Criteria for Statutory Assessment

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					Criteria for Statutory
         Assessment




             April 2006
Introduction
   The DFE Code of Practice On The Identification And Assessment Of Special Educational Needs
   recognises that while the proportion of children with special educational needs varies significantly
   from area to area, in broad terms approximately 20% of the child population can be expected to
   have some form of special educational need at some time in their school career. On this basis in
   Islington we may reasonably expect over 3,000 children to have special educational needs at any
   one time. The great ‘majority of these children will have their needs met well under the school based
   stages of assessment and provision which are outlined within the DFE Code of Practice.
   However, in a small number of cases - nationally around 2% - a child will have special educational
   needs of such severity or complexity that the Council may be required to carry out a statutory
   assessment to determine whether special educational provision is needed. In Islington this would be
   approximately 370 children, although there are currently 750+ children who live in Islington who
   have a statement of special educational needs.
   The following is therefore intended, as a guide to all to when a statutory assessment, under Section
   323 of the Education Act 1996, might be requested.
Special Educational Needs
   Cambridge Education @ Islington, on behalf of Islington Council, recognises that:-
  •   it should not be assumed that all children who are underachieving per se have special
      educational needs; the Council sees raising of pupil achievements as the foremost matter for
      whole school policy
  •   children with physical, sensory, intellectual, emotional or behaviour difficulties do not
      automatically have special educational needs
   The Education Act 1996 confirms that a child has special educational needs where he or she has:
  •   a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
  •   has a disability which either prevents or hinders the child from making use of educational facilities
      of a kind provided for children of the same age
School Based Stages of Assessment And Provision
   The Council acknowledges that all children with special educational needs require provision which is
   additional to or otherwise different from provision made generally available.
   For this reason, the Council has delegated considerable additional resources to all its schools to
   enable them to assess and provide for children with special educational needs under the school
   based stages described within the Code of Practice.
   In line with the Code, Cambridge Education @ Islington therefore expects that schools will deploy
   resources as follows in relation to children with special educational needs without a statement:
  •   For those pupils at Stage 1 as described in the Code of Practice, it is expected that good
      classroom practice in line with that outlined within the Council’s SEN Policy would enable the
      provision of:
  •   Individual Assessment
  •   Curricular activities which match the abilities of the child
  •   Regular small group and individual help
  •   Support for learning incorporated into the curriculum with repeated opportunities for the child to
      learn the required skills
  •   Differentiated materials
  •   Appropriate sequencing of the learning task
  •   Making sure the learning situation is rewarding
  •   Close involvement with the parent throughout the school based stages of support
  •   Regular recording of performance


                                                                                                     Page 2
  •   Class/Subject Teacher liaison with Special Needs co - ordinator
  •   Evaluation of specific objectives.


   For Stages 2 and 3 as described in the Code of Practice, each school budget includes an additional
   allocation for pupils with special educational needs without a Statement. It is expected that schools
   and governors will include this sum when determining the level of resourcing from within their total
   school budget which should be allocated to children with special educational needs without a
   statement. It should also be stressed that schools will be required to give a clear indication of how
   resources are allocated to and between children with special educational needs within their SEN
   policy. Each school will be required to produce such a Policy by August 1995.


   The Council expects that resources identified by the school will be used for the following:
  •   To purchase support and advice for Individual Education Plans for pupils with special educational
      needs at stage 3, such as from the Learning Support Service.
  •   In all but the most exceptional circumstances, requests for the involvement of an Educational
      Psychologist would not be considered unless support had been accessed at a previous stage,
      with a documented individual education plan which has been in place over a period of time. Such
      a programme should also have been reviewed with the parent. The Pupil Support Record would
      be an appropriate format for recording this support, pending further consultation on the
      development of a borough wide format for Individual Education Plans
  •   To resource a further programme of support following the involvement of an Educational
      Psychologist at stage 3. Once again, the Pupil Support Record would be an appropriate format
      for recording support at this stage.
  •   To monitor, evaluate and issue progress reports for all pupils with special educational needs.


