Identification of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

How do we identify children that have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)?   

Quality first teaching is the entitlement of all children to a curriculum that challenges and supports their progress – whether they are performing at greater depth, at or below age-related expectations. Every member of staff at Avening Primary School has the highest possible expectations for your child and all the pupils in their class. Careful, on-going assessment of daily learning opportunities enables teachers to match their teaching to the diverse needs of individuals and groups of children. All teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.  

Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that, if your child has gaps in their understanding/learning, they may need some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.  By monitoring the progress of all pupils, we are able to make provision, where necessary, to support individuals or groups of children who need it. Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. Specific strategies or resources (which may be suggested by the SENDCO or external advisors) may be put in place to support your child to learn. All children in school should be getting this as a part of excellent classroom practice when needed.

On occasions, individuals or groups of children may be identified for extra support in school, in addition to that provided through quality first teaching. This may be because they are making slower progress than expected or because they are working below age-related expectations. They may have a particular gap in their knowledge or skills which needs closing. They may have a specific learning difficulty or disability. Concerns may have been raised by parents. Additional support may take the form of small group intervention.

In identifying a child as needing additional support, the class teacher or teaching assistant, working with the SENDCO, carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs. This draws on the teacher’s assessment and experience of the pupil, their previous progress, attainment and behaviour, as well as the individual’s development in comparison to their peers and national data, the views and experience of parents, the pupil’s own views and, if relevant, advice from external support services. These assessments are reviewed regularly to ensure that support and intervention are matched to need, barriers to learning are identified and overcome, and that a clear picture of the interventions put in place and their effect is developed.  

In some cases, outside professionals from health or social services may already be involved with the child. These professionals liaise with the school to help inform the assessments. Where professionals are not already working with school staff, the SENDCO contacts them if appropriate and if the parents agree.

How will the school let me know if they have concerns about my child’s learning?

If your child is identified as not making progress, this will be communicated to you at a parent consultation meeting, if not before.

At the meeting, your child’s class teacher will discuss any  identified difficulties with you and:

  • listen to any concerns you may have too
  • agree the focus of any additional support your child may receive and review the outcomes of any previous intervention
  • discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child’s learning if required.

Any consideration of whether special educational provision is required starts with desired outcomes, including the expected progress and attainment, and the views and wishes of the child and their parents.