How we identify, assess and review children with special educational needs
At Newker Primary school, there are a number of ways in which children are identified as having
Special Educational Needs. The first step in identifying children who have additional needs is
through quality first teaching, using the approach of assess, plan, do and review. A collaborative
approach throughout this process with parents/carers is paramount.
In deciding whether to make special education provision to support educational, social, physical
or emotional needs, we:
• Work in partnership with parents/carers and pupils;
• Consult with relevant external agencies;
• Use assessment tools and materials;
• Use observations;
• Use Short Notes/Support plans;
• Link with previous schools (where applicable);
• Liaise with professionals within the Local Authority and those from Durham County
Council’s SEND Team;
• Liaise with the Educational Psychologist.
Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need, we follow a graduated approach
which takes the form of the cycle “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. Parents’/Carers’ and the child’s (where appropriate) views are
integral to this process and all will be fully involved.
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.
Most needs of children within County Durham can be met through a robust SEND Support Plan.
An Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is not required to access additional resources from
the local authority for those children with high and complex needs. Some children, however, may
not make expected progress despite these efforts to identify, assess and meet the special
educational need. These young people will usually have had services involved for an extended
period of time and will already have very small and individualised targets to meet through Quality
First Teaching or through reasonable adjustments made in school. If advice from multiple and
relevant agencies has been implemented, (and strategies have been embedded over a period of
time and are unsuccessful) school will look to apply for an EHCP. Top-up funding may be
explored to support the school in coping with phases of difficulty. Parents may request an
application for EHCP via the school or SENDIASS (see the Local Offer on the website for contact
Support for children with an EHCP will be directly linked to their Support Plan to work towards
achieving their targets. This work may be delivered by a class teacher or teaching assistant and
overseen by the child’s class teacher and SENDCO. Parents/Carers will meet annually to review
Details of Identification and Assessment of Pupils with SEND
Ongoing teacher assessment through Quality First Teaching is used in order to identify SEND
and specific training enables staff to identify the main area of need. Provision in class will be
adapted and monitoring will take place for half a term. If a class teacher feels that a pupil in their
class has a particular need that may be SEND, this would be identified and monitored through
the use of a short note. Following this, the class teacher would liaise with the SENDCO and
Parents/Carers to decide of the child needs to be added to the school’s SEND register. At this
point, the child’s needs would be identified on a Support Plan.
Some ongoing teacher assessments may also result in the school applying to the Local Authority
for ‘Top Up funding’ to continue the level of support the pupil requires. The school may apply for
an EHCP after a period of time of receiving Top Up funding.
Short notes and support plans are shared termly with parents. This ensures that the SENDCO,
parents and class teacher are able to review previous plans and discuss, share and agree on
new outcomes. This is then fed into provision, implemented by the class teacher and carried out
within the classroom- allocating any additional adults to deliver appropriate interventions allocated
on the plans. Interventions, additional support and provision/reasonable adjustments are
evaluated by the SENDCO through the review cycles.
Class Teachers plan for learners with SEND and a focus is given to the targets on their SEND
Support Plans or EHC Plans. Sometimes Class Teachers will lead learning and at other times a
teaching assistant will. Likewise, this may be done as part of the whole class, through a small
group intervention dependent upon the needs of the child or on a 1:1 basis. As with all children,
learning is then evaluated using assessment for learning and next steps are identified to ensure
the child is making expected progress towards their targets.
Our SENDCO oversees EHC Plans, Support Plans and Short Notes to ensure that targets are
SMART and meet the needs of the children. She also monitors these outcomes and the provision
the children receive on a regular basis through observing teaching, book scrutinies, learning
walks, pupil progress meetings with teachers and monitoring of intervention records.
A child’s academic progress is measured according to where the child is working. If a child is
working within (or broadly within) year group expectations, they will be assessed and have
progress measured in line with Early Years and Foundation Stage Profile or National Curriculum
levels (using the Durham Assessment Grids). Any children working significantly below age
related expectations will have their progress measured using small steps and SMART Targets,
taken from the Pre Key Stage Assessment documents and Preparing for Adulthood Toolkit, or
through use of the Engagement Model.
At Newker Primary School, we have a Behaviour Policy that is followed for all children in our
school. For some children with SEND, they may need additional support to follow this policy and
therefore additional resources may be used to reinforce positive behaviours and good choices,
e.g. reward charts, visual prompts.
We have an Accessibility Plan which details the adjustments and adaptations that are made to
make our school as assessable as possible. Parents of children with SEND that require additional
access to school are permitted to use the school car park. We have a disabled toilet and a
selection of specialist furniture within school to meet the needs of a variety of physical conditions.
All pupils with SEND engage in activities with their peers who do not have SEND needs. For
some children, this may be all day and for others this may be at different points of the day
depending upon the nature of their need and the support that they need throughout the school
We ensure that all children are offered the opportunity to participate with activities outside of the
classroom by making reasonable adjustments to the organisation of these. For example, during
school visits, we ensure SEND children have an appropriate level of adult support if going out of
school and we also organise transport that provides appropriate access. All staff leading
educational visits complete a comprehensive risk assessment of any excursion to ensure all
children are safe and included (including those children with SEND).
There are many arrangements which can be made for children with SEND to undertake tests and
exams. For example, the Year 1 Phonic Screen, Year 2 SATs, and Year 6 SATs can all be
accessed with arrangements such as extra time, scribes, readers, prompts or enlarged texts etc.
If your child is unable to access the assessments above due to complex needs, they will not be
expected to complete them and their achievements and progress will be measured using school
We are committed to ensuring inclusion and equality for all children no matter what their needs
are. Our Class Teachers and Learning Support Assistants include our SEND children in all
activities and experiences we offer in school, and work in consultation with parents and experts
to make any reasonable adjustments required.
Our school staff have a range of qualifications that help us to meet the needs of all our SEND
pupils, and support their parents/carers.
• Level 2 Paediatric First Aid
• Safeguarding Level 1 qualification
• Team Teach
• Bereavement and Loss
• Drawing and Talking Therapy
• Nurturing (to teach to parents/carers)
• Incredible Years Programme (to teach to parents/carers)
• Chill Kids
• Childhood and Adolescence Mental Health
• Intense Support for Families with Multiple and Complex Needs
• Zones of Regulation
• Supporting your Child with Autism
Each year the needs of children within our school are carefully considered and training organised
to up-skill staff.
At Newker Primary School we also provide training for Parents/Carers to attend to support their
child/children. Recent support includes:
• Family Learning – Emotional Wellbeing for Mental Health (Parent and child)