   The Council will be monitoring the use of allocated funding for children with special educational
   needs, and will periodically request access to the schools pupil recording mechanism (i.e. the Pupil
   Support Record or the school’s own format). Within such recording, the Council would expect to find
   detail of objectives and targets set for individual pupils as well as records of levels of achievement.
Children Under 5
   The Council is informed by pre-school services of very young children with severe physical, sensory,
   intellectual, language and social difficulties. Generally, such children have been statutorily assessed
   and in receipt of special education before statutory school age.




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General Criteria
   The following criteria have now been adopted by Cambridge Education @ Islington on behalf of
   Islington Council as general guidance for when it might be appropriate to request a statutory
   assessment. The Council will require evidence of these criteria having been met before it will
   consider a request for a statutory assessment:
  •   Any significant discrepancies between the child’s academic attainment and the majority of
      children of his/her age, the child’s expected attainment or discrepancies between core subjects.
  •   The school has made appropriate assessment of the pupil’s difficulties, using clearly identified
      strategies and resources.
  •   The school has taken all reasonable steps to meet the child’s needs from within its own
      resources, using Individual Education Plans as specified in the Code of Practice.
  •   The school has sought advice from the appropriate support services.
  •   The school has taken into account, investigated and recorded parental concern and has sought
      to enrol the support of parents by involving them in creating, delivering and evaluating detailed
      plans to help their child in and out of school.
  •   There is evidence of regular school attendance to take advantage of the programmes of support
      offered.
  •   The educational implications of the following have been carefully considered:
         •   language and cultural differences
         •   social factors
         •   any medical diagnosis of physical disability, sensory impairment or developmental delay
  •   There are indications that the pupil has one or more complex and/or severe difficulties in
      important areas of learning, development or social interaction.
  •   The complex and/or severe difficulties are likely to continue for a substantial period, unless
      special educational provision is made.
  •   The parents or carers have been fully consulted and support the proposal to initiate a statutory
      assessment.




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Guidance criteria
   The following sections contain guidance criteria and procedural arrangements for the statutory
   assessment for children considered to have:


      Physical Disabilities                       page   6       -      7


      Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties      page   8       -      9


      Learning Difficulties                       page   10      -      11


      Specific Learning Difficulties              page   12      -      14


      Speech and Language Difficulties            page   15      -      17


      Hearing Impairment                          page   18      -      19


      Visual Impairment                           page   20      -      21


      Medical Conditions                          page   22      -      23




                                                                                              Page 5
Children with Physical Disabilities
   Special educational provision may be necessary for a child for whom a significant physical disability
   has been identified and where this has been shown to interfere significantly with his or her
   educational performance.
   The majority of children with significant physical disability are identified before statutory school age.
   However, their teachers may identify a number during the early years of schooling. Only a small
   number of children with fine or gross motor difficulties identified by schools may require statutory
   assessment.
   Criteria for requesting statutory assessment
   In order to determine whether a child’s physical disabilities may be severe and complex, and
   therefore whether a statutory assessment may be appropriate, consideration should be given to the
   following:
  •   Evidence of a serious physical disability and the need for special educational provision, based
      upon observations by an appropriate professional, of the child during a range of school-based
      activities.
  •   Evidence that the majority of learning activities require significant modification.
  •   There is a significant discrepancy between the child’s academic attainments and the attainment
      of the majority of children of his or her age.
  •   The child has significant self help difficulties and is unable to fully take part in school life.


