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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 use a graduated approach to support the needs of the child. To do this we:

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

SEN Support

As part of this approach every child with SEN will have an individualised Support Plan that describes the child’s needs, outcomes and provision to meet those needs. Parents, carers and children’s views are integral to this process. When the child’s Support Plan is reviewed comments are made against each target to show what progress the child has made. If the child has not met the target, the reasons for this will be discussed, then the target may be adapted into smaller steps or a different approach may be tried to ensure the child does make progress. Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need we follow a graduated approach which takes the form of cycles of “Assess, Plan, Do, Review”.

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


How do we asses and review progress?

If your child has SEN, it is important for us to carry out formal assessments to identify their strengths and identify their needs accurately. To do this, we will use a range of methods depending upon their needs. When your child enters our school, their current attainment is assessed to give us a ‘baseline’ from where they will progress. In addition to the assessments that all children take part in and depending upon their needs, other assessments may be needed. These could include:

Communication and interaction (SLCN, ASC)

  • Speech Therapy Assessments – which may focus on sound production, language understanding, or other relevant assessments of your child’s needs

Cognition and learning (MLD, PMLD, SLD, SpLD)

  • Subject specific assessment
  • Education Psychology Assessments – which may include memory, understanding, reasoning, logic, and general skills assessment.

Social, Emotional and Health Difficulties

  • Assess through observations of pupils
  • Discussions with teachers, our Counsellors and Support Staff

Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties

  • Observations by staff during FMS/GMS activities
  • Occupational Therapy assessments
  • Handwriting and copying skills baseline tasks

Your child will be assessed against age related expectations for children who are working on the National Curriculum (i.e. the same as the majority of other children in their year group), or they may be assessed against other measures for children who are not ready to work on National Curriculum Levels (i.e. the steps before the National Curriculum). Aspirational targets are set for all children to ensure that all children make good progress, including those not ready to access the National Curriculum. The outcomes of all assessments are shared with parents and carers at our Parent/Carer Evenings and in your child’s School Report. If other agencies are invited to work with your child, you will be invited to attend a meeting where the outcomes of these assessments and their next steps will be shared with you. If parents have any concerns, then these can be shared with the class teacher and or SENCO who will arrange a meeting to discuss and resolve any difficulties.


How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

The class teacher alongside the SENCO will discuss the child’s needs and what support would be appropriate. SEND is discussed each week at the staff meeting to allow staff to share concerns or ideas as to how we can help the child.
Teachers use assessments and observations of children to identify, review and evaluate their needs and gaps in their learning. We look at what we can provide to meet the child’s needs and we discuss and measure the effectiveness of the interventions the children have undertaken that term. Different children will require different levels of support in order to bridge the gap to achieve age related expectations which could be on a one to one basis, with a group, run by a teacher or teaching assistant or through peer support and in or out of class. Throughout the process, we keep an on-going dialogue with you as parents.

At Ludworth Primary School, we currently have children with a variety of needs in school and provide the following interventions to meet the needs of our children:

Support for children with physical needs:

  • Daily Gross Motor Skills interventions.
  • Weekly Fine Motor Skills interventions.
  • Future Steps programmes
  • Specialist support from outside agencies e.g. Occupational Health.

 Support for children with Autism Spectrum Condition:

  • Zones of regulation
  • One to one support in and out of class

Support for children with speech, language and communication needs:

  • Daily Speech and Language interventions.
  • Specialist support from outside agencies e.g. Speech and Language Therapy.

Support for children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties:

  • Children engage in a range of one to one support including Counselling and listening matters programmes.
  • Group support includes Nurture Groups, Lego Therapy and Circle Time.
  • Specialist support from outside agencies e.g. CAMHs

Support for children with cognition and learning needs:

  • Maths and English specific tasks
  • Specialist group support from outside agencies e.g. Educational Psychology Service
  • Specific individual support for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong e.g. Dyslexia, Dyspraxia
  • Range of teaching and learning styles
  • A broad range of extra-curricular activities

How do we evaluate the effectiveness of SEN provision?

At Ludworth Primary School, we evaluate the effectiveness of SEN provision to ensure that pupils receive the best support to meet their needs and as part of the Graduated Approach of Assess, Plan, Do and Review.

How are resources made available to support children with SEND?

The resources we use to support children with SEND depend upon their needs and they are allocated on an individual basis. Once your child has been identified as SEND, their needs will be assessed and targets and outcomes will be identified. It is the responsibility of the SENCO to ensure that the resources that are required are made available and that staff are aware of their individual needs. We are very flexible in our approach and we constantly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our interventions and the provision that we provide.
As part of our staff professional development, all members of staff received training to support children with SEND. Staff Training: will vary each year depending upon the needs of the children.

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.

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

Children who are considered as having significant difficulties may be entitled to apply for an Education, Health and Care Plan.  These were formerly known as statements or special educational need.  From September 2014, statements ceased to be issued and EHCPs are issued in their place.   EHCPs are set up by the Local Authority but are monitored by the school, parents/carers and external professionals where appropriate at least annually.  Interim meetings are held with parents on at least two other occasions throughout the year.

An application for an EHCP can be made by the school or by a parent. If a parent wishes to make an application for the Local Authority to consider an EHCP they can be supported in this process by the school or by SENDIASS – the information and support group which exists to support parents and carers of children with SEND. They can be contacted on the Durham SEND Information Advice and Support Service website.

If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact the school to arrange an appointment.