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Westerhope Primary School

Reach the stars through learning - Everyone is special and unique

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How we identify, assess and review children with special education needs

Most children and young people in mainstream schools will have their special educational needs met through good classroom practice. This is called Quality First Teaching.


Early Identification of Need

In deciding whether to make special education provision to support educational, social, physical or emotional needs, we:

  • Work in partnership with parents/carers, pupils
  • Consult with relevant external agencies
  • Use assessment tools & materials
  • Use observations
  • Record initial concerns on our CPOMs system


SEN Support

Where a pupil is identified as having a special educational need, we follow a graduated approach, which takes the form of cycles of “Assess, Plan, Do, Review”.


This means that we will:

  • Assess a child’s special educational needs
  • Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes
  • Do put the provision in place to meet those outcomes
  • Review the support and progress


At Westerhope Primary School termly assessment is carried out by staff. The school uses a tracking system to analyse data and to identify gaps in children’s learning and to plan appropriate intervention when required. 


Children/young people may join Westerhope Primary School with parents having a clear understanding of their child’s needs and as a school we see parents as partners in their child’s educational journey. In this case we work together with parents/carers and young children/person and education, health and social care professionals to design an individualised SEN Support Plan that describes the child’s needs, outcomes & provision to meet those needs.  Parents/carers and child/young person views are integral to the this process.


School staff may initially identify a concern the class teacher alongside the SENCo will discuss the child’s needs and a meeting with parents/carers and/or the child/young person would be arranged at the earliest opportunity. The next steps may require the involvement of specialist support or advice. It is important to understand that the involvement of professionals does not always seek to label or diagnose but to seek advice and strategies to enable a child/young person to reach their full potential.


As part of this approach every child with SEN will have an individualised SEN Support Plan that describes the child’s needs and provision to meet those needs. Parents/carers and child/young person views are integral to this process.


Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

A small percentage of children and young people with significant and/or complex needs may require an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). The purpose of an EHCP is to make special educational provision to meet special educational needs of the child or young person, to secure the best possible outcomes for them across education (SEND Code of Practice p.142). It is a legal document that describes a child or young person’s special educational, health and social care needs. For more detailed information please see the Newcastle Local Offer.


Descriptors of Need

Newcastle Local Authority have developed the descriptor of need to assess and identify the needs of a child. This assessment can provide information about what support to put in place to support the child’s progress


​​​​​For more information, please click on the link below: to