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Analysing and Using SEND Data

Data collection and analysis are essential elements in developing a more ‘forensic’ approach to removing barriers to learning, raising expectations and supporting the setting of realistic and stretching targets for SEND pupils.

SEN Code of Practice


The effective use of data helps to support the development of a strategic approach to the management of SEND, as well as informing teaching and learning at the classroom level.

The analysis of SEND pupil-level data, can:

  • Provide a deeper understanding of performance of individual / groups of SEND pupils over time
  • Help inform the appropriate interventions needed to ensure SEND pupils make the necessary progress (including the progression of those SEND pupils with significant learning difficulties and/or disabilities who are operating at very low levels and are assessed using P scales or similar measures)
  • Give a better understanding of the impact of different types of interventions and provision on SEND pupils’ progress.

Schools increasingly have access to rich and varied types of data on which they can draw e.g.

  • Prior attainment data showing levels and grades achieved in national tests and examinations
  • Teacher assessment data, for example from Assessing Pupils’ Progress periodic assessment or from P Scales for pupils with SEND working below expected standard
  • National and local data showing proportions of pupils making age-expected progress
  • Comparative data (e.g. ‘Analyse School Performance’) indicating how groups in mainstream schools are progressing compared with other schools
    Other pupil and school level estimates, such as from the Fischer Family Trust (FFT)
  • Other data likely to impact on pupil outcomes, such as attendance, exclusions, pupil and parent perception surveys
  • The Education Endowment Foundation, studies into the effect of different interventions on groups of pupils including those with SEND.

Why Analyse SEND Data?

We analyse SEND data to:

  • Contribute evidence to the school’s self-evaluation on how well pupils with SEND are progressing
  • Evaluate the impact of intervention programmes on a child’s outcomes, and in providing good value for money
  • Evaluate progress towards meeting goals set
  • Make informed decisions about the deployment of resources
  • Evaluate the support and interventions provided by external agencies, including the impact of any extended school activities
  • Identify trends over time
  • Compare the school’s SEND pupil performance with that of similar schools, locally, regionally and nationally
  • Identify any gaps in existing provision
  • Identify any SEND pupils who may be underachieving.

What data should we be using and analysing?

The following describes some of the data available to/in schools:

  • FFT contextual value added data which looks at what is expected of each SEND pupil, and as a group, in relation to progress in the context of a range of factors such as: prior attainment, SEND status, free school meals, Looked After Children, English as an additional language (EAL), ethnicity, gender, age, mobility, post-code, term of birth
  • Value added data, which shows the difference between a child’s actual result and the expected result for a child with similar characteristics at the end of a key stage
  • Attendance data, particularly persistent absenteeism data and absence of children with SEN taking holidays in term time
  • Health and emotional well-being data from annual surveys such as Health Related Behaviour Questionnaire, Pupil Attitude to Self and School or other school-based surveys.

The school should also use qualitative evidence to gain a secure view about the progress of children with SEND. The following questions may be useful:

  • What are the views of children with SEND about their progress?
  • What are the views of staff and external professionals about their progress?
  • What do observations from lessons indicate about progress?
  • What does the scrutiny of the child’s work across the curriculum indicate about their progress?

Department for Education – Compare School Performance

The Department for Education’s Compare School Tool allows you to enter the name of any school to find exam / test results, progress, Ofsted reports, financial information and compare with similar schools.

The tool can be used by school governors and by members of the public to check the performance of the school in which they are interested. It complements the Ofsted school inspection report by providing an analysis of school performance. More information about SEND can be found under the ‘Absence and Pupil Population’ tab.

'Analyse School Performance’ (previously RAISE):

‘Analyse School Performance’ is a new service that gives schools access to performance data previously available through RAISE on-line (which closed on 31 July 2017). This data is not public; access will be via the DfE Secure Access portal.

SENCOs are expected to be able to use and analyse SEND pupil-level data, as well as interpret and compare their school-level SEND data with the national data sets: SENCOs need to use and understand Analyse School Performance this data for their school.

Fischer Family Trust (FFT): Aspire

FFT provides detailed data using many contextual factors and allows drill-down to child-level. Schools must subscribe to this service.

Local Government Association - Local Area SEND Report

This online tool presents the statistics on SEND available for any local area (e.g. Islington) compared to a selected comparison group (e.g. inner London). This helps local areas assess how well they are performing in delivering arrangements and provision for children with SEND across a range of indicators.

Special Educational Needs in England: January 2017 - Statistical Release

This release brings together borough-wide information available on SEND, along with related information about special schools in England. It provides analyses on the characteristics of pupils by their SEND provision together with information on the assessment and placement of pupils with new EHCPs.