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Publication - Consultation Paper

Supporting Children's Learning code of practice: consultation

Published: 19 Jun 2017
Part of:
Education
ISBN:
9781788510615

Consultation on the Supporting Children’s Learning code of practice (third edition) and associated regulations.

3 page PDF

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3 page PDF

70.7kB

Contents
Supporting Children's Learning code of practice: consultation
Annex C Decisions about whether the additional support required is significant

3 page PDF

70.7kB

Annex C Decisions about whether the additional support required is significant

1. Chapter 5 of the code of practice describes in detail the circumstances under which co-ordinated support plans have to be prepared. In particular, section 2 of the Act sets out the following requirements to be met for a co-ordinated support plan to be prepared. In practice, there can be particular difficulties in deciding when significant additional support (see (d) below) requires to be provided. Chapter 5 discusses the issue of significance in detail. The purpose of the case studies below is to consider in practical terms how the issue of significance may be considered. For the purposes of Annex C it is assumed that all the case studies fulfil the requirements (a), (b) and (c) below. What then is being considered is whether (d) holds in which case a co-ordinated support plan is required. If (d) does not hold then a co-ordinated support plan is not required.

…a child or young person requires a plan (referred to in this Act as a "co-ordinated support plan") for the provision of additional support if-

(a) an education authority are responsible for the school education of the child or young person,

(b) the child or young person has additional support needs arising from-

(i) one or more complex factors, or

(ii) multiple factors,

(c) those needs are likely to continue for more than a year, and

(d) those needs require significant additional support to be provided-

(i) by the education authority in the exercise of any of their other functions as well as in the exercise of their functions relating to education, or

(ii) by one or more appropriate agencies (within the meaning of section 23(2)) as well as by the education authority themselves.

In considering the examples below it should be noted that:

  • the education authority decide on whether support from the appropriate agency or agencies is significant, not the appropriate agency or agencies, although clearly those involved will discuss this
  • significance itself relates to the dimensions of the support provided not to the effect of that support on the child or young person
  • the support from the appropriate agency or agencies is required to help the child benefit from school education and achieve his or her educational objectives and the question to be answered in these examples is whether or not that support is significant and, therefore, triggers the preparation of a co-ordinated support plan.
  • In the grids below the term agency(ies) is used to mean (a) appropriate agencies as defined in the Act (appropriate agencies can be any other local authority, any NHS Board, Skills Development Scotland, further education colleges and higher education institutions in Scotland, and the Scottish Agricultural College and (b) those parts of an education authority which carry out functions relating to the provision of additional support but which are not functions relating to the provision of school education (eg housing, social work services,...)

Extracts from chapter 5 - paragraphs 18 and 19

18. The Act does not define what "significant additional support" means but the issue has been considered in the Tribunal and courts. In particular, the opinion delivered by Lord Nimmo Smith in the Inner House of the Court of Session in the case of JT is particularly relevant and is binding here [89] . The use of the term "significant" signals that the scale of the support provided, whether it is in terms of approaches to learning and teaching ( e.g. adaptation or elaboration of the curriculum) or personnel (eg provision of learning support assistant) or resources (eg specialist aid to communication or a special hoist), or a combination of these, stands out from the continuum of possible additional support. Significant additional support may be provided to a child or young person with additional support needs on an individual basis, in a group setting with others or through personnel working under the direction and guidance of those from the appropriate agency. The issue of significance thus refers to the extent of the provision. Judgments about significance have to be made taking account of the frequency, nature, intensity and duration of the support and the extent to which that support needs to be co-ordinated and is necessary for the achievement of the educational objectives which will be included in the plan. In particular, the support must be of sufficient duration to make it worthwhile preparing a co-ordinated support plan in order to ensure that it is coordinated properly.

19. Where a child has several professionals involved from the one appropriate agency, such as from an NHS Board, then the cumulative effect of these professionals' involvement may amount to significant additional support from that agency even although the input from each professional individually is not significant. For example, a child may receive speech and language therapy and physiotherapy on a regular basis. Taken separately the additional support from each individual professional may not be significant but taken together their contribution may represent significant additional support from the NHS Board as an appropriate agency. A similar argument could apply to additional support provided by the education authority exercising its functions other than education. For example social work and occupational therapy from the local authority social work services may amount to significant additional support when considered together but not when considered separately. In considering the significance of the additional support then it is important to consider cumulatively what an appropriate agency is providing.

