Every school has different requirements from their student and academic management systems, and their processes are unique. This is even more true for Specialist or SEN (Special Education Needs) schools. Traditional curriculum plans and daily management may not apply, and they need software that is adaptable as a result.  

Research suggests that over 1.5 million students in England alone are recognised as having SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability), with the percentage of the country-wide student body increasing by year. It’s vital that Specialist and independent schools have the tools that they need to operate efficiently and with the best outcomes for learners. 

Your SEN software should support your individual needs and help you to provide the best support and education for your students. Students have unique wellbeing requirements, healthcare requirements, and education planning. Often, an ‘off the shelf’ solution can’t provide the flexibility you need.  

What are the key features of the best software solutions for supporting SEN students and what do you need to look for across the tools available on the market? 

Pastoral features 

Your pastoral and student-facing team need software that supports their individual needs. While a comprehensive and customisable MIS is important as the cornerstone of your software, your additional, integrated solutions are the key to performance for your other departments.  

A modular, bespoke approach enables your pastoral team to work with a solution built specifically for them, while also benefiting from the available data within your school MIS database. Take the time to communicate with your pastoral and wellbeing staff to understand their individual needs from their daily technology. They are best placed to understand what they need to support your SEN students, and your wider student body.  

The best wellbeing solutions will integrate with your MIS, but there are also some key features that you should look for in a dedicated pastoral software: 

  • Strict user permissions: Protect sensitive student data with access permissions that ensure security profiles are properly managed. 
  • Automatic concern alerts: Identify concerning trends in student behaviour with automated notifications and regular reports, ensuring no data point is missed. 
  • Clear flag system: Communicate the severity of student concerns clearly with an intuitive raised flag system. 
  • Inbuilt notifications: Set notifications for relevant parties when new concerns or actions are logged, ensuring everyone is up to date on a student’s care. 
  • Interactive, intuitive dashboard: Quickly and easily find the most important information with detailed dashboards. 


School software isn’t just valuable as a daily management system, it also harnesses and provides access to huge amounts of key school data. All of your student data, lesson and class data, behavioural and medical data, and more, are held within your school MIS and databases.  

SEN software

That data is extremely important to your schools and students’ performance. Your software needs to enable you to harness that data for better understanding of trends and empowered decision-making.  

Search for SEN software that offers extensive and efficient reporting, across any data within your systems. Remove the time-consuming admin of manual reporting and ensure that you’re getting the most up to date reports on all areas of school life.  

Ultimately, this is key for identifying trends and best supporting your learners. The quicker you can spot concerns, the quicker they can be resolved.  

Parent school communication 

While it’s important that appropriate staff are kept up to date with key student wellbeing information, the main point of contact will always be parents. They need to be updated with any information relating to their child’s education or wellbeing at all times.  

The best SEN software will have numerous facilities for keeping parents in the loop. Whether this is text or email notification facilities, portals, or apps. The more lines of communication are available, the better, as this offers flexibility for each individual parent.  

Regular in-person check-ins with parents and guardians are important, but much more happens throughout the school year than can be covered in meetings and parents evenings, so schools need to keep in touch with those at home. 

iSAMS offers a variety of solutions to keep you connected with your community of parents, including: 

Each of our communication tools seamlessly integrate with the iSAMS MIS for swift and easy lines of communication with parents and guardians, enabling you to share valuable information relating to their child’s care instantly. 

Bespoke curriculums 

For students on dedicated education plans, and those attending Specialist schools, the traditional curriculums aren’t always best suited to their needs. Schools need to be more flexible than ever to cater to different learning styles and requirements 

Your software should be just as flexible. Recognising the progress and performance of each individual student, in their own way, is important to ensuring they have a fulfilling experience at school. Students make progress at their own pace and it’s important that your software can support that.  

Flexible timetabling and curriculum management ensures that you can easily manage multiple school journeys and keep track of individual performance, relative to the students respective learning journey.  

SEN software

At iSAMS, our Gradebooks module naturally integrates with the wider iSAMS MIS and offers the flexibility you need to input academic data that suits your school. Assign gradebooks to individual teachers or on a global level, such as by subject. Results can be easily shared with parents and students, and reports shared where appropriate with school staff. 


Your school relies on your data stores every day. They are key to ensuring that the school runs smoothly and each learner gets the best experience. That’s why it’s so important that your software solutions can effectively communicate with each other.  

Needless to say, manual entry across each platform is time-consuming and tedious. For example, Specialist schools will need to manage and track student medical records, medical care, immunisations, and medications. Handling those records manually could present a risk and be too time-consuming for medical or pastoral staff. All of your school tech should integrate seamlessly to transfer data between each other.  

The iSAMS Medical Centre module integrates with the wider iSAMS system and enables you to maintain the medical records of each student within your school, simply and efficiently. 

iSAMS' API also enables schools to integrate their MIS with popular third-party wellbeing platforms, where these are the preferred options. The iSAMS Marketplace is a great resource for schools that are looking to build a truly bespoke solution for their school. 

Whether you choose to build a suite of software with one provider, like iSAMS’ customisable and modular system, or work with APIs – it's vital that you can work with both the software that performs, and software that integrates.  

Your MIS is the base of your software and your other tools need to harness that data in order to provide the best experience. Ensure your chosen solutions can efficiently transfer data to and from your chosen MIS. 

iSAMS solutions for SEN support 

We recognise just how important dedicated software and features are for those that support SEN students at school. That’s why we made a management system that is completely customisable, enabling you to build the software that meets your school’s individual needs.  

While your MIS is vital for the successful performance of your school, we also built a dedicated pastoral module and features created with student care in mind.  

Our Wellbeing Manager supports schools around the world every day as they strive to care for and provide the best learning experience for their students. The system provides an intuitive dashboard, clear flag system, automatic notifications, and more. Click below to watch a full demo: