Effective Target Setting for Pupils with SEND

Data and target setting for pupils with SEND is always a hot topic, with schools wanting to know they are doing their best for their pupils. I am often asked by schools what targets they should set, is there a formula they can use and many other similar questions.

Before the Rochford Review and the removal of the P Levels, most schools set targets and looked at data in a similar way, making decisions based on CASPA, the Progression Guidance or a mathematical formula. Most of what schools did at this time was wrong and was not pupil centred. There was a pressure to set targets this way from advisors and LAs. The way schools used data for pupils working on the P Levels was one of the reasons the Rochford Review recommended the removal of P Levels.

Since the removal of P Levels, schools have the freedom to decide how they manage and use their data. This has led to some schools completely revamping their approach to targets and data, others have continued in the same way they used to, making the same mistakes.

Over the last few months I have been writing a document around target setting. This is based on all the conversations I have had with schools over the last 20 years. In the document, I discuss the misconceptions people have around targets. Who are targets for? What are targets judging? What does not achieving a target mean? I also discuss what schools should do going forward. Some schools will be in immediate agreement with what I have written and will see their own practice is aligned with my suggestions. Other schools may disagree with my suggestions. If you do disagree, there are questions on page 24 of thedocument to help you reflect on your current approach, so that you can decide if your current approach is effective. You can download my target setting document by clicking on the link below…

Target Setting Pupils with SEND


On the 9th of February at 7pm I will be hosting a webinar on target setting. This is the first of three webinars I will be running around data, ahead of the release of our new analytics platform later this year. You can register for just the target setting webinar or all three webinars using the button below.

As always, I always welcome feedback and enjoy discussing data and target setting, so please get in contact if you have any feedback or questions. My email address is dale@bsquared.co.uk.