Special Educational Needs


The term Special Educational Needs (SEN) has a legal definition which is set out in the Education Act 1996 and the Children and families Act 2014. It applies to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it significantly harder for them to learn or access education than most other children of their age.



At Pentland we identify Special educational needs in a variety of ways including:

  • Information from a previous school or setting
  • Concerns raised and information provided by parents and carers
  • Concerns raised by teachers and support staff
  • Talking to other Outside agencies
  • Responding to a health need raised by a Health visitor, school nurse, Doctor or Community Paediatrician
  • School based assessments, including heritage language assessments, that show a child is working below age related expectations
  • Ongoing observations of play and learning
  • Tracking of progress across the curriculum on a regular basis.


During their time at school children may experience special educational needs.

These may include-


Communication and Interaction needs:

Children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty communicating with others and may also not understand and use social rules of communication. This often included children within the Autistic Spectrum Disorder, including Aspergers.



Cognition and Learning needs:

Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs. These could be:

Moderate learning difficulties (MLD)


Severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum


Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) where one or more specific aspects of learning are involved. This encompasses a range of difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia or dyspraxia.



Social, Emotional and mental health needs:

Children may experience a wide range of social, emotional and mental health issues. These may include being withdrawn or isolated as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. Other children may have disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder or Attachment Disorder.



Sensory and/or physical needs:

Include vision impairment, hearing impairment or multisensory impairment. Some children with a physical or sensory disability will require on-going specialist support and/or equipment to help them access the learning environment and activities to their full potential.


Many of these children receive SEN support from our experienced staff team and make good progress. Sometimes school staff, in partnership with parents and carers, seek advice and support from a range of outside agencies.

School also provides extra pastoral support for children who experience, Social, Emotional or Mental Health difficulties providing them with regular opportunities to share their thoughts, feelings and views.


The majority of children at SEN support will have their needs effectively met through our own approach to planning and recording. However, in some cases, it may be felt that individual children continue to make limited progress despite evidenced based SEN support or that a number of professionals are involved and a shared understanding of strengths and needs and a joint agreement of actions and outcomes is required . In this instance an individual My Suppport Plan (MSP) will be devised. A My Support Plan provides a more coordinated and personalised planning approach.


If concerns still persist, a request can be made for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment of need. This would involve the child/young person, parents/carers, and all agencies involved with the child, and may lead to the issuing of an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which will bring together health and social care needs, as well as their special educational needs and provision. Children and young people with an EHCP continue to be the responsibility of the teacher and may access some further intervention or support within school .Their progress will be monitored by the school and also through an annual review, where the outcomes on the EHCP will be considered.



SEND Review Meetings and Consultations:

Half Termly reviews are held for all children at SEN Support or with an Education, Health and Care Plan. These currently take the form of a collaborative workshop where all members of staff who work with the child meet to discuss progress and attainment and future support/ interventions required. Any future targets are shared with parents/ carers via a copy of their Individual Education Plan (IEP) or their My Support Plan.

Support and targets are also reviewed termly with parents as part of our teacher/parent consultation evenings.

A more formal review for children with an EHC Plan may also take place with parents and carers and actively involved outside agencies.



Our school has a well established transition programme for all our children including those with SEND.

Our Year 2 children take part in a year long transition programme where vulnerable children are clearly identified and additional visits arranged.

School has well established links with SENCOs in feeder schools. SENCOS meet regularly over the year, sharing information and attending review meetings together.