Identifying pupils with SEN

As a SENCO, get tips on best practice for identifying and assessing special educational needs (SEN). Help your teachers pass on any concerns with our template referral form.

Last reviewed on 10 June 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 11349
  1. Share the definition of SEN with staff
  2. Understand your responsibilities
  3. Encourage teachers to monitor pupils' progress and flag concerns
  4. Ask teachers to flag concerns to you with our referral form
  5. Formally assess pupils for SEN
  6. Reassess pupils' needs over time
  7. Keep the parents and carers informed

Share the definition of SEN with staff

Share the following definition with school staff during INSET and in your SEND policy

Special educational needs (SEN) is defined as: a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made.

A pupil is considered to have a learning difficulty or disability if they:

  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age
  • Have a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools
  • Don’t make progress without support in place

This definition is taken from page 285 of the SEND Code of

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