Robson House

How do we identify, assess and plan support for children with SEND?

Assessment processes at Robson House are designed to clarify pupils’ needs so as to ensure effective teaching and learning strategies can be implemented, including strategies to address social, emotional, and mental health difficulties.

The process of assessment at Robson House seeks to reach an understanding of pupils in terms of their thinking (cognition), feelings (affect), behaviour and physiological processes.

This understanding can then be used to develop strategies to help pupils develop internal attributes (such as skills, knowledge and understanding). It can also be used to determine how to shape external influences (social, organisational and environmental) to promote learning. The process is organised in a cycle of assessment, planning, implementation and review of impact.


Sources of assessment information

The information available to inform intervention at Robson House is gathered from four phases of assessment:

  1. Gathering of information about pupils prior to their referral to Robson House
  2. Baseline assessments and information gathering on entry to Robson House
  3. Integration of initial assessment information
  4. Ongoing assessment of pupils during their time at Robson House

1. Information gathered about pupils before they come to Robson House

Our starting point is to have a conversation with parents/carers before they decide whether they wish to take up a place for their child at Robson House: we know that parents are the first educators of their child and we need their knowledge to plan effectively. Once a place is agreed, our social worker or family mentor meets with the parent(s) or carer(s). During this meeting, a structured interview is conducted that explores family influences, developmental history, and goals.

Information already available about pupils who are referred to Robson House will include that which is gathered as a matter of course about any pupil, such as attendance data, assessments of National Curriculum (NC) Levels, and teacher reports on academic, personal, social and emotional development. Where schools have recognised the special educational needs of a pupil there should also be an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and/or a Pastoral Support Plan (PSP).

Pupils referred to Robson House will also often have had involvement from other professionals, who will have provided reports; such sources of information may include reports by educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists etc. Child and Adolescent Health Services (CAMHS) and Social Care may also have conducted assessments. The Behaviour Support Outreach Team may also have worked with the pupils before referral to Robson House and will be able to provide assessment information and a Behaviour Support Plan, which can give useful insights in to what strategies have been tried and what has or has not worked for the pupil concerned.

2. Baseline assessments and information gathering on entry to the PPRU

To ensure a fuller understanding of pupils’ needs and to provide clear baseline data against which progress can be measured, existing information is supplemented by means of the following assessment processes.

Before the arrival of a pupil at Robson House, a member of the Robson House team visits the referring school and meets with a key member of staff. During this visit the pupil’s file is reviewed and the following assessments are completed:

  • Information Passport (if not previously provided by the referring school). This is a set of information used to support effective transition. The information can be provided in whatever format is most convenient. The Information Passport Checklist (see Appendix B) is used to ensure that all necessary information is included, and to reference where this information is provided, if multiple documents are included in the Information Passport.
  • The Behaviour Assessment Form. (See Appendix C.) This focuses on 3 key areas: learning behaviour, social behaviour and emotional behaviour. Staff at the referring school provide baseline ratings across these areas.
  • The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). (See Appendix D.) This assesses emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity, inattention, peer relationship problems and prosocial behaviour. Staff at the referring school provide baseline ratings.

Within eight weeks of the arrival of a pupil at Robson House, the following assessments are conducted:

  • The views of the pupil are sought in relation to possible goals and effective support. This is achieved by means of a structured interview covering key issues adapted to the developmental level of the child (See Appendix E.) and by completion of the All About Me Booklet
  • Literacy: diagnostic assessments, for example from theCatch Up literacy programme.
  • Maths: for example the Wigan Maths Test.
  • The Psychotherapist meets with each pupil for three assessment sessions. This provides a non-directive environment through which insight may be gained into underlying needs.
  • Initial impressions are also noted by the pupil’s teacher, Learning Mentor and other staff, including reflections on the pupil’s attitude and behaviour, approach to learning, academic skills (including speaking and listening), fine and gross motor skills, and concentration and ability to work.
  • The Social Worker also reviews existing information to produce the Child and Family Assessment.
  • We take great care to establish whether any lack of academic progress is because a pupil has English as an additional language (EAL), for example by talking to the child (and parents) in her/his home language.

3. Analysis of initial information

Information about pupils prior to their referral to Robson House is then integrated with information from baseline assessments and information gathered on entry to Robson House. The first phase of this Integrated Assessment is carried out by the Educational Psychologist, whose formulation is then brought to the other team members for discussion and development. The Integrated Assessment seeks to explain how a range of influences interact to produce the difficulties observed and thereby to suggest appropriate strategies. At this stage an Integrated Plan is put in place.

