Information about the school's policies for the identification and assessment for pupils with special educational needs.

How does the school know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

The SEND team (class teachers, school SENDCo and Headtecher) are responsible for identifying pupils who need SEND support. We have a clear graduated approach to meeting pupil’s needs. Information is gathered in a variety of ways which include:

  • Lack of progress in curriculum areas through termly teacher assessments and analysis of data
  • Listening to and following up on parental concerns
  • Following up on concerns raised by teacher and TAs regarding individual pupils
  • Information gathering through observations, additional assessments and transition meetings from Preschool/Nursery
  • Reports from outside agencies including medical letters, occupational therapy reports and speech and language reports     
Assessments used to identify SEND include:
  • Termly teacher assessments (Reading, Writing and Maths)
  • Phonics screening assessments in year 1 and year 2
  • ELKLAN language assessment
  • Assessment by Educational Psychologist
  • Speech and Language assessment
  • Occupational therapy assessment

We also work closely with the community school nurse team when parents or teachers are concerned about any medical needs. We use several outside agencies to advise us on meeting pupils’ needs including:

• Educational Psychology Service

• Behaviour Support Service

• Speech and Language Therapy

• Occupational Therapy

• Community Nursing Team

• Communication & Interaction Team

• Dyslexia Outreach Support

• Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

• Early Help Forum

If a pupil is identified as having SEND, we will provide provision that is ‘additional to or different from’ the normal differentiated curriculum, intended to overcome the barrier to their learning. This may range from in-house intervention support for reading, spelling or maths, for example, to enlisting support from outside agencies such as our Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Behaviour Support Team, Communication and Interaction Team, and a variety of other local support services. We also work closely with other schools to enable us to share good practice and expertise. We also have access to services universally provided by Devon County Council, which are described on the Local Offer website -

We recognise that children make progress at different rates and not always in a steady linear pattern. Learners can fall behind in school for lots of reasons. They may have been absent from school, they may have attended lots of different schools and not had a consistent opportunity to learn. They may not speak English very well or at all, they may be worried about different things that distract them from learning.

We are committed to ensuring that all learners have access to learning opportunities, and for those who are at risk of not learning, we will intervene. This does not mean that all vulnerable learners have SEND. Only those with a learning difficulty that requires special educational provision will be identified as having SEND. Class Teachers, support staff, parents/carers and the learner themselves will be the first to notice a difficulty with learning.

At Whimple we ensure that assessment of educational needs, directly involves the learner, their parents/carer and of course their teacher. The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCo) will also support with the identification of barriers to learning. We have a range of assessment tools available.

If a pupil is identified as having SEND then their name will be added to the SEND register, but we recognise that pupils’ needs may change over time and provision must reflect this. The aim of any additional provision is for the student to achieve age related expectations, so once they reach this threshold they may be removed from the school SEND register. If they fall behind again at any point, then they may be added to the register again. If you think your child may have SEND your main point of contact at school should always be your child’s class teacher/s. You can start by contacting the class teacher, who will be able to discuss your concerns. If you need to speak with other staff members, or the SENDCo, then the class teacher will be able to help you arrange this.