London Borough of Croydon

Identifying pupils with SEND

Guidance for schools: Identifying Pupils with SEND

What does the SEND Code of Practice Say?
What is 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, namely provision different from or additional to that is normally available to pupils of the same age.

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • Has a significant greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age 
  • 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

"Class teachers and subject teachers, supported by the senior leadership team, should make regular assessments of progress for all pupils. These should seek to identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances.

This can be characterised by progress that:

  • Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline 
  • Fails to match or better the child’s previous progress
  • Widens the attainment gap

It can include progress in areas other than attainment- for instance where a pupil needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs in order to make a successful transition to the next phase of education or to adult life."

This guidance includes information and resources to support identification of pupils who may have SEN in Croydon schools.  

This guidance will support discrimination between pupils who may be making slow progress, who have low attainment or are underachieving for other reasons. This may be linked to a lack of good quality teaching where teachers have a sound knowledge of strategies to support vulnerable children with a range of needs in their daily teaching or due a range of individual circumstances.

This guidance reflects one of the key principles underpinning the SEN reform agenda that parents and children active involvement in identifying and planning for provision at all stages.
The guidance includes:

Resource 1: Flowchart to map process for identifying pupils who require SEN support in schools

Resource 2: Talking with Pupils (Pupil voice) - Information and resources to support engagement with pupils to identify strengths and barriers to learning. 

Resource 3: Talking with Parents (Parents views and wishes) – Information and resources to support positive engagement and shared understanding of strengths and difficulties. 

Resource 4: Inclusion Checklist – Descriptors of high quality inclusive practice to audit inclusive practice in daily teaching. This checklist can be used to support lesson observations and discussions with class and subject teachers.

Resource 5: What other circumstances can affect pupil progress and achievement

Resource 6: Directory of useful check lists and diagnostic tools to support further assessment or pupils across the four broad categories of need 

This guidance will be reviewed and updated at least annually in response to feedback from schools and information received from local and national agencies.

This guidance will be reviewed and updated at least annually in response to feedback from schools and information received from local and national agencies.

Identifying and Supporting Pupils with Dyslexia

Engagement with parents and families 

Audit tool to ensure schools are meeting statutory duties and recommendations set out in the SEND Code of practice in relation to involving parents in identifying needs, setting outcomes and targets and planning and reviewing provision.


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