4. Ongoing assessment of pupils during their time at Robson House

Ongoing assessment of pupils during their time at Robson House is a structured process that charts progress in response to planned intervention. It involves the following elements:

1)      Ongoing assessment of academic progress. This is achieved by means of:

a)      Observation: practical activity, investigation, problem solving, role-play, games, collaborative working

b)      Question & Answer:   In a small class setting, a carefully planned range of open and closed questions enables teachers to assess pupils’ understanding of their learning.

c)       Sampling: Ongoing APP assessment is used in Literacy, Mathematics and Investigative Science, which enables the teacher to assess the child’s progress. Samples of work are kept to show significant changes and indications of progress.

d)      Marking: Teachers’ marking encourages children to reflect on their learning and to celebrate their achievements. It is targeted to focus on learning objectives and next steps required. Children meet with their teacher on a weekly basis to discuss their week’s work.

e)      Self Assessment: To foster personal responsibility for their learning, develop greater self awareness and to increase self -esteem.

2)      Ongoing assessment of social, emotional and mental health development. This is undertaken at the debrief at the end of the day, which includes structured feedback from staff drawing on their observations and reflections about each pupil’s learning and behaviour during that day. This considers a range of information:

a)      The team provides feedback focused on each pupil’s targets for learning and behaviour, but also on any other information that is considered important. This qualitative information is recorded on the Daily Behaviour Record (See Appendix H).

b)      Feedback includes information from the Learning Mentor and Psychotherapist regarding any individual sessions, and from the Social Worker and Child and Family Mentor on relevant information related to the home.

c)       Each target in the pupil’s Integrated Plan is considered and a judgement made as to whether the targets were met. This quantitative information is recorded on the Pupil Target Log.

d)      This sheet is also used to record whether exceptional measures were needed to manage the pupil (such as physical intervention).

e)      The sheet can also be used to indicate whether any confidential information came to light during the day. (Such information is held outside of the main pupil’s record in the Safeguarding File.)

f)       The frequency of physical intervention and use of seclusion is also used to track the emotional and behavioural presentation of pupils. All physical interventions are also recorded in the Bound and Numbered Book and any use of the Quiet Room or Soft Room is recorded on log sheets. This data is collated into a spreadsheet to allow monitoring, analysis and reporting.

The Pupil Target Log thus charts progress in learning and behaviour, with the possibility of scanning a complete half term at a glance in order to allow the identification of patterns. This facilitates measurement of progress and supports the review of the Behaviour Assessment. At the same time it provides a mechanism to cross-reference and access more detailed descriptions of pupils’ behaviour for any given day (held in the Daily Behaviour Record). It also provides a way to map external factors (changes of teaching strategy, arrival of new pupils in the group, events in the home etc.) onto changes in a pupil’s behaviour.


We believe that effective planning provides an essential framework within which to facilitate children’s learning and development. Thorough planning is the key to effective assessment and fundamental to the quality of teaching and learning. We need to plan for assessment opportunities carefully and use the outcome of assessments to inform future plans.

Our planning:

  • is based on assessment of the child’s needs
  • is outcome-focused and evidence-based
  • is led by learning objectives and not activities
  • is based on clear and shared criteria
  • is flexible and pro-active
  • ensures equal access to a broad and balanced curriculum
  • takes into consideration all aspects of the child’s development
  • draws from the programmes of study from the National Curriculum
  • ensures continuity and progression
  • addresses underlying causes of difficulties as well as presenting problems

Integrated Plans

Each child has an Integrated Plan. These focus on the child’s individual needs in academic, social, emotional, mental health and behavioural areas. The Integrated Plan includes academic targets and behaviour targets. Pupils’ success in meeting their targets is evaluated daily, weekly and at each termly review (see below).

Targets are co-created with the pupil. Academic targets are next steps identified by prior assessments of learning. Behaviour targets are focused on the priority areas of need identified by the Behaviour Assessments. This involves a comparison between categories to identify area of highest need, followed by a comparison between descriptor scores to help identify specific targets.

Decisions about strategies to help the pupil meet the targets are informed by the Integrated Assessment. This assessment help identify factors that contribute to presenting difficulties and so assist in decisions about how best to intervene to support. IPs include strategies that will be deployed in academic learning tasks (e.g. those included in curriculum plans), specific interventions targeting cognitive skills (e.g. Wave 3 Literacy programmes and language groups), interventions to promote specific areas of social, emotional and mental health development (e.g. those delivered by the Learning Mentor) and therapeutic input (e.g. psychotherapy).

We continue to assess and monitor all through the child’s time in school so that we can look out for any special educational needs that might arise later on. We also work with other specialist professionals (for example the occupational therapist or psychiatrist), who provide expertise in clarifying children’s’ needs. We follow Camden’s guidance for the identification of SEND.

We are committed to personalised planning and regular assessment and review to make sure that your child makes progress. You can see more details on how we identify children with SEND in our SEND policy.

Back to our SEN Information Report.