   NB Children who have physical disabilities which do not meet the above criteria would normally be
   catered for by local services and provision (i.e. Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists)
   available to schools; environmental modifications and minor adaptations and technological aids
   supplied by the Health Authority or the Council.
   Information required by the Council in considering a statutory assessment request
   The information that the Council will require in order to consider a request for statutory assessment
   must include the following:
  •   Detail of the child’s academic attainments across the curriculum
  •   Detail of the child’s self help and social skills
  •   An assessment of motor skills and abilities undertaken by an appropriate professional.
  •   An evaluation of the quantity and type of curriculum modifications necessary for the child,
      undertaken by the Headteacher and those who teach the child.
  •   A medical examination giving a description of the child’s physical disability and any medical
      implications that need to be taken into account when considering special provision for the child.
  •   The school has secured access for the child to appropriate information technology, providing
      training in the use of that technology for the child, his or her parents and staff so that the child is
      able to use that technology across the curriculum.
  •   Observation of the child in both structured (e.g. individual interview) and unstructured (e.g. free
      play) settings.
  •   Evidence of any relevant social, cultural, developmental or emotional factors
  •   A comprehensive written assessment conducted by an LEA Educational Psychologist to identify
      and describe the pupil’s attainments and the nature of their learning difficulties. The assessment
      should include, at a minimum, an appraisal of the pupil’s cognitive, emotional and social
      functioning; self-image, esteem, motivation and the results of interventions which the educational
      psychologist has conducted or been consulted about.
  •   An interview with relevant teaching staff by an Educational Psychologist so as to specify and
      define the areas of greatest concern, determine the teacher’s expectations for the pupil, and
      evaluate the effectiveness of any previous interventions.


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•   Detail of the following, which will be requested from the parents by the Council:
       •   the parents’ perceptions of the child’s difficulties;
       •   the parents expectations and action for the pupil in the home and school;
       •   any significant family factors;
       •   the child’s relationships with peers, siblings and adults within the community;
       •   the views of the child.


The answers to these questions may indicate immediate remedies which would mean that a
statutory assessment is not necessary.




                                                                                             Page 7
Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
   Within school, children with emotional and behavioural difficulties are those who show a pattern of
   inappropriate interpersonal behaviour of such severity over a period of time that it impedes their own
   learning or that of other children.
   Although no national figures are available, it is suggested that between 10 - 15% of the pupil
   population may experience mild to moderate emotional and behavioural difficulties. Evidence from
   the Elton Report suggests that for children with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties the
   quantity of provision, in terms of the number of pupils supported in the mainstream or placed in
   special units or schools, is fairly consistent between different LEAs. The range seems to be from
   about 0.2% to 0.5% of the mainstream school population, with 0.3% as the most commonly
   occurring figure. On this basis, we would expect some 55 children who live in Islington to be made
   the subject of Statements because of such difficulties. A school of one thousand pupils, could
   therefore be expected to identify about one such child per year group; and the average primary
   school, one child every three years. In both cases, it is likely that schools serving inner City areas
   would have an increased incidence of such children.
   Criteria for requesting statutory assessment
   In order to determine whether a child’s emotional and behavioural difficulties may be severe and
   complex, and therefore whether a statutory assessment may be appropriate, consideration should
   be given to the following:
  •   Are there significant discrepancies:
  •   between the child’s academic attainments and the attainment of the majority of children of his or
      her age
  •   the child’s expected attainment
  •   discrepancies between core subjects.
  •   Evidence that the pupil, after receiving systematic intervention, including counselling and
      assistance from within school, still exhibits inappropriate behaviour. This evidence would include
      monitoring of behaviour against targets set and indicate that the intervention had not been
      successful. Targets would need to be realistic in order that it will be possible to demonstrate a
      change in behaviour. This change may confirm that with continuation of the intervention
      programme by the ordinary class teacher and input from services and provision normally
      available to the school, the pupil could continue within the ordinary classroom and have full
      access to the National Curriculum.
  •   Exclusion from school would not constitute intervention.
  •   Evidence that after following an Individual Education Plan designed and supported by an
      appropriately qualified support teacher and conducted for a reasonable period of at least two
      terms the pupil’s rate of learning fails to improve significantly. Here the term, ‘improve
      significantly’ means that an increased rate of learning in the area of concern has been
      demonstrated. Such interventions would be expected to utilise those services and provision
      normally available to the school through their delegated budgets. Again, exclusion from school
      would not constitute an intervention.
  •   Consultations with an Educational Psychologist to further develop the Individual Education Plan.
      Such interventions would be expected to continue for at least two terms and utilise those services
      and provision normally available to the school through their delegated budgets.
  •   Evidence that the educational performance of the pupil or his/her peers is seriously affected by
      the inappropriate behaviour.
  •   A referral to the Child Guidance Service has been considered with the family.
  •   If, in exceptional cases, the judgement of the school, parent, educational psychologist and the
      Council is that all practical interventions and adjustments to the curriculum and management of
      the child have been exhausted or are not possible because of the severity of the behavioural
      difficulty, the timescales above may need to be reduced.




