Best Practice

The tip of the iceberg: SEND, masking and multiple needs

Inclusion SENCOs EHCPs
Children can often mask their special and other educational needs. At the same time, schools can struggle to support those with multiple needs and vulnerabilities, often focusing only on the ‘visible’ tip of the iceberg. Sara Alston discusses

There are significant variations in the numbers and proportion of children with SEND in different schools. There are many reasons for this, but a key issue relates to the accuracy and effectiveness of schools’ identification of SEND.

The headline lesson from the recent report Identifying pupils with SEND, published by the Education Policy Institute (Hutchinson, 2021), was that a child’s primary school made the greatest difference to the chances of them being identified with SEND or not.

The report goes on to identify a wide range of factors that both negatively and positively affect the chances of children receiving SEND support.

The EPI report is clear that attending an academy reduces a child’s chances of being recognised as having SEND, as does attending a school in a local authority with a high level of disadvantage.

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