Identifying and Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

There are times when a parent or teacher may be concerned that a student has a Special Educational Need (SEN). A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A child has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than most others of the same age, or, 
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions 

The SEND Code of Practice 2014 (updated January 2015) sets out four broad areas of special educational need that include a range of difficulties and conditions:

What is the SEND code of practice?

The SEND Code of Practice is statutory guidance for organisations that work with and support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.  It can be found at:

The code states that:

Many children and young people have difficulties that fit clearly into one of these areas; some have needs that span two or more areas; for others the precise nature of their need may not be clear at the outset.

Identifying whether a child has a learning need can be complicated. 

We request that families raise initial concerns with the SENDCo, Emily Wheat, who will liaise with staff and gather further evidence.  For more information on the Referral Process, click here. 

Where a child or young person is identified as having Special Educational Needs, we will take action to remove barriers to the students learning and put effective special educational provision in place. This is called SEN support. Support takes the form of a four-part cycle involving the family and the student. By taking this approach earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the child or young person needs and of what support will help to secure good progress and good outcomes for them. This is called the Graduated Response. 

Identification and Assessment of Children with SEND

As set out in the SEND Code of Practice, the school follows the Graduated Approach to Assessment, which follows the four stages of Assess, Plan, Do and Review.  This allows for a more personalised approach to the identification, planning and assessment of SEND.

1. Assess – the school will use a variety of methods to assess the SEND need. These include:

  • Teacher assessment
  • Internal data on attainment, progress, behaviour, attendance and Work samples
  • Parent and student views
  • Advice from external agencies
  • Information collected from primary school

2. Plan – The school will create a support plan for the student in partnership with parents/carers, the student and teachers. This will include:

  • Reasonable adjustments teachers should make to provide high quality teaching
  • The development of a ‘student profile’
  • What additional provision/intervention is needed to ensure they make progress
  • SMART (Specific, Measureable, Acheivable, Realsiitc and Timed) targets are set

3. Do – The plan will then be implemented for a period of time before it is reviewed again. For example, if a child is on a My Support Plan, this will be reviewed every 3 months.

4. Review – The plan will be reviewed by parents/carers, the student and teachers. They review will be looking at:

  • Have student met/on track to meet expected targets? What evidence is there?
  • Has there been any improvement on their rate of progress?
  • How is the pupil responding to the targeted provision?
  • Are there changes to the SEND?

At this stage it is hoped that a fuller understanding of the need has been established and from this it will be decided to either:

  1. continue with the current plan since it is proving to be successful
  2. try different strategies that might prove to be more successful

As part of the Graduated response, we will employ a range of strategies that can be seen as Universal, Targeted or Specialist. 

Examples of these types of provision

Universal Provision Targeted Provision Specialist Provision

Well-planned lessons

Seating plans

Organised classroom

Established routines

Modelled examples and WAGOLLS

Chunked tasks 

Live feedback

Visual Aids


SEND Initial Assess, Plan, Do, Review Plans 

Student Support Plans 

Report Cards 

Individual Behaviour Support Plans 

TA’s in classrooms 


SEND Learning Mentor 

PP Learning Mentor 

5-scale plans

ELSA and school counsellors

SEN Hubs 

Education Health Care Plan 

Inclusive School’s Funding 

Early Help Support Plan 

Assess, Plan, Do, Review - including external recommendations 

Alternative provisions such as The Wildlings, House 1 or AFC Telford

Smash Life


Access to external providers such as Educational Psychologists, Learning Support Team and BeeU


SEND register and support plans

The school informs all staff of the exact needs of all students with a Special Educational Need.  We also inform staff how to best implement ‘Quality First Teaching’ for each child as an individual and explain any other additional support they are receiving and how this can be incorporated into the classroom.  Below is a summary of the different SEND levels and support plans that we use to support a child:

WAVE 1 – Student has an EHCP or ISF funding. Require high level of interventions.

WAVE 2 – Those students who are not making progress and require a medium level of interventions.

WAVE 3 – Those students who are making little progress and require a low level of interventions.

