Identification of special educational needs in school

Class and subject teachers for all pupils carryout regular assessments of progress.

If a child shows slower progress than expected then:

  • the relevant member of staff should check if the child may have special educational needs or disability (SEND). This is with support from the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO).

This evaluation may include:

  • observations
  • use of various assessment tools
  • input from external professionals.

The first assessment should involve a discussion with parents/carers and the child/young person.  A brief summary of the meeting should be provided.

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In some cases, parents/carers may be the first to notice signs of SEND in the child or young person.  This may not always be about their academic performance. For example, there may be concerns about a child/young person's:

  • social interactions,
  • increasing anxiety about school, or
  • behavioural issues at home.

If there are any worries, parent/carers should arrange a meeting to talk about these.  This meeting should be with the child/young person's:

  • teacher/relevant member of staff, or
  • the SENCO.

After investigating concerns

The school may decide that the school's existing pastoral support provision can help.  They could also make adjustments to regular classroom teaching.  This is without requiring specific SEND Support. In such cases, a clear date should be set for reviewing your child/young person's progress. This is known as the Assess, Plan, Do Review cycle.  It follows a graduated approach.  This is where:

  • assessments are undertaken
  • a plan is discussed and put in place
  • the provision and support is put in place
  • it is reviewed.

This is within a given timescale and involves staff, parents and the child/young person.

The school may recommend referring the child/young person to an appropriate agency or health service. This is only where necessary.  This is for further assessment. Parent/carers must give their consent for this.

If the school finds that the child does have SEND

The school should take action to:

  • remove any obstacles to learning
  • provide effective special educational provision

This is known as as SEND Support. School must tell parent/carers if their child/young person is getting this support.  They must tell them if they are placed on the SEND register.

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