Complex Learning Difficulties And Disabilities Research Project

Project information

The capacity to transform a child's life for the better, and equip them to enjoy active citizenship, is at the heart of education. In the 21st century, the pattern of children's special educational needs is changing, and our teaching strategies must change with them.

This new generation of children and young people includes some with rare chromosomal disorders, some who survived extreme prematurity or multiple disabilities at birth, and others affected by prenatal drug and alcohol abuse. These children have complex learning difficulties and disabilities (CLDD). They learn and respond differently to previous generations of children with profound and multiple / severe learning difficulties.

In September 2009, the SSAT appointed a CLDD research team to work on the DfE-funded research project. The team and their advisors worked alongside educators in 96 schools - SEN and mainstream, UK and international - who supported students with CLDD across the age and CLDD range.

The downloadable documents on the right give further information about the research project, including the project final report.

You can also find a recent article (see right), on 'The rules of engagement', published in SEN Magazine, (, by Barry Carpenter, Sue Rose, Hollie Rawson and Jo Egerton.

Our Thinkpieces can also be found here.