Country information for UK (Wales) - Assessment within inclusive education systems

The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice for Wales (2002) provides practical advice to local authorities (LAs), maintained schools, early years settings and others on carrying out their statutory duties to identify, assess and make provision for children’s special educational needs (SEN). Primary and secondary schools adopt a graduated response to support pupils with SEN.

When a class teacher or the Special Education Co-ordinator (SENCO) identifies a child with SEN, the class teacher should provide interventions that are additional to or different from those provided as part of the school’s usual differentiated curriculum offer and strategies. This process is called School Action.

Strategies employed to enable the child to progress are recorded within an individual education plan. This should include information about the short-term targets set for or by the child, teaching strategies, provision, review dates and success/exit criteria.

If support or services from outside the school are needed, the child moves to School Action Plus. In pre-primary settings, these approaches are known as Early Years Action and Early Years Action Plus.

If there is little or no progress during the School Action Plus phase, the parents or the SENCO can request a statutory assessment of need. A statutory assessment is a detailed investigation to find out what the child’s special educational needs are and what additional help is required.

If the assessment leads to a decision that further ‘special educational provision’ is required, the LA will agree a Statement of Special Educational Needs. The authority is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the provision in the statement is maintained, although operational responsibility is mainly delegated to schools. The statement should be reviewed at least once a year.

Where the need is seen to be great, it is possible to request an assessment for a statement without using School Action or School Action Plus.

Separate guidance applies to supporting learners over 16 with a learning difficulty and/or disability.


Last updated 03/05/2021

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