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Systems Thinking for Special Needs online course

This online course introduces participants to systems thinking in a SEND context. It is intended to help managers of SEND provision (and those who work with them) to employ new forms of collaborative working which are highly sensitive to individual needs and enable them to lead beyond their own organisation. It also offers guidance on how to make SEND an organisational priority.

Course Manual

This manual supports you while you work through the video content and includes templates referred to in the videos for you to work with. Download here.


Participants are advised to watch the videos in pairs, i.e. first watch Systems Thinking 1, followed by Reflections 1, before moving on to Systems Thinking 2 and Reflections 2.

Systems Thinking videos:


Systems Thinking for Special Needs

1. Introduction.

2. Understanding your challenges

3. Self- awareness

4. Social awareness

5..Systems awareness

6. Action experiment

7. Impact


Feedback from a SEND Specialist

1.  Introduction.

2.  Can you give an example of a simple challenge and a complex challenge?

3.  Can you give an example of an artefact you use and the assumptions you make about it?

4. Has it been helpful to understand the types of leaders out there?

5. What are the inner and outer characteristics of your challenge?

6. What are your aspirations with regard to your challenge of panel reviews?

7.  Is it important to gauge the impact of what you are doing?