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Information required by the Council in considering a statutory assessment request
The information that the Council will require in order to consider a request for statutory assessment
must include the following:
•   An educational assessment conducted by the school. The assessment should include a profile of
    the child’s current level of performance in academic areas.
•   Detail of the child’s self help and social skills.
•   A review of the pupil’s medical history and current state of health, including any necessary
    sensory or neurological tests, conducted by appropriate health personnel.
•   Detail’s of school attendance, and where less than 80%, a review of the pupil’s attendance
    undertaken by the school or an Education Welfare Officer, including how this has affected the
    take up of support made available.
•   Evidence of any relevant social, cultural, developmental or emotional factors.
•   The school has taken into account, investigated and recorded parental concern and has sought
    to enrol the support of parents by involving them in creating, delivering and evaluating detailed
    plans to help their child in and out of school.
•   Observations of the pupil’s academic and social behaviour during daily activities.
•   A school-based intervention, developed and implemented, following consultation with an
    Educational Psychologist, utilising provision normally available to the school and conducted for a
    reasonable period of at least 2 terms. Such an intervention should help to determine if:
•   strategies can improve the pupil’s behaviour, within the ordinary school, within the resources
    delegated to school, or
•   the child experiences other learning difficulties which warrant further differentiation of the
    curriculum.
•   A comprehensive written assessment conducted by an LEA Educational Psychologist to identify
    and describe the pupil’s attainments and the nature of their learning difficulties. The assessment
    should include at a minimum, an appraisal of the pupil’s cognitive, emotional and social
    functioning; self-image, esteem, motivation and the results of interventions which the Educational
    Psychologist has conducted or been consulted about.
•   Where it is considered necessary, the Educational Psychologist should indicate the need for a
    Child Guidance assessment.
•   An interview with relevant teaching staff by an Educational Psychologist so as to specify and
    define the areas of greatest concern, determine the teacher’s expectations for the pupil, and
    evaluate the effectiveness of any previous interventions.
•   Detail of the following, which will be requested from the parents by the Council:
        •   the parents’ perceptions of the child’s difficulties; the parents expectations and action for
            the pupil in the home and school;
        •   any significant family factors;
        •   the child’s relationships with peers, siblings and adults within the community;
        •   the views of the child.


The answers to these questions may indicate immediate remedies that would mean that a statutory
assessment is not necessary.




