Can we report on the 4 broad areas of SEND?

Your Local Authority or another governing body may ask you to report on SEN needs split into the 4 broad categories:

  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Communication and interaction
  • Sensory and/or physical needs

However, the DfE advises that you should not report on students in this way. On page 97 of the Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years, it says that the 'purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a pupil into a category'.

As such, it is not possible to specifically report on students split into the 4 broad areas of SEND in Arbor.


How are SEN needs recorded in Arbor?

We have a large range of SEN Need types available to use in Arbor. Each one maps back to one of 13 UK DfE SEN Need Types to be reported in the census, outlined in CBDS (the DfE's common data set). Although each UK DfE SEN Need Type maps back to a broad area of need, it is not possible to report on which students are categorised within each area.

You can see a full list of our available needs, and how they map here.

We suggest that you choose the closest compatible option from the list, (or Other Difficulty/Disability if none apply) and then use the description field for the specific student's SEN need for further clarification.

Please note that although you can add an SEN ranking, and record additional notes in the description box, it is not currently possible to report on these fields in the Custom Report Writer. If you have any feedback on how this process can be improved, please submit it here: SEN & IEP improvements


Alternative methods

Although it isn't possible to directly categorise students into 4 areas in Arbor, you could:

  • Download a report of your students with SEN needs from Students > Demographics & Educational Needs > Students with SEN > Statistics > Sen Needs and manually categorise them in Excel.
  • Create a Custom Report Writer report about SEN to output one row for each SEN need a student has
  • Add students to Custom Groups based on the area of need.
  • Create a User Defined Field for students' area of need.
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