Case study 1: A child at P3 in primary school

John, in P3, finds it very hard to settle to work and to concentrate in class. His relationships with other pupils are poor, his self esteem is very low and he reacts regularly to frustrations by kicking or hitting out. He is very demanding of his primary teacher's attention. John is on the child protection register with a Child's Plan and his educational psychologist is concerned about John's attachment difficulties. His headteacher is his Named Person. John attends a day psychiatric facility attached to the local children's hospital for 3 days each week, returning to his primary school for the remaining 2 days. In the hospital he attends classes with a small group of other pupils in the morning and carries out a range of therapeutically-based activities with health personnel in the afternoons. He has been in the facility for 1 month.

Agencies involved in addition to education

Frequency

How often is the support provided?

Nature

Type, personnel, approaches, individualisation and differentiation, specialist resources

Intensity

Degree of involvement: 1‑1, small group, large group

Duration

How long for? Weeks, terms, years?

Test

Support significant and necessary to meet educational objectives? Objectives require service co‑ordination?

Co‑ordinated support plan required?

NHS Board

Psychiatrist

Nurses

Psychotherapists

3 days per week while in mental health facility.

Individual work aimed at helping John to develop and put in practice strategies for dealing with frustration.

Play therapy and art therapy to explore family relationships

1-1 direct work with the John on issues relating to self esteem, confidence and resilience as well as family relationships

Likely for 4 months after which progress will be reviewed

Yes because it is necessary that what is learned in the facility transfers over to regular day school and home

See comments

Local Authority exercising a function other than education: Social worker

Meet with John in facility

1x3weeks

Discussion

Liaison with health personnel

1-1 with John

Family meetings 1xmonth

To be reviewed in 4 months with other multi-agency staff

Social work support by itself not necessary significant in terms of the Act but involvement has to be co-ordinated with other agencies

Comments

The educational objectives requiring co-ordinated input across health and education (the class in the facility and his regular primary class) are that, at the end of the 4 month period in the facility, John will:

  • demonstrate that he is better able to settle to work, concentrate and complete set tasks within the time allocated
  • recognise when he is becoming frustrated or upset and put into practice agreed strategies for dealing with these emotions and so avoid disrupting the class
  • be more independent and able to rely on his own resources without being over-demanding of teacher attention
  • demonstrate that his peer relationships have improved
  • evidence some insight and understanding into his own family relationships

Does John require a co-ordinated support plan? The support being provided by the appropriate agency is certainly significant but what will determine whether a plan is required in this case will be the outcomes achieved at the end of the 4 month period. If John has achieved his educational objectives then he is likely to be in a position where he does not require significant additional support from the NHS Board to enable him to benefit from education. Therefore, there will be no need for any significant support to be co-ordinated and, therefore, no need for a co-ordinated support plan. However, if any or all of the objectives are not achieved and it is decided that: his additional support needs are going to continue for more than a year; and that the NHS Board is still going to have to provide significant additional support (either in the form of continued placement in the facility and/or through outreach services) to help him achieve his objectives; then a co-ordinated support plan will be required.

Case study 2: A looked after child at S3 in secondary

Following a decision from the Children's Hearing, which made a statutory supervision requirement, Robin in S3 is looked after at home. He is involved in group work through social work services as identified in his Child's Plan to help him reflect on his poor school attendance and its causes. The school is part of the multi-agency group which is supporting the plan. Robin is well able to engage with the curriculum but does have learning support because of reading and spelling difficulties which the school is finding difficult to deal with because of poor attendance.

Agencies involved in addition to education

Frequency

How often is the support provided?

Nature

Type, personnel, approaches, individualisation and differentiation, specialist resources

Intensity

Degree of involvement: 1‑1, small group, large group

Duration

How long for? Weeks, terms, years?

