Supply and the Demands of the SEND Framework | Supply Teaching | PK Education

Supply and the Demands of the SEND Framework

Meeting children’s needs in the classroom – a half day, live CPD session

This event is the culmination of the year’s CPD sessions from Helen’s Place and PK Education. We will run a live, half-day workshop in person, where the role of supply teachers in supporting young people with SEND in the classroom will be explored. The session will be thought-provoking, informative and, most importantly, practical to help you to develop strategies to use in the classroom when working with young people.

We will cover the four areas of need in the SEND Code of Practice, discuss the types of needs and how they relate to those areas. You will have time to reflect on your practice, consider challenging situations in class and your response to those, both at the time and what you would do in future. We will suggest ways for you to work with your class as a day-to-day supply teacher, whether you are working alone or alongside TAs/other colleagues, as well as exploring how your role in longer-term positions may evolve as you spend more time in school. The key focus of this session is the practicality and applicability of the ideas and strategies we will discuss.


Supply teachers.

The session is aimed at primary school teachers and those who work as supply teaching assistants.

Number of participants:

25-30. We want to create a truly dynamic session with plenty of interaction.


The day will be broken into three broad sections:

Session 1: The SEND FRAMEWORK (ca 45 mins)

This session will consider the responsibilities of teachers and support staff such as TAs within the SEND Code of Practice.  It will be an overview that gives teachers/TAs an understanding of:

  • The four areas of learning difficulties/barriers to learning as defined within the Code of Practice
  • How different types of need link to these four areas by discussing why individuals have linked the needs to those areas. This is not always clear-cut and even amongst the most experienced of professionals there can be debate. This section will be based around case studies and profiles of different students so that teachers/TAs can understand how needs may be viewed and located within frameworks
  • How the different needs in the profiles explored during the session may look in the classroom and what the characteristics are of the type of setting teachers/TAs think would be ideal for students with those needs to be met.

Session 2: SUPPLY AND SEND (ca 45 mins)

This session will look at meeting the needs of children with SEND from the point of view of a supply teacher on a short-term placement, thrown in at the deep end with very little time, resources and background knowledge of their students. This is arguably the hardest type of placement and the one where the best teachers and TAs are needed. This session will address different questions and challenges that you might experience in the heat of the moment as you work with young people in what can be very challenging circumstances where you are all trying to get used to each other and make your way through the day successfully. We will have case studies and reference materials to look at the four different areas of need and discuss through the lens of a day-to-day supply teacher:

  • How different needs and barriers to learning may look in a setting
  • What behaviours may be happening and what the root causes of those behaviours may be
  • Are there any resources in the room/setting you can draw on at the start of the day to help? A teaching assistant? The school receptionist? Other support staff? Class folder?

Attendees with then be given time to consider

  • Their own experiences and share these
  • Occasions when short-term placements went well for them and why
  • Occasions when placements have been more challenging and why
  • What was within their capacity to change and what was outside of their control. This is very important to consider because, as a day-to-day or short-term candidate, there is very little that you can change substantively within that setting.

Session 3: LONGER TERM WORKING (ca 90 minutes)

Not all supply teacher placements involve short-term, day-to-day work. There are some placements that last longer for various reasons. It may be that a teacher who is absent due to ill health will be off for some time but the duration of the illness is unknown. Some schools may choose to replace a member of staff who is on maternity leave with a long-term supply contract. In these longer placements, you can start to build relationships and get to grips with the systems already in place in the school and make meaningful connections with the children’s families and your colleagues. This can all help to lay a firm foundation  to support young people with SEND in your classroom. In this session we will look at the various ways you can meet different needs. We will use the profiles/case studies we have already referred to but in this session you may now have young people in mind who you have worked with too. That’s fine – this session is intended to be practical and for your benefit! We will look at:

  • Needs that can be met in the classroom with tweaks in your delivery where you have better knowledge of the young people and setting you are working in
  • Your supply teacher ‘Kit Bag’ – what’s in it?
  • ICT – what is there in your setting and what can you do with it?
  • Overwhelm – is there space to support young people who may need quiet time?
  • Behaviour and reward policies – what do you know and what can you do?
  • Colleagues – can you share with them and learn from each other?
  • When you do know what’s happening, understanding, who is in your class and some of the challenges they experience
  • Seating plans
  • EHCPs, SEND information and one page profiles
  • In-class support strategies already in place
  • TAs
  • Longer term, as you look at planning for children’s needs, making adjustments to provision and liaising with parents/carers and potentially other professionals
  • What you are expected to do within your setting
  • What do others do and what ‘reasonable’ adjustments are in place?
  • The need to talk to the SENCO!
  • What you can do next – write an action plan for the following. You may have a preference depending on the type of placements you tend to do.
    • Short-term placements – how can you tackle the day here. What questions do you think you’ll need to ask? What can you do with what you have in your kit bag?
    • Medium-term placements – how can you start to make connections meaningfully if you are in a school for perhaps half a term so that young people are supported but other members of staff are all looped into the communication/support that is in in place?
    • Long-term placements – how can you plan for young people’s needs, make connections with parents/carers and young people while maintaining existing measures?