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A unique group of seven Primary Schools and one Secondary School in the East of Newcastle upon Tyne

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Early Identification, Assessment & SEND

The rationale for early identification is that provision can be put into place sooner before gaps in progress and development between children with and without SEND become too wide. It is in the early years phase of education (age 0-5) where the identification of SEND could first occur, but there are logical reasons why this does not happen as often as it should.

 It can be incredibly difficult to distinguish for young children the difference between SEND and typical variations in early childhood development (Boddison, 2020). Identifying SEND where it does not exist risks incorrectly labelling a child, as well as the unintended consequence of reducing the overall level of provision available to those who may need more support.

 During our assessment windows, all children on the SEND register are provided with the most appropriate access arrangements given their level of need. Families are also informed of this. Access arrangements may include:


  • 25% additional time
  • Short breaks within the test
  • Access to a reader- (for Mathematics and Grammar tests)
  • Access to a scribe
  • A child may sit an assessment from the year group range they are working within e.g A Year 6 child may sit a Year 3 maths assessment if that was more appropriate.
  • Large print / Braille question papers


 The Graduated Approach

 Our school follows the graduated approach of assess, plan, do and review as outlined in the Code of Practice (2015). This approach is embedded in whole school practice for all pupils and every teacher is responsible for ‘adapting teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils’. (Teachers’ Standards 2012) School assessment data, teacher judgments and, where appropriate, assessments from outside agencies are used to identify pupils who require additional and different provision

 The class teacher, working with the SENCO, will carry out a clear analysis of a pupil’s needs. This assessment will be reviewed regularly. Where appropriate, professionals will help to inform the assessment. Parents will be asked to contribute to the assessment.


Please see our SEND Policy for more detail on the Graduated Approach. 


Current Assessment Provision for SEND in school:





·         STAFF & SENCO collaborate and discuss early identification of needs

·         NELI Assessment Tool- The assessment provides a quick, accurate and objective method for identifying children who need language support and are likely to benefit from the NELI .

·         Occupation Therapist (OT) – Holly Martin (NHS) - works every Monday in school. Following referral, the Occupational Therapist will complete an assessment of the child’s functional abilities within school using either standardised or non-standardised assessment tools. This can be done through classroom observations, discussion with class staff, discussion with parent / carers and 1-1 work with the child.

·         EEAST- From the Local Authority- a small team of specialist teachers and nursery nurses who work with pre-school children who have special educational needs. They visit children in their own homes to provide teaching advice and support. They plan a range of opportunities to develop each child's play and learning. They give specialist support and advice to help parents make informed choices about the education of their children. They provide support to help children access and make progress in their local Early Years Setting.

·         Speech and Language Therapy

·         Health visitors and school health.

·         Place 2 Be- 1:1 Counselling provision- Only for children from Reception



·         Staff & SENCO collaborate to identify need

·         Educational Psychology- Ellie Roberts

·         Occupational Therapist – Holly Martin (NHS)

·         Place 2 Be- 1:1 Counselling provision

·         SEND Outreach Service (Formerly SENTASS)- School Support Team includes a team of specialist teachers for Communication and Interaction Needs, Cognition and Learning Needs, Social, emotional and mental health specialist, Specific Learning Difficulties, and a specialist learning support assistant for motor coordination difficulties.

·         Dyslexia assessment from age 7- SEND Outreach Service

·         Nessy Dyslexia Screener

·         British Picture Vocabulary Assessment- GL Assessment

·         Sandwell Early Numeracy Test- GL Assessment

·         Scoptic sensitivity test

·         Visual perception assessment

·         Working memory assessment

·         Processing speed assessment