Home Page

How we identify, assess and review children with special educational needs

Most children and young people in mainstream schools will have their special educational needs met through good classroom practice. This is called Quality First Teaching.


Early Identification of Need

In deciding whether to make special education provision to support educational, social, physical or emotional needs, we:

  • Work in partnership with parents/carers and pupils
  • Consult with relevant external agencies
  • Use assessment tools & materials
  • Use observations
  • Use Short Notes


At St Mary's RCVA Primary School we continually monitor the progress of all children over the four broad areas of need; Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning, Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Physical or Sensory. This may be done from analysing assessment and tracking data, the use of special assessment activities, general observations around school or in class and/or if a parent or child has reported a concern. Staff will communicate any concerns to parents and to the school SENDCO, who will become involved further in the identification and assessment process. This provides the basis and starting point to a graduated approach for identifying and supporting pupils with SEND. Further information can be found below.


Details of Identification and Assessment of Pupils with SEN

Our school is committed to the early identification of pupils with SEND. We use rigorous assessment processes and track pupil progress between assessment points. Class teachers, support staff, parents and pupils are involved in pupil progress meetings which are arranged on at least a termly basis but also occur as and when necessary. Observations of pupils and the views of parents/ carers and pupils also inform the early identification process. Parents/ carers can raise a concern with any member of school staff.

When a concern is raised, the SENDCO will liaise with parents and class teachers to clearly identify the child’s strengths and any areas of difficulty. These will be documented on a Short Note and some next step actions will be agreed by all involved.  It is possible that these actions may include the need for further specialist assessments from external agencies eg. Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, CAMHS, the Local Authority SEND Advisory teams. With the consent of parents, the SENDCO will make a referral to the necessary agency for further assessment or support. The Short Note will be reviewed according to need but this will be within the school term. A decision will then be made collaboratively on whether to continue with a Short Note to identify and monitor progress towards outcomes or to move to a SEN Support plan with a more detailed approach to identifying the child’s needs, outcomes and the provision necessary to meet those needs. At this stage, the child’s name will be added to the school’s SEND register.


SEN Support

Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need we follow a graduated approach which takes the form of cycles of “AssessPlanDoReview”.

This means that we will:

  • Assess a child’s special educational needs
  • Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes
  • Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes
  • Review the support and progress

As part of this approach every child with SEN will have an individualised SEN Support Plan that describes the child’s needs, outcomes & provision to meet those needs.  Parents/carers and child/YP (where appropriate) views are integral to the this process.



Class teachers and the school SENDCO will act upon the advice of any professionals involved and meet with parents/ carers and children to determine the most appropriate outcomes to be identified on the child’s support plan to best meet their needs and ensure that they make progress. A holistic view of strengths and areas of difficulty will be identified and outcomes matched to ensure that support is in place to address the areas of difficulty. The support plan will identify what needs to be in place to meet the child’s needs and ensure that they make progress.

Class teachers and support staff, under the guidance of the SENDCO, will plan appropriate teaching and learning activities, modifications and differentiation of the curriculum and interventions to ensure that the child makes progress towards the outcomes. This support could take the form of different learning activities for the child, specialist resources, a specially designed programme of learning, the use of ICT equipment, adapted resources or an additional adult to provide a higher level of support. Additional resources will be put in place as necessary and levels of adult support will be appropriately matched to the needs of the child. Additional support may be planned as part of whole class teaching, on a 1 to 1 basis or as part of a small group and may be provided by either a teacher or teaching assistant. The impact of quality first teaching and interventions is measured as part of the whole school monitoring process and is a prominent focus of individual pupil progress meetings. Individual interventions are also monitored for their impact.



Children with SEND will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum. It will be differentiated and adapted as necessary to meet the child’s needs. Where a child is able, they will be assessed using the standardised national assessment systems. An application will be made for adjustments to the assessment materials if this is appropriate. If a child meets the criteria for disapplication, parents will be consulted and an application to withdraw the child from the assessments will be made. School will use their own internal assessment systems to ensure that the child is making progress and that provision is effective. Children with SEN who are working below the expected standard for the curriculum that they are working within will be assessed using the Key Stage 1 and 2 Pre-Key Stage Standards.

It may be necessary to make adaptations to the physical environment. This will be done on the advice of other professionals and in liaison with parents/ carers. For further information please view or download our Accessibility Plan which can be found in the School Policies section of our website.



Support Plans will be reviewed at least 3 times a year on a termly basis. Where necessary, the school SENDCO will contact parents to arrange an earlier review of the support plan and agree next steps. At each review, an evaluation of the impact of the support that has been put in place will be made through the use of assessment data, feedback from observations, the views of the child, their parents and class teachers and the use of assessment information and data. A joint decision will be made to either cease the SEN support plan or continue with the support plan. Where needs are complex and the support plan is not having the desired impact upon progress and meeting the child’s needs a decision will be made to consider seeking further advice or support and/or making an Education, Health and Care Assessment.

A small percentage of children and young people with significant and/or complex needs may require an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan.


For more detailed information see the Local Offer.