WAVE 4 – Monitoring 

Applying for an EHCP

If your child’s needs are very complex and/or severe the school may ask the Local Authority to carry out a Statutory Assessment:

  • This is a very detailed assessment of your child’s needs. Parents or carers, the school and a range of professionals will all be asked to provide written reports.
  • At the end of the assessment phase the Local Authority will consider these reports to help decide whether or not to issue an Education Health Care Plan for your child.
  • As a parent/carer you also have the right to ask the Local Authority to carry out this assessment although it is usually best if you can do this with the support of the school.
  • Statutory Assessment is only appropriate for a small number of children. The School SENDCO, Emily Wheat, will be able to advise you about this.

To view the criteria for an EHCNA for Cognition and Learning, click here

To view the criteria for an EHCNA for SEMH, click here

To view the criteria for an EHCNA for Communication and Interaction, click here

To view the criteria for an EHCNA for Sensory and Physical Disabilities, click here

Making a referral to BeeU for ASD/ADHD assessment

To view BeeU Neurodiverse referral pathway, click here

To view BeeU Autism Pathway referral criteria, click here

To view ADHD advice and support information, click here


The school can complete some tests and screens if we feel your child may benefit from extra support, intervention or Access Arrangements in examination settings. 

It is possible your child has had screening or intervention at primary school, if this is the case any additional support they have received in line with a Special Educational Need will have been passed on by their Primary School during the transition period.

We only screen those that have been identified as having a special educational need or those students who have been flagged by teaching staff as experiencing barriers. If your child is to be screened you will receive communication from school outlining the process.

Any results worthy of note are shared with the student and their parent/carer and also with the student’s teaching staff in order that strategies are put in place in order to best support the young person.

Exam Access Arrangements

Exam Access Arrangements (AA) are the reasonable adjustments that can be made for an exam candidate and might include things such as extra time to complete an exam paper, permission to use assistive technology, or provision of rest breaks.

Exam arrangements can only be granted if they are a candidate’s ‘normal way of working’ and the candidate has a history of need. Any arrangements made must reflect the support that the candidate has had in the past few years, alongside their assessment test results.  An assessor’s report must show that the candidate has a significant and long-term impairment. For example, a candidate who is eligible for extra time would need to have scores that are below average in speed of writing, reading, reading comprehension or cognitive process, demonstrating they work much more slowly than others. This must then be backed up by teachers, and evidence must be provided that this is the candidate’s normal way of working.

Who to talk to…
If you think your child should have Exam Access Arrangements please contact our SENDCo, Emily Wheat
REMEMBER – We do not look at Exam Access Arrangements before your child is in the Summer Term of Year 9

What sort of exam arrangements are available?

This list is not exhaustive, but these are some of the most common arrangements:

  • Extra time: The most frequent AA is extra time which is 25%. More time can be allocated to candidates with more severe difficulties and disability on an individual case by case basis.
  • A reader: Readers can be used for candidates who have visual impairments or a disability that affects their ability to read accurately themselves. In some cases, a computer reader will be allowed.
  • A scribe: Scribes can be allocated to candidates who have a disability or injury that affects their ability to write legibly.
  • Modified papers: These are papers which must be ordered well in advance of the exam in different sizes, fonts, colours, braille, or modified language.
  • Assistive technology: If the candidate uses assistive technology as their normal way of working they will be able to continue this for exams. Some of the most common requests are for word processors, exam reading pens, computer text readers, and voice processors.
  • Separate room: This is suitable for candidates with very specific needs.
  • Rest breaks: Supervised rest breaks, these are not included in the extra time allowance.

Useful External Links

Telford and Wrekin Local SEND Offer - information, advice and guidance and a range of local service providers who support children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

TELFORD SENDIASS - - Support and advice for families

BeeU - - 0808 196 4501 Option 1

Socialworkerstoolbox -

Telford Autism Hub - - For children, and their families, who have a formal diagnosis of Autism.

PODS Telford - - Supporting families who have a child with a disability of additional Need / 01952 458047 - PODS (Parents Opening Doors) Parent Carer Forum

SEND Parent Information