Test

Support significant and necessary to meet educational objectives? Objectives require service co‑ordination?

Co‑ordinated support plan required?

Local Authority exercising a function other than education: Social work

Fortnightly

Local authority social worker who is able to work with Robin and the family and who can liaise with the school.

Group work to be carried out on premises of a voluntary agency (Scotland's children)

Group work 2 hours per fortnight involving social activities and discussion

Supervision requirement will last at least one year.

For a 3 month period.

If the social work support achieves its outcome in terms of improving Robin's attendance then this will help the development of his literacy skills.

No

Comments

Support from the social worker is not significant in terms of the meaning of the Act because it is lasting only 3 months and takes place in a setting where a high degree of involvement or co-ordination from the school is not necessary. There will be liaison between the school and social work agency but the overall support provided by social work services is not such as to trigger the requirement for a co-ordinated support plan.

Case study 3: A child in second year at secondary who is looked after away from home

Joanna has additional support needs arising from her family circumstances. She is on supervision because of offending behaviour and substance misuse. She has been known to social work services since she was in P1 because of parental drug abuse which led to her neglect. She has a Child's Plan and her social worker is her Named Person. Subsequent foster placements did not work out well and in S2 she was placed in a residential school situated in a small town. She lives with residential child care staff in a house in the community with three other young people, attends a special school on a daily basis and has part-time attendance at the local secondary school to have the opportunity of experiencing subjects her own school is unable to offer.

Agencies involved in addition to education

Frequency

How often is the support provided?

Nature

Type, personnel, approaches, individualisation and differentiation, specialist resources

Intensity

Degree of involvement: 1‑1, small group, large group

Duration

How long for? Weeks, terms, years?

Test

Support significant and necessary to meet educational objectives? Objectives require service co‑ordination?

Co‑ordinated support plan required?

Local Authority exercising a function other than education: Social work

Support is ongoing because the local authority social worker is responsible for placement in the school and for ensuring that Joanna benefits from it

Joanna is seen weekly for the 4 week settling in period and thereafter once every 6 weeks

Local authority social worker who is able to work with Joanna and the family and who can liaise with the school and residential child care staff.

Specialist teaching and child care support provided through the placement

Social worker, residential care, schools and Joanna agree on educational objectives

There is regular contact with Joanna's family, Joanna herself, the schools and child care staff

Joanna seen 1/week for 4 weeks to discuss her family story and thereafter every 6 weeks

Supervision requirement will last at least one year

Social work support is necessary to maintain the placement and to ensure that Joanna benefits from it in the broadest sense in terms of her overall wellbeing but also in terms of her opportunity to achieve educationally

Yes

Comments

Support from the local authority social work services is significant since they are responsible for the placement and for ensuring that within the Child's Plan prepared for Joanna there is appropriate co-ordination through the co-ordinated support plan to ensure that Joanna achieves her educational objectives. Educational objectives requiring co-ordinated input from local authority social worker, residential care staff and school staff are that Joanna will:

  • be able to demonstrate insight into the reasons underlying her behaviour and describe what the consequences of failing to improve it will be for herself and her family
  • learn about the effects of substance misuse and what she can do to stop it
  • develop skills in sustaining relationships with peers and her family
  • evidence an overall improvement in her behaviour
  • take a measure of responsibility for improving her literacy and numeracy skills
  • develop her own skills in looking after herself and understand the importance of healthy nutrition and physical exercise
  • co-operate with staff in the secondary school

Case study 4: A pre-school child preparing to transfer to primary school

Stuart is in his final six months of his nursery school placement. He has delayed speech and language development and has significant difficulties with social communication. His speech and language therapist is working through his Child's Plan with the staff, parents and Stuart to help him interact more effectively with his peers. An occupational therapist is working individually with Stuart to help him improve his fine motor co-ordination which is poorer than that of his peers and to help him learn to manage his toileting and dressing more effectively.

Agencies involved in addition to education

Frequency

How often is the support provided?

Nature

Type, personnel, approaches, individualisation and differentiation, specialist resources

Intensity

Degree of involvement: 1‑1, small group, large group

Duration

How long for? Weeks, terms, years?

