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, pupils
  • We refer to relevant external agencies
  • We use assessment tools & materials
  • We use observations

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 “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

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


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

Details of Identification and Assessment of Pupils with SEND

As a school we measure children’s progress in learning against national age related expectations. The class teacher continually assesses each child, looks at improvements and where further support is needed.

Victoria Lane Academy track progress carefully each term.  As a school, we track children’s progress from entry through to Year 6, using a variety of different methods including national expectations and reading ages .A bespoke sentence writing assessment progression is utilised for children working below Year 1 National Curriculum expectations so that progress can be clearly identified.

Children who are not making expected progress are identified in data analysis and discussed in Pupil Progress meetings. In this meeting a discussion takes place concerning why individual children are experiencing difficulty and what further support can be given to aid their progression. When the child’s support plan is reviewed, impact is measured. If the child has not met the outcome, comments are recorded. The reasons for this are discussed, then the outcome may be adapted into smaller steps or a different approach may be tried to ensure the child does make progress.


Key Stage 1 staff and the SENDCO where necessary, liaise with Nursery or the child’s previous school.

  • On entry into Early Years, we access the school speech and language therapist as this can be an early indicator of a child experiencing difficulties.
  • If a child is performing below age related expected levels, meetings will be held with the class teacher and SENDCO. Observations of the child may also take place.
  • We have regular parent meetings and take into account any concerns raised by parents. We pride ourselves on having an ‘open door policy’, where at any point parents can talk to staff.
  • Concerns can be raised by a teacher, for example, behaviour or self-esteem is affecting academic performance.
  • Good relationships with external agencies is essential as we work closely with the Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, CAMHS, Educational Psychology, Butterwick Hospice, ASC team, Cognition and Learning and The School Nurse, Social workers, Family and health workers.
  • Diagnosis through health could be made by a paediatrician

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

The class teacher, alongside the SENDCO, will discuss the child’s needs and what support would be appropriate. Teachers also assess the children on a daily basis and review and evaluate their lessons to accommodate the needs of their children.

Termly assessment is undertaken and staff moderate books together. Data is collated termly onto a tracking system. These are reviewed in Pupil Progress meetings, where we look at closing the gap in children’s learning. We identify 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 narrow the gap to achieve age related expectations. Throughout this process, we keep an on-going dialogue with yourselves as parents.

How do we assess and review progress?

As a school, we assess all children continuously by completing formal assessments at the end of every term to measure their progress and identify the next steps in their learning.

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

At Victoria Lane Academy, we follow a cyclical support approach which is called “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, we will produce a SEND Support Plan that describes the provision that we will make to meet a child’s special educational needs and agreed outcomes.  Parents and carer’s will be fully involved in this process. A small percentage of children and young people with significant learning difficulties might need an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan.

If your child has SEND, 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.

At Victoria Lane Academy, all children receive Quality First Teaching, where they access a broad and balanced curriculum where barriers to inclusion are accommodated. We currently have children with a variety of needs in school and adapt our curriculum in the following ways:

  • Robust evaluation of policy and practice
  • Internal and external Work scrutiny
  • SENDCO/Senior Leadership team/Governor monitoring
  • Learning walks and lesson observations
  • Performance management
  • Trust School Improvement Staff subject deep dives and audits
  • External audits e.g. Local Authority Early Years team
  • Parent, pupil and Staff Voice surveys

Support for children with physical needs:

  • Gross Motor Skills interventions
  • Fine Motor Skills interventions- Busy Box Activities/Startwrite/Write from the start
  • Specialist group support from outside agencies e.g. Occupational Health, Occupational Therapy

Support for children with speech, language and communication needs:

  • Speech and Language programmes recommended by school speech therapist
  • In class support throughout the day to ensure children are able to communicate effectively

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

  • Relax Kids-to help children feel calm, focused and relaxed
  • Butterwick Hospice counselling to support children with bereavement
  • Lego Therapy- is a collaborative, play based social skills intervention for children with autism and related conditions.
  • Specialist group support from outside agencies
  • No Worries intervention-to reduce anxiety
  • NHS Resilience Team led whole class units
  • Referral to School Counsellor sessions

Support for children with cognition and learning needs:

  • Mathematics and English bespoke to child
  • Support from outside agencies e.g. Educational Psychology Service
  • Specific individual support for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong and what this means for your child e.g. Dyslexia, Dyspraxia
  • Range of teaching and learning styles;
  • An innovative and supportive curriculum;
  • A broad range of extra-curricular activities, including Tea-time and Homework Club
  • Differentiated tasks

Depending upon their needs, other assessments may be needed. These could include:

  • The outcomes of all assessments are shared with parents via reports from the professionals or in school with our SENCO. If agencies are invited to work with your child, you will be invited to attend a meeting  to discuss your concerns
  • Speech Therapy Assessments – which may focus on sound production, language understanding, or other relevant assessments to your child’s needs
  • Education Psychology Assessments – which may include memory, understanding, reasoning, logic, and general skills assessments
  • Your child’s school achievements may 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 the National Curriculum. School has implemented a sentence progression document that accurately measures progress for children unable to access the Year 1 curriculum.

How do we evaluate the effectiveness of SEND provision?

At Victoria Lane Academy, we evaluate the effectiveness of SEND 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. We currently evaluate the effectiveness of SEND across the four broad areas of SEND provision in the following ways:

Communication and interaction  

We use Talkboost and specific programmes recommended by out speech and language therapist. All have a baseline recorded at the start of the programme and at the end so we can measure their impact.

Cognition and learning 

We use the assessment data provided by teaching and support staff to assess before and after any intervention to evaluate the impact of provision.

Social, Emotional and Health Difficulties 

We use several programmes, we assess  before and after any intervention to evaluate the impact of the provision. We can also assess through observations of pupils throughout the school day over a period of time.  The class teacher and SENDCO can complete the profile.

Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties 

SMART Movement Programme is used to assess concentration, attention, gross motor skills and behaviour. Impact is evaluated termly. Fine Motor Skills are assessed using Write from the Start/ Staywrite Programmes and handwriting evidence from before and after interventions to evaluate the impact of the provision.

For further information please view or download our Accessibility Plan which can be found in the School Policies section of our website.