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Special Educational Needs

The school has a well-established department, Learning Support, for boys with special educational needs or specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia. Learning Support is staffed by the Head of the Learning Support and three part-time teachers, all of whom have specialist experience and qualifications. The Head of Learning Support is the school's Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO).

At present about 8% of the boys in the school receive such assistance, which continues for as long as they need it. A high degree of success is achieved in ensuring that they can do full justice to their abilities.

Scholarship and Common Entrance

As set out in the Eton’s admissions information and Equality Policy, the school’s admissions procedures have been designed so as to ensure equal opportunities for admission to the school subject to the prospective pupil meeting the academic standard required.

At age 11 and at Common Entrance, account is therefore taken of any assessment within two years of the examination by a qualified professional as an adjunct to a separate report by a school’s SEN department which provides further evidence, based on current need, for the requested examination concessions (eg extra time, large print material, use of a laptop or other special arrangements). The school’s accompanying report should contain up-to-date information about the candidate’s history of need, the provision he receives and his usual way of working. Furthermore, the report should contain scores (standardised, where possible) for reading accuracy, reading speed, reading comprehension, spelling and handwriting speed (which must also include reference to the legibility of handwriting, the quality of language and handwriting / typing speed with/without 10% and 25% extra time) and any other relevant information. Other relevant information, for example, may take the form of standardised scores for non-verbal reasoning, verbal reasoning, phonological processing, and visual-motor processing speed. The concessions requested should reflect the degree of current need of the candidate.

For entry at any other stage, academic ability will be assessed by reference to a boy’s academic progress and future potential taking into account his current educational needs.

F Literacy Test

The ‘F Literacy Test’ is administered by the English Department to F Block at the start of Michaelmas (Week 2 - 3). The 40 minute ‘F Assessment’ comprises standardised tests in spelling, reading and writing speed. Data from the ‘F Literacy Test’ is used to help monitor progress and to provide evidence of a history of need when formulating a decision about examination concessions.

Preliminary Assessment

Any boy who comes to the school with a history of special educational need undergoes a preliminary assessment to identify the areas in which the boy requires support and to assess whether such support will be provided by the school under its duty to make reasonable adjustments to prevent disabled pupils being put at a substantial disadvantage. A ‘Preliminary Assessment’ can be arranged for any boy about whom there are academic concerns during his time at the school. Preliminary assessments are undertaken at the parents’ expense.

If adjustments need to be put in place, they will be discussed with the boy’s parents and [medical] advisers, including any reasonable adjustments that will be made by the school.

Secondary Assessment

Every boy who has a history of receiving concessions for internal and public examinations is individually reassessed at the start of their public examination courses (E and C Block) for an up-to-date record of current need. This secondary assessment assists in determining appropriate examination concessions for internal and public examinations. The College uses an independent Educational Psychologist to undertake an independent assessment. Final decisions about examination concessions for internal and public examinations rest with the school, in its capacity as an Examination Centre, in order to meet the Joint Council for Qualifications’ (JCQ) guidelines.


Boys are taught in small groups, in pairs or individually, according to the degree and nature of their specific need. Lessons are organised at the beginning of each half (term) and they take place around the demands of a boy’s normal academic timetable and co-curricular activities. Provision normally takes the form of one forty-minute lesson per week.

Boys with specific learning difficulties are placed on the school’s Learning Centre List (SEN register), which is confidential other than on a "need-to-know" basis. Subject masters and tutors, for example, are kept up-to-date about boys on the register and their specific needs, and are given appropriate strategies to apply in the schoolroom. House Masters and dames are also kept informed of progress and of any particular issues that arise.

Assistance covers areas such as: organisation; higher literacy skills; study skills. Lessons are organised at the beginning of each term to take place around the demands of a boy’s academic timetable and his co-curricular activities. End of half reports are written on all boys who receive tuition. The Learning Centre also offers support to boys for whom English is an additional language.

Charges for Learning Support services

Learning Support tuition will usually be charged as an extra, unless it falls within the school’s duty to make reasonable adjustments for a disabled pupil, when no charge will be made. Parents will be notified of Learning Support charges before they are incurred.