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Specific needs and wellbeing

The resources on this page focus on supporting learners; you’ll find resources to help you support learners with specific needs and their well-being.

Supporting learners with autism

The Department for Education published Standards and a Competency Framework to help providers support learners with autism.


An image of the autism competency framework

Supporting learners with dyslexia

Did you know one in ten adults had dyslexia, many of whom have not had any formal assessment? Learn to spot potential signs including avoidance of certain tasks, problems maintaining focus or organising ideas in written work. The Foundation offers courses and taster sessions to help practitioners learn and support their dyslexic learners.

The website, which is also available as a dyslexia friendly app, provides information and advice to learners and practitioners.

Supporting learners with physical disabilities

Learners with physical disabilities have individual needs to ensure they can access and engage with learning. To help those working with young people with physical disabilities, pdnet have produced a set of standards for those working in post-16 education.

Image of the pdnet standards document

Raising awareness of physical disability is a set of free online training modules, created by pdnet, for anyone working within an educational setting who needs to develop their awareness and understanding of physical disability and the impact it can have on learning. Each module is approximately one hour in length and uses scenario based learning to help users to understand the barriers or challenges that can be faced by young people with physical disability and the steps that can be taken to overcome these. You will need to register to access the training modules and a cerificate is available on completion.

Supporting deaf students in FE

A webinar, Supporting the achievement of deaf students in further education, is available for SET members. The webinar oulines the  main barriers for deaf/hearing impaired students and discusses the reasonable adjustments and provision that can be put into place to ensure that deaf students are supported to make good progress. 

The Foundation is running hearing impairment awareness courses and taster sessions to help you gain skills and knowledge to support your learners.

Supporting blind and visually impaired learners

RNIB Bookshare UK education collection provides textbooks and materials to support the UK curriculum. They offer a range of accessible formats that can be read electronically or adapted to suit the personal reading needs of learners.

  • Listen to books with high quality text-to-speech voices
  • Hear and see highlighted words on screen
  • Read with digital braille or enlarged fonts
  • Create physical braille or large print
  • Read directly from your Internet browser
  • And more!

For more information visit the website.

Mental health

The Mindful Toolkit includesAn image of a Mindful toolkit card information cards and task cards. It was designed to be used with prisoners with a range of SEND needs but it particularly focuses on mental well-being. The resource was developed and trialled by a group of prison-based learning support specialists working with learners with SEND. Each task card is mapped to a SEND pathway: Communication and interaction, Learning and cognition, Social, emotional and mental health, and Sensory and hearing impairments.

The Foundation created three resources to support our apprenticeship programme: Promoting positive mental health for all, Small change big difference and Talking about mental health. The practical advice given by teachers and the insights from apprentices into the challenges they face are relevant across FE and skills. The specialist addition modules are included in the Equality, Diversion and Inclusion in apprenticeships course; you will need to register on the Foundation Online Learning site.  

The new Mental Health At Work portal provides quick access to the best resources out there to support mental health in the workplace. You can filter on education and teaching to find resources, toolkits and training relevant to the sector. The resources are grouped into four categories: (1) Support for line managers, colleagues and staff, (2) Ways to assess my organisation's approach, (3) Ideas to improve workplace culture and (4) Help to develop policy and practice.

Explore the MHFE website which contains resources and research from the MHFE network of professionals interested in adult education and mental health.

Quick links

In this section you'll find links to a number of useful websites:

The Autism Education Trust - offers information and resources to support effective education practice for people with autism.

The British Dyslexia Society - provides information to help better support students who have dyslexia and specific learning difficulties.

The National Sensory Impairment Partnership - offers information and resources relating to good practice in education and training for people with sensory impairment.

The Communication Trust - offers information and resources to support the teaching and learning of people who struggle to communicate because they have speech, language and communication needs.

The MHFE website - houses research reports and resources to help learning providers promote good mental health and support staff and learners with mental health difficulties.

Disability Rights UK - adjustments for disabled students factsheet.

MindEd - Educational resources containing advice, guidance and information on managing a wide range of mental health issues in children and teens.

Professional Development

Are you looking for specific training? As part of a mapping exercise of SEND CPD training and qualifications available from the Education and Training Foundation and a wide range of other organisations we have produced a CPD Mapping document. The information is provided to raise awareness to the SEND workforce of the variety CPD opportunities available. The inclusion of information from other organisations does not indicate a recommendation by the Education and Training Foundation of this offer.

Take a look at the Foundation's offer to support the workforce:

Visit the News and Events page for the lastest course and event updates.

Are you a SET member? If so you'll have access to professional development webinars that cover a whole range of topics to help you support learners with SEND. 

Join the SEND conversation #SENDinFE

Related Resources

Image of the pdnet standards document

PDnet Standards for supporting young people with physical disability

An image of  one of the task cards from the Mindful toolkit

Mindful toolkit cards

Image of the Supporting learners with additional needs resource

Supporting learners with additional needs: A three tier approach

Image of the SEND CPD Framework resource

SEND CPD Framework

an image of the How to be happy and healthy when you are learning or working resource

How to be happy and healthy in learning and at work

An image from the online SEND sources of support course

SEND Sources of support - Supporting learners' aspirations

Image of the complex needs website

Complex needs

An image of the Supporting deaf young people through transition resource

Supporting deaf young people through transition

Image of the Supporting achievement of deaf young people in FE resource

Supporting achievement of deaf young people in FE

An image of the ESOL Access for all part 1 resource

ESOL Access for all