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How do we identify children and young people with SEND and assess their needs?

Most of the children who join us have already been in early education and assessment information is passed to us from previous settings.

All children are assessed when they enter our school, so that we can build upon their prior learning. We use pieces of assessment information to provide starting points for the development of an appropriate curriculum for all our children.

At Lark Rise we recognise the importance of early identification of children with Special Educational Needs.  Those children who are working at a level below that of their peers or who have barriers to their learning are identified and monitored by class teachers. If the class teacher continues to have concerns about a child’s progress or access to the curriculum they will complete a ‘SEND Early Identification’ form and discuss this with the SENDCo.  Together, the SENDCo and class teacher will assess the child’s needs, plan appropriate action and review the impact of this following the Assess, Plan, Do, Review Cycle detailed in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (January 2015).

If our assessments and continued monitoring show that a child may have a Special Educational Need, we consult the Central Bedfordshire’s ‘Graduated Response’ document to identify the stage of need and use a range of strategies that make full use of all available classroom and school resources to support the child appropriately.  The child’s class teacher will offer provision that is different from or additional to that provided as part of the school’s usual working practices. The class teacher will keep parents/carers informed and involved in this process.

The SENDCo will then take the lead in co-ordinating this additional provision, recording this information on Central Bedfordshire’s SEND Support Plan template.  We select appropriate pages to record both child and parent/carer views and to set long term and short term outcomes for the child.  A plan of action is created through the document and review of this occurs once a term for children in Years 1-6 and every 6-8 weeks for children in Nursery and Reception.  These plans are created with and shared with children and parents/carers through collaborative review meetings.

If, having employed the strategies identified in the above documents, the child does not make expected progress the plan review may identify that support is needed from outside services. Parents/carers are involved in the review process and are therefore involved in the decision making process. External support services will provide more detailed assessments in specific areas and all information given by these services will inform the support recorded in the child’s SEND Support Plan. The new strategies in the plan will, wherever possible, be implemented within the child’s normal classroom setting. We try not to remove children from their classroom wherever possible, however some interventions require a quiet space away from the classroom. In this instance, planned time in the day is used to ensure the child is not missing out on curriculum learning. 

If the child continues to demonstrate a significant high level of need, in line with Central Bedfordshire’s Graduated Response document, a request for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment will be made to the Local Authority (LA). A range of written evidence about the child will support the request, including the views of parents/carers and the child. If requests are approved then the child will be issued an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which will outline outcomes and provision to meet a child’s individual needs.