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Whole School SEND Review Trial

The Whole School SEND (WSS) Review provides a framework that enables school leaders to evaluate the effectiveness of current SEND provision through a structured self-evaluation and peer review with another school. The SEND Review Guide and peer-review process helps schools identify areas for improvement within their SEND provision, and equips schools to create and review improvement plans. This evaluation process supports schools to embed a focus on SEND as a fundamental to normal school improvement practice.

Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester Met) will evaluate the impact of the WSS Review through a Randomised Control Trial (RCT), which will focus on improvements in academic outcomes for pupils with SEND, in addition to student well-being and behaviour outcomes such as attendance and exclusions.

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Why take part?

All participating schools have the opportunity to be part of a high-quality research trial, working with experienced researchers from Manchester Met, that will provide insights into whether and how the WSS Review process leads to improvements in attainment and provision for pupils with SEND.

In an Randomised Control Trial (RCT), participation is determined by random selection; each school’s involvement in the WSS Review process will depend on whether they are randomly assigned into the intervention group or the control group. For this trial, 80 schools will receive the intervention and 80 schools will be a part of the control group.

The trial will use the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) to measure impact on student well-being. Summary reports of the SDQ data will be shared with all participating schools, with a final summary at the end of the trial, and could support the identification of issues relating to Government advice on mental health and behaviour in schools.

Control schools will receive a financial payment of £1,500, in two instalments, on completion of different elements of the study, but will not participate in the WSS Review process.

Intervention schools will benefit from taking part in the WSS Review process, including a peer review. The school SENDCo will engage in five regional days of CPD, focused on developing SEND expertise in line with areas for development identified in the peer review and strategic leadership skills to effectively implement a SEND Development Plan:

Please note that due to the coronavirus pandemic, this timeline may be subject to change.

Please note recruitment is now closed.

Arrow shows recruitment process for trial
Arrow shows recruitment process for trial


Please note recruitment is now closed,

To apply, schools must meet the following criteria:

  • Mainstream secondary school in England (KS3 and 4)
  • Since July 2016, the school has not commissioned a SEND Review of whole school provision
  • Since July 2016, the SENDCo has not participated in Whole School SEND Reviewer training
  • One school per MAT may apply
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Further Information:

If you have a specific question, please contact the Project Directors Margaret Mulholland and Katherine Walsh at
For further information, visit the EEF website

Who is involved in the SEND Review Trial?

EEF Logo

Education Endowment Foundation

EEF is an independent charity dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement. EEF are the trial funders.

Whole School SEND logo

Whole School SEND

WSS brings together schools, organisations and individuals who are committed to ensuring that every child and young person with SEND can maximise their potential. As a partner we are project managing and delivering the trial.

nasen - Helping everyone achieve


nasen is a charitable membership organisation that exists to support and champion those working with, and for, children and young people with SEND and learning differences. nasen are a trial partner and host of Whole School SEND.

Manchester Metropolitan University logo

Manchester Metropolitan University

A great, modern university, in a great global city, here to make an impact on Manchester, our nation and beyond. Manchester Met is the independent evaluator for the trial.