SEND Resources: An Actionable Guide for Schools

For students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their academic and social success depends significantly on the appropriateness and quality of the support they receive.

However, due to the diverse range of learners grouped under SEND, the categorisation of learning tools as “SEND Resources” makes finding the ideal solution a complex – and potentially overwhelming – task for educators and school leaders.

Our aim is to eliminate these barriers. In this article, we will shine a light on:

  • What SEND resources are
  • The types of learner they support
  • Their features and benefits
  • Our best SEND resources

What are SEND Resources

SEND resources are personalised learning support tools for children with special educational needs or disabilities, enabling improved access to their school’s curriculum and activities.

Their support encompasses a wide range of learner needs, including:

  • Communication and Interaction:Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN), or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Cognition and Learning: Learning disabilities, or specific learning difficulties including dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and auditory processing disorders.
  • Social, Emotional, and Mental Health: Mental health conditions – such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders – or behavioural disorders, such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD).
  • Sensory and/or Physical: Sensory processing disorders, visual or hearing impairments, physical disabilities, or physical difficulties.

How do SEND Resources Work

SEND resources are designed to support very specific needs, meaning they are often centred around one or two distinguishable features. Here is a list of some of the features available with SEND resources, categorised for the specific type of SEND learner:

Communication and Interaction

  • Speech and Language Exercises: Online activities, such as phonics exercises, to support SLCN students with processing and producing spoken language.
  • Online Speech and Language Therapists: Regular Access to online sessions with a speech and language therapist, such as those provided by Mable Therapy.
  • Visual Aids: The use of symbols and pictures to create visual timetables, as well as communicate requests and responses.
  • Comprehension Activities: Picture-based activities that target improved comprehension in areas such as numeracy and literacy.
  • Instant Messenger: Features that allow non-verbal learners to communicate via typed messages.
  • Picture Messenger: Features that allow non-verbal learners to communicate via picture messages.

Cognition and Learning Needs

  • Reading Tools: Allows for modification of text – such as the changing of background colours or font – to support learners with dyslexia.
  • Voice-to-Text Capabilities: Software that transcribes the learner’s spoken word into text, allowing them alternative ways to complete exercises and assignments.
  • Attention-based Personalised Learning: Allows you to measure attention, and personalise a learning programme based on a child’s concentration levels.
KOBI’s features include selective letter colouring, finger tracking, and text-to-voice.

Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Needs

  • Online Counselling: Therapy sessions made accessible during school time through an online platform.
  • Wellbeing Activities: Online videos and worksheets to help promote wellbeing and mindfulness in the classroom.

Sensory and/or Physical Needs

  • Dictation Software: An SEND resource that records spoken words as text, allowing alternative ways for students to write documents and complete exercises.
  • Text-to-Speech Software: Learners type in what they want to say, and the software converts the content into spoken word.
  • Eye Movement Software: Software that tracks eye movements to formulate text on screen.
  • Comprehension Activities: Picture-based activities that target improved comprehension in areas such as numeracy and literacy.
  • Instant Messenger: Features that allow non-verbal learners to communicate via typed messages.
  • Picture Messenger: Features that allow non-verbal learners to communicate via picture messages.

SEND technology typically falls into three categories:


Interactive cameras, electronic pens, or microphones that provide physical assistance to a student, typically enabling better communication and participation during lessons.


This involves apps, computer programmes, or online platforms that:

  • provide activities specifically designed to target individual learning needs
  • alter the presentation of information so it can be more easily processed by the leader
  • offer alternative ways for learners to input information

Digital Hub

Online support and information hubs that educate teachers and students on areas of need and development, and offer evidence-based strategies to guide teacher instruction.

Benefits of SEND Resources

Promote Student Inclusion

Assistive technology works to limit – and, in some cases, eradicate entirely – learning barriers that certain SEND students face.

For instance, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) resources allow students with speech and language difficulties to seamlessly administer words and phrases digitally during a lesson. Thus, they afford specific learners a means to express their thoughts, feelings, and understanding of a topic, as well as administer answers and questions.

Example 1: With Clicker Communicator, learners are given rapid access to rich vocabularies that vary in difficulty and can be immediately expressed in the classroom.

This makes teaching resources for SEND students excellent tools for both reducing learning barriers and promoting inclusion in the classroom.

