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Identifying and Assessing Children with SEND

How do we identify and assess children with special educational needs?


Please refer to our SEND policy within the policy section of our school website for further detail and clarification.


A special educational need can be a number of different things. For example, a child may be having problems with reading, number work or behaviour, which can be helped by putting extra support in at school and by working in partnership with parents. It may also be due to a disability which makes it harder for a child to use the same educational facilities that the school provides for the majority of children. For some children this may be a temporary difficulty, while others may have a long term need for special help.


As a school we have clear arrangements for identifying, assessing and supporting children with SEND, based upon the SEN Code of Practice.


In the main it will generally be the class teacher/adult working in school or parent who may have identified initial concerns. We adopt an “assess, plan, do and review” graduated approach and are proactive in terms of making referrals for assessment. Any concerns should be directed appropriately to the class teacher and SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator). In consultation with parents and appropriate staff it may be deemed appropriate to:

  • Initiate a short note as a first step

  • Make a specific referral to outside agencies

  • Undertake a specialist assessment

  • Instigate an individual support plan

  • Monitor and review closely for a defined period of time.

  • Try a variety of different approaches

  • Apply for additional/top up funding.


How we evaluate the effectiveness of provision for pupils with SEND.


It is vital that as a school we take a reflective approach in terms of identifying any specific provisions made and ensuring that wherever possible the impact is measured in concrete terms. It is possible to do this through:

  • Gathering views from pupils and parents

  • Measuring progress (both academic and social) made at key points/intervals

  • Regular monitoring by the Senior Leadership Team

  • Identifying specific development needs, such as training and resourcing.

  • Involving external agencies


How we track pupil progress as a school.


As a school national curriculum testing is used at the end of specific key stages and year groups within school. This data is then used to analyse how well different groups of children are doing compared to each other. This data also allows us to identify how well our children do compared to national and local authority results, allowing us to benchmark attainment within our school compared to similar schools. Key analysis and observations and judgements are then linked to whole school development planning.


Assessment information is collected for all children generally on a half termly basis and entered into our formal whole school tracking system. This system allows us to track progress over time for individuals and groups of children and identify when children are not making the required progress against their initial starting points. Our powerful tracking system is integral to pupil progress meetings when staff collaborate with senior leaders and other members of staff in their team and is a vital part of our accountability for all children making good and required/expected progress.


As a regular and continuous part of the teaching and learning process, all  staff assess the progress and attainment of all pupils. As a school we have pupil tracking systems and stranded sheets that allows staff to map the progress of each child and to analyse the attainment and progress over time of individual and groups of children. Progress trackers are generally updated half-termly and dedicated staff time is given over to allow this to happen.


Termly reviews also allow us a valuable opportunity to share and disseminate significant information from parents, carers and professionals from other agencies. 


Everyone has a collective responsibility to share information to ensure that we best meet the needs of each child, even if that information is of a sensitive nature. Information of a sensitive nature will be  treated confidentially and will follow good practice guidelines and GDPR requirements.


It may be that when your child joins us they have already attended previous educational settings. It is vital that records about your child are shared with us if we are to continue to meet their needs and ensure that maximum progress is made.


How we adapt the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with a special educational need or disability.


All pupils follow the National Curriculum at a level and a pace that is appropriate to their abilities. Our SEND philosophy places SEND children at the heart of personalised learning and our curriculum is tailored to meet individual pupils needs. 

Where children are accessing external support from one or multiple external agencies, particularly those children who have an EHCP or individualised support plan, they should receive a highly personalised programme, fully incorporating and detailing all external advice. This will often mean they access one to one support or are withdrawn from class to access particular provisions from outside agencies.


Particular tools and methods are recommended by professionals. School staff, with guidance, implement this advice and track the impact of this in reducing/removing barriers for the child. Sometimes this sort of provision is implemented through a multi-agency approach.