Identifying pupils with SEN

Get tips on best practice for identifying and assessing special educational needs (SEN). Help your teachers spot whether a pupil may have SEN with our guide and template referral form.

Last reviewed on 17 April 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 11349
  1. What counts as SEN?
  2. Share our guide and referral form with teachers
  3. Teacher: monitor pupils' progress and flag concerns
  4. Teacher and SENCO: discuss concerns and respond first with high-quality teaching
  5. SENCO: assess pupils for SEN
  6. Reassess pupils' needs over time
  7. Keep the parents and carers informed

What counts as SEN?

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

Special educational provision is provision that is different from, or additional to, support normally available to pupils of the same age. It is designed to help children with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) to access the curriculum.

This guidance is from page 285 of the SEND Code of Practice and Gulshan Kayembe, 1 of our associate education experts. 

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