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Overview of the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ cycle

The ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ cycle is a good way for schools to plan special educational needs (SEN) support. It’s also called the ‘graduated approach‘.

The views of the child and their family should be prioritised and given careful consideration during the cycle.

Assess Plan Do Review Cycle Diagram

The ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle can be repeated as many times as needed to help the child progress.

Some children or young people will show good progress after the first round of support is put in place, but those with more complex needs might benefit from the cycle being repeated several times.


The first step is to collect the right information and find the right people to be able to plan support.

If a child or young person isn’t making the expected progress, draw on:

  • information from their teachers
  • the views of the child, young person and their family
  • any external services or organisations involved


During this step, teachers, the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO), the child and their family should agree on new interventions, support and the expected outcomes.

The agreement should be recorded on the school’s systems and explained to the involved teaching staff.


In this step, the plan is put into practice. The child or young person’s class or subject teachers are responsible for checking whether the plan is working on a daily basis.


The impact of the plan is reviewed by teachers, the SENCO, the child and their family, and retired. Good enough progress may mean SEN support is no longer needed.

Last updated 30 November 2020

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