How do you identify and assess Special Educational Needs (SEND)at Clavering?

At Clavering, we appreciate the benefits of early identification – identifying need at the earliest point and then making effective provision in order to improve long-term outcomes for the child.

A pupil has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age.


As a school, we assess each pupil’s current skills and levels of attainment on entry, building on information from previous settings and key stages where appropriate. This is typically done in Nursery and Reception, but, as more and more children join us in other year groups, this assessment takes place as soon as the child joins Clavering.

In addition, we consider evidence that a pupil may have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 and, if so, we plan and implement the reasonable adjustments that need to be made.

All class teachers, supported by the senior leadership team, make regular assessments of progress for all pupils. These assessments identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. This can be characterised by progress which:

  • is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline;
  • fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress;
  • fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers;
  • widens the attainment gap.

Just as importantly, teachers assess progress in areas other than attainment – for example, where a pupil has difficulties with social communication, attention, hyperactivity or fine motor control skills.

In line with the SEND Code of Practice, the first response to pupils making less than expected progress is high quality teaching targeted at the areas of weakness.

Where progress continues to be less than expected, the class teacher, working with the Clavering SENCo, will assess whether the child might have special educational needs (SEN). While gathering evidence (including the views of the pupil and their family) we do not delay in putting in place extra teaching or other rigorous interventions designed to secure better progress, where required. If decided necessary, in consultation with and with the permission of the child’s family, the child will be added to the Clavering Register for Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and additional provision will be put in place for the child.

For some children, SEN can be identified at an early age. However, for other children difficulties become evident only as they develop. All teachers and teaching assistants working with children at Clavering Primary School are expected to be alert to emerging difficulties and respond early. In school, we have developed identification materials to help staff members identify difficulties in areas including or linked to speech, language and communication needs; dyslexia; dyspraxia; social interaction and communication; attention; and hyperactivity.

We also appreciate that parent(s) and carer(s) know their children best and Clavering staff members are expected to listen and understand when parents or carers express concerns about their child’s development. Likewise, staff members are expected to listen to and address any concerns raised by children themselves.

How does this link to the broad areas of need outlined in the SEND Code of Practice?

When identifying SEN and deciding on the necessary provision, the broad areas of need from the SEND Code of Practice ( may be helpful:

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Sensory and/or physical needs

However, Clavering Primary School appreciates that the purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a pupil into a category. In practice, individual children or young people often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time. For instance speech, language and communication needs can also be a feature of a number of other areas of SEN, and children and young people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may have needs across all areas, including particular sensory requirements.

A detailed assessment of need should ensure that the full range of an individual’s needs is identified, not simply the primary need. We aim to ensure that the support provided to an individual child is based on a full understanding of their particular strengths and needs. We seek to address these needs using well-evidenced interventions targeted at the child's areas of difficulty and, where necessary, using specialist equipment, resources, software and/or the advice and input of outside agencies (see  

What if my child needs a diagnostic assessment?

Although staff members are expected to be alert to emerging difficulties, no member of staff at Clavering Primary School is qualified to make a diagnosis of conditions such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, Tourette’s Syndrome or autism. Many children at Clavering do have a diagnosis (or, in some cases, diagnoses) of some of the mentioned conditions, but these have come as a result of diagnostic assessments carried out by outside agencies who have been brought in by the child’s family working in partnership with school staff, particularly the Clavering SENCo.

For further information about diagnostic assessments, please speak to Miss Leighton.