Best Practice

Early identification of SEMH in key stage 1

Early identification of social, emotional, and mental health needs in key stage 1 will better enable schools to support pupils and avoid more serious problems and potential exclusions down the line. Ali Williams explains

The Department for Education recently published figures for SEN in England covering the last academic year (DfE, 2023a). The headline was the increase in both numbers of pupils with SEN (up 4.7% to 1.18 million) and Education, Health, and Care Plans (up 9.5% to 389,171).

However, if you break-down the data further the findings show an interesting picture with how we, as schools, identify SEN and primary need.

My background is working with social, emotional, and mental health (SEMH) needs in both special and mainstream education and I keep a close eye on the trends in this specific area of SEN.

Our school has a designated specialist provision (DSP) for SEMH and over the past two years we have worked closely with the SEMH team at our local authority to focus predominantly on key stage 1 children.

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting Headteacher Update and reading some of our content for professionals in primary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcasts

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday


Already have an account? Sign in here