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Reaching out to learners with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

26 May, 2017Sam Godden

The National Statistics published data from the Department for Education which showed that in 2016 there were over 1.2 million children (14%) with SEND in schools.  Disruption and challenges to their education means they are more likely to miss out on key life skills, social skills and preparation for adulthood.  Providing SEND resources will increase opportunities for the most vulnerable young people to gain a confident and independent attitude to money management. 

Here at The London Institute of Banking & Finance we are adapting our current delivery to fit every student's needs.

Our Lessons in Financial Education (LiFE) programme is designed to remove all barriers to accessing basic financial education, resulting in a further reach than the traditional classroom experience.  Its aim is to provide versatile, flexible resources that can reach the most vulnerable learners in the way they choose to learn.   

Supporting learners with SEND was built into the LiFE programme right from the start; here are some examples of how LiFE already talks to different learners:

  • The programme is brought to life with colour, animation and sound.Course-outline
  • It has fun, interactive content and practical hands on activities to ‘click and drag.'
  • The screen displays short, manageable chunks of learning.
  • The screen background has changed from bright white to cream.

  • The programme can be paused at any time and restart where they left off.
  • Keywords are highlighted in bold.

  • Learners can go back and repeat any part of the topics again and again.

  • The registration lasts for 12 months meaning there is no pressure to complete.
  • Learners can use headphones and work through it independently.

The benefits for teachers, support staff and parents

We are already attracting a wider range of learners to LiFE as we have removed the need for it to be taught in a classroom, or fitted into strict timetables. The learning is delivered via a secure online platform that can be set up quickly and accessed via most mobile devices including laptops, tablets and mobile phones. This flexibility is helping support staff and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator's (SENCO’s) in schools and colleges to provide personalised learning quicker, without the need for an expert to teach it.

Parental engagement is also an essential link in the SEND learning experience, so being able to take the learning home provides further opportunity for them to take part in a piece of learning that will help their children prepare for adulthood.

Samantha Godden, Manager of Community Outreach said

“Our aim is to ensure the LiFE programme is accessible and talks to the widest range of learners especially the most vulnerable learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. I have set up a SEND Focus Group to ensure we can constantly develop additional resources to personalise the learning further.”


Supporting teachers to deliver LiFE to SEND students

The LiFE SEND guide is currently being developed as a learning resource to sit alongside the LiFE programme. The additional resources will help all children and young people but especially those with special educational needs.  It is aimed to support parents, teachers and key-workers in mainstream and special schools with personalised learning.

The guide will also support many adult learners from our Outreach Centres such as homeless people who have very complex needs and may need to pause the learning when more immediate challenges often take over.

What will be in the LiFE SEND guide?

Our SEND Focus Group hopes the SEND guide will support the four areas of need identified in the SEND Code of Practice, as a minimum it will include:

  • Transcripts for every topic for learners using screen readers or altering text.
  • Individual learning plans with progress tables, check boxes and areas for feedback - space to draw a picture or write about what they have learnt.
  • Suggested sensory and role play activities linked to topic worksheets.

Community and Outreach Team, Financial Capability


To find out more about the LiFE Programme click here