Test

Support significant and necessary to meet educational objectives? Objectives require service co‑ordination?

Co‑ordinated support plan required?

NHS Board Speech and language therapist

Weekly

Speech and language therapist who can advise staff and parents on appropriate strategies to use to promote speech and language development and to assess and monitor progress

Group work on a 6 weekly block followed by consolidation break. Pattern continued throughout the year.

Advice to staff and parents following sessions

To last a year

If Stuart is to benefit from education he needs support to improve his communication, fine motor and social skills. This support needs to be co-ordinated. The support from the NHS Board in terms of speech and language therapy and occupational therapy is significant in terms of the Act

Yes

Occupational therapist

2x per term

Occupational therapist who can advise staff on the development of Stuart's fine motor skills and self help skills, suggest strategies for others to use and can help to assess progress made

Advice to staff and parents 2x per term

To last a year

Comments

Overall, the support provided by the appropriate agency, the NHS Board, is significant. The professionals involved will provide support to help Stuart improve his language and communication skills (speech and language therapist); advise the teacher on strategies to use in the classroom (speech and language therapist and occupational therapist); and assess and monitor Stuart's progress to ensure that educational objectives are being achieved.

Educational objectives requiring co-ordinated input between local authority and NHS Board are for Stuart to learn to:

  • talk about immediate experiences and activities with the therapist and in the classroom
  • increase understanding and use of pronouns, prepositions and vocabulary of emotions in group and class
  • relay spoken messages to others in school
  • toilet himself independently
  • dress himself independently after PE
  • improve gross and fine motor skills

Case study 5: A child at primary 7 attending primary school

Alec in P7 has been known to speech and language therapy services since he was in nursery school. He has a long history of language and communication difficulties which have impacted quite severely on the development of his literacy skills particularly. He did have a co-ordinated support plan until he was in P5 but this was discontinued when the speech and language therapy input was reduced because it was felt that it did not need to be maintained at that level. However, his progress is still monitored by speech and language therapy who maintain contact with the school and parents.

Agencies involved in addition to education

Frequency

How often is the support provided?

Nature

Type, personnel, approaches, individualisation and differentiation, specialist resources

Intensity

Degree of involvement: 1‑1, small group, large group

Duration

How long for? Weeks, terms, years?

Test

Support significant and necessary to meet educational objectives? Objectives require service co‑ordination?

Co‑ordinated support plan required?

NHS Board Speech and language therapy

Once a term

Speech and language therapist

Main input now is on monitoring progress, advising staff and contributing to his individualised educational programme

Contribute to review once a term

Over a year

Support is helping Alec achieve his educational objectives but is not significant

No

Comments

Alec does not require further direct support from a speech and language therapist because school staff, parents, and Alec himself, are aware of the support strategies required. The speech and language therapist continues to advise the staff, parents and Alec, the ultimate aim being to withdraw involvement at the end of P7

Case Study 6: a child at primary 2 attending his local school

Mark attends his small local primary school in an isolated island community. He has additional support needs stemming from health/disability factors. He is physically disabled and while he uses a wheelchair he has some functional movement in his legs and with aids he can stand and walk short distances. He has difficulty with eating, drinking and swallowing and requires a feeding programme co-ordinated by a speech and language therapist who also requires to advise on language development. He also requires support from an occupational therapist to develop his motor skills and from a physiotherapist to help with maintaining his posture and developing his walking abilities. For his Child's Plan his headteacher is the Named Person and she is the Lead Professional to co-ordinate. Since the school is isolated it is not possible for the therapists to have any prolonged direct contact with Mark. Specialist programmes have to be delivered by the school staff namely his class teacher and full-time learning support assistant, acting on the advice of the therapists, and with the co-operation of Mark's parents.

Agencies involved in addition to education

Frequency

How often is the support provided?

Nature

Type, personnel, approaches, individualisation and differentiation, specialist resources

Intensity

Degree of involvement: 1‑1, small group, large group

Duration

How long for? Weeks, terms, years?