Bridge Attainment Gaps

When students are physically unable to attend school, perhaps owing to illness or mental health difficulties, their learning – and therefore attainment – is negatively affected. However, certain SEND resources, by allowing them to virtually attend and participate in lessons, can remediate this problem.

AV1 allows students to virtually observe and contribute to lessons via a robot companion.

Meanwhile, for those with cognitive and learning difficulties, ill-suited teaching materials and strategies can exacerbate existing retention and motivation struggles. Instead, a tailored learning experience provided by assistive technology ensures course content is made accessible to the specific individual, whilst teacher-targeted resources provide educators with appropriate instructional guidance, evidence-based strategies, and appropriate mapping services to devise individual learning plans.

Ultimately, SEND resources work to bridge attainment gaps among certain students by delivering targeted and accessible learning paths.

Improve Emotional Wellbeing and Behaviour

Children with learning disabilities are significantly more likely to suffer with mental health issues compared with their peers, and curriculum barriers serve to further feelings of frustration, low self-esteem, and isolation.

Effective use of SEND resources, by helping students overcome many of these learning obstacles, allow individuals to embark on a more positive and meaningful educational journey.

Increases Student Independence

By eliminating content barriers, and thus nurturing improved learner confidence and motivation, classroom SEND resources empower students to actively process, develop, and articulate their unique understanding of learning material.

Example 2: With Timely Practice, students spend 10 to 15 minutes reinforcing the knowledge acquired from the previous lesson. This transforms short-term learning into enduring long-term memory, thereby allowing slower learners to independently formulate judgements without requiring external support or validation.

The Impact of SEND Resources

When searching for any EdTech resource, a good starting point is to identify the educational outcomes that you want your tool to achieve, and then assessing the evidence behind its impact. On EdTech Impact, solutions are mapped to their impact (the outcomes they claim to improve), so that you can quickly filter to the ones that suit your goals. Here’s our top-level taxonomy:

  • Student: Build Student Knowledge, Improve Attainment, Improve Behaviour or Wellbeing, Increase Student Collaboration, Reduce Attainment Gap
  • Teacher: Improve Teacher Knowledge, Improve Teacher Wellbeing, Improve Teaching Efficiency, Reduce Teacher Workload
  • School: Improve Parental Engagement, Improve School Processes, Provide School Data, Save School Money

However, just because an SEND solution purports to deliver a certain outcome, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will. This is why we’ve extensive analysed our SEND marketplace to provide general insights into a) what impact SEND providers believe their products are achieving, and b) what perceived impact educators are actually seeing.

Top 10 SEND Resources


Containing over 30 educational games, COCO THINKS and COCO MOVES’  attention, memory, language, and maths activities can be customised to suit children with motor disabilities.

Provision Map

Featuring learning plans in line with the SEND Code of Practice, Provision Map helps SENCos with student management by tracking provisions and interventions.


A classroom robot, AV1 ensures that students who require inclusive distance learning can still attend their lessons remotely.

KAZ Touch Typing

Developed with guidance from the Dyslexia Research Trust, KAZ’s ©Preference Screen ensures dyslexic students are still able to achieve touch typing mastery.

Speech Link

Identifying children with SLCN needs, Speech Link demystifies speech work and helps support staff work effectively with children’s common speech sound errors.

Mable Therapy

An online SLCN and mental health therapy and counselling provider, Mable Therapy delivers flexible sessions for students both at home or at school, depending on their needs.


An eReader app featuring finger tracking, text to voice, and letter colouring, KOBI is an excellent reading tool for learners with dyslexia or ADHD.

Timely Practice 

Turning short-term learning into long-term memory, Timely Practice’s information retrieval assignments help disadvantaged learners retain new concepts.

Dyslexia Gold

Consisting of student eye-tracking and phonological assessments, Dyslexia Gold helps struggling children improve their reading and spelling.


Dystech is an online platform that offers a variety of reading assessments, including fluency, phonological awareness, likelihood of dyslexia, and much more.

Final Advice and Next Steps

Finding the ideal SEND resource can be particularly challenging, even for experienced EdTech buyers. Just as SEND students represent a diverse range of learners, the resources tailored for them are equally varied.

This guide, by delivering a comprehensive picture of the SEND EdTech marketplace, is the perfect starting point for building and executing your procurement strategy.

So, now that you’re equipped to find the precise solution, why not explore our marketplace of SEND resources?

Updated on: 4 October 2023

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