Did the school take steps to identify the young person’s SEND?

Did the school take steps to identify the young person’s SEND?


A school has the responsibility to take effective action to identify young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). All schools should have a clear approach to identifying and responding to SEND. The benefits of early identification are widely recognised – identifying need at the earliest point and then making effective provision improves long-term outcomes for the child or young person.

Disruptive behaviour can be an indication of unmet needs. Where a school has concerns about a pupil's behaviour, it should try to identify whether there are any causal factors and intervene early in order to reduce the need for a subsequent exclusion. In this situation, schools should consider whether a multi-agency assessment that goes beyond the pupil's educational needs is required. Early identification and intervention can significantly reduce the use of more costly intervention at a later stage.

Speak to the family and look through the school's records and the panel pack to understand whether or not the school has taken purposeful action to investigate and identify underlying needs.

If you have completed a subject access request and received records, see if any claims the school has made about taking steps to identify the young person's needs are reflected in the evidence.

Next step? 

Answer the question: Did the school take effective steps to investigate and identify the young person's additional needs?

If the answer is no, consider using the Suggested Wording document: Argument to the governing board: Failure to identify and consider SEND


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This information is correct at the time of writing, 5th September 2023. The law in this area is subject to change.

Coram Children’s Legal Centre cannot be held responsible if changes to the law outdate this publication. Individuals may print or photocopy information in CCLC publications for their personal use.

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