Additional support needs assessment

A Staged Intervention process is used in schools and nurseries to identify and meet the needs of children and young people, from age 3-18, who require additional support for their learning. There are four stages of Staged Intervention and children and young people are placed on a Stage according to how much their needs impact on their learning. Children and young people can move easily between Stages. Anyone, including parents/carers, can ask for the Staged Intervention process to start and, in some cases, for specific assessments to be carried out.

Stage 1 - Monitoring/support...

If the teacher/educator or parent/carer has a concern about a child or young person's progress or wellbeing, adaptations are made to the learning environment, the way the curriculum is delivered or short term support for wellbeing will be provided. Teachers/educators will use their knowledge of the child's learning and wellbeing, based on day to day informal classroom or playroom assessment, to make any adjustments needed. They may also seek advice from other colleagues or from support for learning teachers within the establishment. The teacher/educator will monitor and evaluate these interventions for between 6 and 12 weeks and if it is felt they are not working or the child requires additional support, the child or young person can be moved to Stage 2. 

Stage 2 - Enhanced planning/support...

If a child or young person is assessed as having an additional support need they will be placed on Stage 2 of Staged Intervention and the support co-ordinator, usually the headteacher or depute in the establishment will communicate with parents/carers on how this need will be met. The teacher and support co-ordinator will seek advice from other professionals, for example, a support for learning teacher, speech and language therapist, and educational psychologist or the school nurse. Further planning will take place with parents and the pupil. Most additional support needs that children or young people have can be addressed at this Stage. If not, the child or young person moves on to the next Stage.

Stage 3 - Targeted planning/support...

At Stage 3 the team around the child will have assessed that the child or young person requires a more targeted level of support and intervention. The assessment will include evidence gathered over a significant period of time that additional supports and strategies are required to address the additional support needs of the child or young person. Some children and young people will have blocks of support from one of our specialist services, and some may at times access an element of their programme outwith the school environment. Detailed plans will be developed to address the additional support needs of the child, this is called an Individual Educational Programme (IEP).

Stage 4 - Intensive planning/support...

Some children and young people have additional support needs that are complex or multiple and have a very significant impact on their learning. Many children and young people at Stage 4 will have their needs met through placement in specialist provisions. Stage 4 will also include children and young people whose assessed needs require and ongoing, highly individualised and adapted curriculum which is different to that of their peers for most of the school day within their mainstream school. They may also require access to flexible curriculum opportunities. Children and young people who require such arrangements for a time limited period, for example because of family circumstances, are not considered to be at Stage 4.

A Co-ordinated Support Plan may be opened for the child. This is a legal document that gives details of the kind of support the child should receive. This would be discussed at the Staged Intervention meeting which parents/carers are invited to.

Parents/carers also have the right to access mediation and dispute resolution services if they are unhappy with any aspect of the support or planning around their child and their additional support needs. Please see our leaflet, Getting Help and Resolving Disagreements for more information.

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