (IEP).


  • We’ve been setting our long-term PSHE plan using the learning outcomes in the Planning Framework for pupils with SEND and the Programme of Study.

    School 2SEND case study

  • All students are taking ownership of their learning and documenting this as they go through the school.

    School 2SEND case study

School 3


This is a school for pupils aged 3-16 whose special educational needs cover a broad spectrum of medical, physical, social, emotional and moderate learning difficulties.


In this school, PSHE education is planned and organised so that primary pupils have two hours per week, key stage 3 pupils have 5 hours per week, and key stage 4 pupils have two hours per week.


The SEND Planning Framework has been used by this school as a starting point to help develop and plan whole school PSHE education provision. In particular, the school found it helpful to have learning broken down in separate topic strands and across six developmental stages, from 'Encountering' to 'Enhancement'. Current planning systems are matched to the six main topic areas in the Planning Framework to help organise and resource PSHE planning work effectively.


The SEND Planning Framework has also been used as the basis for writing the school’s PSHE education and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) policies.


The PSHE curriculum is called PATH (Personal Aspirations, Team work and Health) with about 70% of the school curriculum timetable given over to this subject. There is a strong focus on preparing pupils for early adulthood, with the intention that PATH will support them throughout their school life until they leave in Year 11. The SEND Planning Framework has been instrumental in raising staff awareness of the importance of PSHE education provision for pupils in this setting.


  • [The Planning Framework] formed the bedrock of everything I do with the provision for the school. It also supported me in making an assessment tool.

    School 3SEND case study

School 4


This is an all-through alternative provision for pupils aged from 4 to 18 who are no longer engaged in mainstream schools.


PSHE education is considered one of the core subjects in this school. The six-stage descriptors in the SEND Planning Framework have enabled teachers to develop a shared understanding of pupils’ needs across multiple SEND settings.


This same language is used in policy writing and in assessment to ensure an inclusive whole school approach. The SEND Planning Framework has also helped to compliment and extend the school’s existing PSHE education topics and themes of learning and to support long-term planning.


The school uses a bespoke PSHE education star assessment format. All pupils have a six-pointed star, and each arm of the star corresponds to the SEND Planning Framework’s developmental stages (e.g. 'encountering', 'foundation', 'core', 'development'). This means that after a lesson or series of lessons, pupils can self-assess or pair-assess with their teacher; then, based on their assessment evidence or reflections, the pupils colour in each arm to show the progress they have made in each topic. This ensures that there is a record of which topics have been covered and also what outcomes have been achieved within each topic.


  • The six headings are really useful for focussing planning.

    School 4SEND case study

  • Being able to use the language from [the Planning Framework] has been so helpful — so that our (PSHE) topic and themes are totally inclusive

    School 4SEND case study