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Identifying and Assessing SEND

Class and subject teachers, supported by the senior leadership team, make regular assessments of progress for all pupils. They 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

It can include progress in areas other than attainment – for instance where a pupil needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs. The SENCo and staff at WCPS work together, with input from parents/carers to identify SEN as early as possible.

Cause for Concern

If concerns have been identified, the class teacher will inform you at the earliest opportunity to alert you to our concerns and enlist your help and participation. This does not mean that your child has SEND but simply that we have some concerns about progress or attainment in certain areas. The class teacher may increase the level of support at school. This may take the form of differentiated work, an intervention or small group work, or simply some extra attention in the classroom.

Special Educational Needs Support (SENS)

Following a sustained period of support, intervention and high-quality teaching, we may decide to place a child on the SEND register if they continue to make limited progress. This is the official Special Needs Register and means that we will endeavour to make additional adjustments to further support their learning. In some cases we may apply for advice or assessments from outside agencies, including the specialist teaching team. We will also invite parents to meet either the class teacher or SENCo once a term in order to review progress against the child's learning plans. Some of these meetings may be an extended parents evening appointment, or they may occur at other points during the term.

In-house Assessments

We are able to use the following in-house assessments to help us understand more about a child's strengths and weaknesses:

  • Phonological Assessment Battery: This is designed to assess children’s awareness of phonology (the ability to process sounds in spoken English) which is crucial to the development of reading and spelling.
  • York Assessment of Reading Comprehension: This assesses comprehension skills, reading fluency and accuracy.
  • Sandwell Early Numeracy Test enables teachers to assess a pupil's ability with numbers, through exploring five strands of basic numeracy skills: identification, oral counting, value, object counting and language.
  • Renfrew Language Picture Test assesses length and complexity of spoken sentence structure.
  • British Picture Vocabulary Scale assesses a child’s receptive vocabulary to help identify any delays in a child’s vocabulary development.
  • Dyslexia and Dyscalculia Screening are tools which we can use to help us understand if a student is likely to have these disorders: please see the sections on Dyslexia and Dyscalculia for more information or click here.


In addition to our in-house assessments, we host regular sessions with the Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) team. The SEND team are also available to discuss referrals to community paediatrics, occupational therapy, CAMH/Wellbeing Services and educational psychologists.

There are many other factors that are not SEND which may also impact on progress and attainment.

  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Health and welfare
  • EAL
  • Being in receipt of Pupil Premium Funding
  • Being a Looked After Child
  • Being a child of a Serviceman/woman

We therefore work closely with our Early Intervention Family Worker, the Education Welfare Officer, the locality team, the Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service, the school attendance team and the safeguarding team in order to be able to signpost parents to the most appropriate source of support.