Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Basic Awareness - elearning for healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
  • Council for Disabled Children

Available on the Learning Hub

This programme is available on the NHS Learning Hub. We recommend you read the information on this webpage to find out more about the programme before you access the learning (https://learninghub.nhs.uk/catalogue/SEND-Basic-Awareness).

More information about the Learning Hub and the migration of elfh programmes can be found here.

About the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Basic Awareness programme

Level 1:

This SEND basic awareness elearning can be used as a standalone module for any practitioner who interacts with children and young people (CYP) with SEND and their families.

Learning outcomes include awareness of:
• what SEND means
• the national and international legislation around SEND
• the challenges faced by CYP and their families, and how they can be
• supported
• where to find more information about SEND in your local area – the SEND Local Offer website – provided by local authorities to provide families and the workforce with information on SEND support and services in their local area

Level 2:

This basic awareness elearning can be used in addition to Level 1 or for practitioners who have regular contact with CYP with SEND and their families.

Learning outcomes include an increased understanding of:
• what we mean by SEND
• key principles for working with CYP with SEND, with a focus on:

  • inclusion
  • co-production/ personalisation
  • advocacy

• key processes which support CYP with SEND, with a focus on:

  • education, Health and Care Plans
  • roles and responsibilities in a multidisciplinary team
  • the local offer and how CYP and their families can access it.

More information

It is recognised that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families have a complex relationship with health services, and often feel under-supported by health and care staff.

This e-learning aims to increase understanding of the wider SEND context, with a particular focus on the lived experiences of children, young people and their families, and how health and care colleagues can promote and support a positive experience of health services.

The Council for Disabled Children facilitated a series of focus groups with a range of health stakeholders and developed the e-learning in response to training needs, with the input of children and young people.

This e-learning was developed to be used in conjunction with the SEND training assurance framework tool, piloted by the South East region.

Primary and secondary audiences

Level 1: All staff including non-clinical managers and staff working in healthcare services.

Level 2: Minimum level required for non-clinical and clinical staff who, within their role, have contact (however small) with CYP with SEND up to the age of 25 years.


Focus group members

FLARE Disabled Children and Young People’s Group, Council for Disabled Children

Meet the team

  • Sue Gibbons

    Designated Clinical Officer, NHS Kent & Medway
  • Philippa Watts

    Programme Lead, Council for Disabled Children
  • Dafna Bicaci

    Programme Manager, Council for Disabled Children

How to access

To access this programme, you will require a Learning Hub account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below. Note that if you hold a full elfh account, you can sign into the Learning Hub using your existing login credentials.

Register >

To view the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Basic Awareness programme, select the View button below.  If you already have a Learning Hub account, you will also be able to login and access the resources within the programme.

View >

If you already have an account with elfh, then you can enrol on to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Basic Awareness programme by logging in to the elfh Hub, selecting My Account > Enrolment and selecting the programme. You can then access the programme immediately in the My e-Learning section. 

NHS healthcare staff in England – ESR 

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Basic Awareness programme is also available to NHS healthcare staff via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Accessing this e-learning via ESR means that your completions will transfer with you throughout your NHS career.  

Not an NHS organisation?  

If you are not an NHS health or care organisation and therefore do not qualify for free access to the Learning Hub, you may be able to access the service if you have an existing OpenAthens account. Please go to Learning Hub and sign in with your existing credentials.

If you do not have an existing OpenAthens account, please contact elfh directly to check whether you may be eligible for access.

Registering large numbers of users 

If you are a HR, IT or Practice Manager and would like to register and enrol large numbers of staff within your organisation for access onto the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Basic Awareness programme, please contact elfh directly. 


elfh is a NHS England programme in partnership with the NHS and professional bodies