The Inclusion Development Program (IDP) is a government-funded initiative that has been developed in partnership with voluntary bodies, leading academics in the related fields and the National Strategies. It is a professional development tool, designed to support schools in meeting pupils’ special educational needs (SEN), and is available online and as a DVD. The program was developed in three phases. The first two sets of materials focus on dyslexia; speech, language and communication needs (SLCN); and autism. The recently released third-set focuses on behavioral, emotional and social difficulties (BESD).

The IDP has been developed for a very wide range of staff, to help them improve quality-first teaching and include pupils with a range of SEN more effectively. It is not designed for specialists.

The Supporting Pupils with Behavioral, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD). materials were developed in partnership with SEBDA, which provided the main content for the e-learning scenarios. The materials are based on the understanding that schools will already have started to develop social and emotional skills in a planned and coherent way through social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL) or something similar and school policies will fulfill all aspects of the Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda. The aims of the materials are given below.

Aims of IDP materials

  • Improve social and educational outcomes for children who have been identified as having BESD
  • Increase knowledge and understanding among professionals about the complex nature of BESD
  • Share good practice so that professionals in schools can make adjustments to their policies and practices so that more young people with BESD can benefit from a mainstream education.

How are materials organized?

The BESD materials are organized into two sections: one for staff working in the primary and secondary phases of education and the other for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). For each phase there are two key resources: an e-learning course and a booklet. The e-learning process takes about one-and-a-half hours to complete. Although it would be possible to work through the e-learning process in isolation, it is recommended that a collaborative approach is adopted as part of a blended learning package. Ideally, sessions are facilitated by an experienced and knowledgeable practitioner who can stimulate enquiry around an individual school’s practice.

What areas does it cover?

There are four areas of study:

  • How does BESD develop?
  • How can I improve provision for pupils with BESD in the classroom?
  • How can I support individual pupils with BESD more effectively?
  • What are the other sources of support?

The menu allows you to dip into the resource wherever you wish but the units build one on another. The program explores themes such as: mental health, attachment and development, quality-first teaching, classroom environments, social and emotional aspects of learning, emotions, working with children’s services partners.


During the e-learning program you are introduced to a set of fictional characters and a series of scenarios that enable the four questions to be explored within the context of a local area cluster meeting. Four professionals from primary and secondary schools meet to reflect on approaches that they adopt when meeting the needs of pupils with BESD. Each one of the professionals are concerned about an imaginary case study, which has been devised to show a range of difficulties and explore many issues.

What else is in the resource?

An important part of the resource is a self-evaluation tool, which can be completed prior to working with the IDP. Ratings can be collated and then revisited after work on the IDP as a quick measure of impact, showing how staff have developed in confidence. It can provide valuable evidence for the school SEF around whole-school continuing professional development (CPD) and behavior.

The CD and online resource includes a library, which you can visit at any point, and this contains additional documents in PDF or word format which you can draw on to learn more.

A presentation provides additional notes for leadership teams and other professionals who may want to provide CPD in this area. It is designed to provide a summary of the key messages and helps facilitators to align these messages with other priorities in school.

Each module includes short videos that provide a range of perspectives. The IDP materials are in the inclusion area of the National Strategies’ website – follow the links in the box on the right.

Web links to IDP materials