This document provides statutory guidance on the practical operation of the new framework for inclusion of children with special educational needs into mainstream schools.

The comprehensive advice given in this guidance documents covers: how the statutory framework for inclusion and provisions within the Education Act 1996 apply to children and examples of the sort of steps maintained schools should consider taking to ensure that a child’s inclusion is not incompatible with the efficient education of other children.

Maintained schools and Local Education Authorities in England must have regard to this guidance. City Academies in England are also required to have regard to this guidance via their funding agreements with the Secretary of State.

A summary of this guidance and an information sheet are available for school governors.


  • Status of the guidance
  • Key principles
  • Developing effective inclusion
  • Disability equality
  • The voice of pupils
  • Working in partnership with parents
  • Safeguarding the needs of pupils with special educational needs
  • Inter agency/sector partnerships
  • How the statutory framework for inclusion works
  • Efficient education
  • Reasonable steps
  • Instances when it may not be possible to include specific children who have statements
  • Special schools
  • Education otherwise
  • Dual placements
  • Monitoring