Test

Support significant and necessary to meet educational objectives? Objectives require service co‑ordination?

Co‑ordinated support plan required?

NHS Board Speech and language therapist

3x/year

Assessment of Mark's feeding skills and of his language development. Preparation of a feeding programme and language programme

Reviewed and updated 3x/year

No direct therapy provided by any of the Allied Health Professionals( AHP).

Programmes delivered individually by trained fulltime learning support assistant and class teacher through Mark's timetable

1 year initially but very likely to continue beyond this

Yes - without the coordinated AHP support the educational objectives would not be achieved

Yes

Occupational therapist

3x/year

Assessment of Mark's fine motor skills and preparation of a programme to improve them. Reviewed and updated 3x/year

Physiotherapist

3x/year

Assessment of his functional movement and preparation of a programme to improve them. Reviewed and updated 3x/year

Advice on suitable physical activities for Mark as part of his school's PE programme

Comments

Mark is not able to receive any significant amount of direct therapy because of where he lives and so his additional support needs have to be met by education staff working in collaboration with the AHPs. Parents and staff ensure that there is continuity between the programmes used in school and at home. Overall, the support provided by the appropriate agency, the NHS Board, is significant. The professionals involved provide support to help Mark improve his feeding, language and communication skills (speech and language therapist); his fine motor skills (occupational therapist), his functional movement skills (physiotherapist); advise the teacher and learning support assistant, providing training where necessary, on the programmes to use in the classroom (all AHPs); and assess and monitor Mark's progress to ensure that educational objectives are being achieved (all AHPs). Educational objectives requiring co-ordinated input between local authority and NHS Board are for Mark to:

  • improve his self-help skills by becoming more independent with feeding
  • develop his communication and language by using symbols
  • improve fine motor skills, including writing
  • learn to use his walking frame to walk longer distances on his own
  • learn new skills through his individualised programme for physical education

Case Study 7: Decision to discontinue a co-ordinated support plan:

Taylor is in P7 at a special school. She has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. The review of her third co-ordinated support plan has just been completed. Based on her current progress and the support she receives, the decision to discontinue the plan has been agreed. Taylor has made good progress in Art and Craft this session and has produced some good work. She enjoys exploring a wide variety of instruments in music and is demonstrating a greater degree of flexibility when choosing. Taylor is working hard on her individual sports schedule to improve her swimming technique on her front and her back. She appears happy and confident in the water and is making steady progress. Taylor is becoming more spontaneous with her spoken language. She successfully uses her Picture Exchange Communication System to choose a snack in a variety of settings. She can shop and pay for her own shopping with the use of a pictorial strip. She is now fully independent with toileting during the day. Taylor's parents are very supportive and have an effective partnership with staff at the special school.

Agencies involved in addition to education

Frequency

How often is the support provided?

Nature

Type, personnel, approaches, individualisation and differentiation, specialist resources

Intensity

Degree of involvement: 1‑1, small group, large group

Duration

How long for? Weeks, terms, years?

Test

Support significant and necessary to meet educational objectives? Objectives require service co‑ordination?

Co‑ordinated support plan required?

Social Work

1/week of 2hrs enabling

Group work to develop social interaction skills and extend social opportunities

Focus on developing and/or adapting the learning environment

Participation in a social group

Ongoing access to support at transition and/or crisis points

Likely to continue until the end of the school session at which time it will be reviewed

To continue until June 2010 at which time it will be reviewed

The support is designed to create opportunities for Taylor outwith her school day

There is no coordination of agency input required

No

Speech and Language therapy

Indirect intervention

Specialist training for parents and teacher

Comments

After three years of having a co-ordinated support plan with direct agency input, Taylor's additional support is now being delivered principally and appropriately by education staff based in the special school. Current input from other agencies does not require coordination in terms of her educational objectives. Agency input is currently reviewed as part of Taylor's individualised educational programme. No issues or concerns have been expressed by Taylor's parents, largely due to their trust and confidence in the work of school, local authority and health staff that has developed over the course of Taylor's school career and, in particular, during the preceding three years


Contact

Email: Emily McLean

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG