Assessment for pupils with SEN

Read the basics about assessment for pupils with special educational needs (SEN) on 1 page. You can also download this QuickRead as a ready-made resource to share with colleagues.

Last reviewed on 27 October 2022
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 36786

Most pupils with SEN will be assessed under the same performance metrics as everybody else, but they might be a little behind their peers.

However, there are separate statutory assessment tools for pupils working below National Curriculum assessment standards, or who can’t access the curriculum.

The engagement model 

The engagement model replaced P scales 1 to 4 in September 2021. It's a mandatory assessment tool for all maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units (PRUs). 

The model must be used for pupils who are:

  • Working below the level of the National Curriculum, and
  • Not engaged in subject-specific study at Key Stage (KS) 1 or KS2
    • Your school can use it for pupils in KS3 onwards, but it's not a requirement

Your school must report to the