SEN Local Offer - Identifying children with SEN

The first step in identifying children who have additional needs is through quality first teaching, using the approach of assess, plan, do and review. 

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.

Types of special educational needs can include:

General Learning Difficulties – children whose learning progresses at a slower pace

Speech and Language Difficulties

Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

Dyslexia (difficulties with reading, writing and spelling)

Dyspraxia (problems with motor skills, organisation)


ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder - ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Downs Syndrome

Cerebral Palsy

Other Physical or Medical Needs

We aim to identify children who have any difficulties as soon as possible so that appropriate support can be given from an early age.  Full use is made of information passed to the school when a child transfers from early education provision and we use assessments during the Foundation Stage to identify pupils and any difficulties they may have (observations on entry, Foundation Stage Profile, Speech and Language Link, teacher assessment/observation).  Other methods used by teachers to identify pupils with SEN are as follows:

•Discussion with parent/carer to see if they have noticed anything/have any concerns
•Ongoing teacher assessment and observation
•Progress against the Early Learning Goals in the Foundation Stage
•Progress against Literacy and Numeracy Objectives
•Performance against National Curriculum level descriptors
•Standardised screening or assessment tasks  eg Language Link, Speech Link, Dyslexia
•Results from SATs (end of Years 2 and 6) and optional SATs tests in Years 3 to 5 and teacher assessment in Year 1.

If it seems that your child may have special educational needs, your child’s class teacher or the Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) will assess:

•What your child is good at and what they need help with
•What your child would benefit from learning
•How best to help your child learn

Once provision is identified, time is allocated to individuals or groups to best suit their learning style, ability and need. 

This is monitored and can be changed once the impact is assessed.

Monitoring and Tracking of children with SEND is through the same methods as identification. Assessment is ongoing, although more formal once each term. Identified needs are evaluated and discussed in light of assessment results and through staff discussion.