                                                                                                     Page 9
Children with Learning Difficulties
   Some children with learning difficulties will be identified before school age and the great majority
   should be identified very early in their school careers. Their general level of academic attainment will
   be significantly below that of their peers. In most cases, they will have difficulty acquiring basic
   numeracy and literacy skills and many well have significant speech and language difficulties. Some
   may also have poor social skills and may show signs of emotional and behaviour difficulties.
   Estimates as to the number of children with learning difficulties vary but the consensus suggests
   5-10% of the child population. Within Islington, therefore, we might expect about 1380 children to
   experience such learning difficulties. Only a small number of these children will have needs which
   are so severe or complex that they are likely to require a statutory assessment.
   Criteria for requesting statutory assessment
   In order to determine whether a child’s learning difficulties may be severe and complex, and
   therefore whether a statutory assessment may be appropriate, consideration should be given to the
   following:
  •   Evidence that after following an appropriately designed and supported Individual Education Plan,
      conducted for a reasonable period of at least two terms, the pupil’s rate of learning and/or powers
      of retention fail to improve significantly. Such interventions would be expected to utilise those
      services and provision normally available to the school through their delegated budgets. The
      evidence would need to include a detailed description of the intervention and the monitoring and
      review of targets.
  •   Evidence that the pupil, after systematic intervention over a reasonable period, of at least two
      terms, and based on the advice of an Educational Psychologist, continues to experience learning
      difficulties. This evidence would include monitoring of learning against targets set and indicate
      that the intervention had not been successful. Targets would need to be realistic in order that it
      will be possible to demonstrate progress with learning. This change may confirm that with
      continuation of the intervention programme by the ordinary class teacher and input from services
      and provision normally available to the school, the pupil could continue with the ordinary
      classroom and have full access to the National Curriculum.
  •   Purely home-based programmes would not constitute an intervention.
  •   The child is working at a level significantly below that of his or her contemporaries in any of the
      core subjects of the National Curriculum.
  •   The child is experiencing significant difficulties in learning and can be shown to be functioning
      within the lowest 2% when compared with his/her peer group using British Ability Scales
      administered by an Educational Psychologist in the areas of reading, spelling, numeracy and
      language. Other test materials, including WORD basic reading and comprehension tests, should
      supplement this information.
  •   There is any evidence of impaired social interaction or communication or a significantly restricted
      repertoire of activities, interests and imaginative development.
  •   There is evidence of significant problems in the child’s home or family circumstances or in his or
      her school attendance record.
  •   There is evidence of significant emotional or behaviour difficulties, as indicated by clear recorded
      examples of withdrawn or disruptive behaviour; a marked and persistent inability to concentrate;
      difficulties in establishing and maintaining balanced relationships with his or her fellow pupils or
      with adults; and any other evidence of a significant delay in the development of life and social
      skills.
  •   There is evidence of contributory or remediable medical problems or evidence from assessments
      or interventions by child health or social services. Information from such assessments and
      interventions will be particularly important in the case of children with severe or profound and
      multiple difficulties, whose needs are unlikely to be appropriately assessed without an
      interdisciplinary perspective.
  •   The school has provided appropriate information technology, for example, computers, keyboards
      and software.


                                                                                                  Page 10
•   If, in exceptional cases, the judgement of the school, parent, educational psychologist and LEA is
    that interventions and adjustments to the curriculum are impractical because of the severity of the
    learning difficulty, the timescales above may need to b reduced.
Information required by the Council in considering a statutory assessment request
The information that the Council will require in order to consider a request for statutory assessment
must include the following:
•   An education assessment conducted by the school. The assessment should include a profile of
    the child’s current level of attainment in different subjects of the National Curriculum It should
    also highlight areas for which modification or disapplication is considered necessary. Where
    appropriate, diagnostic information, based on unaided work, should be considered.
•   A school-based intervention, developed and implemented following consultation with an
    appropriately qualified professional and conducted for a reasonable period of time of at least two
    terms. Where appropriate, the intervention would utilise provisions normally available to the
    school. The intervention should help to establish if specific teaching methods and strategies
    could improve the pupil’s rate of learning in the area of concern, with or without additional
    resources.
•   Structured and unstructured observation of the pupil’s academic and social behaviour during
    daily activities undertaken by those who teach him or her.
•   Details of the child’s self help and social skills.
•   A review of the pupil’s medical history and current state of health, including any necessary
    sensory or neurological tests, conducted by appropriate health personnel.
•   Detail’s of school attendance, and where less than 80%, a review of the pupil’s attendance
    undertaken by the school or an Education Welfare Officer, including how this has affected the
    take up of support made available.
•   Evidence of any relevant social, cultural, developmental or emotional factors.
•   The school has taken into account, investigated and recorded parental concern and has sought
    to enrol the support of parents by involving them in creating, delivering and evaluating detailed
    plans to help their child in and out of school.
•   A comprehensive written assessment conducted by an LEA Educational Psychologist to identify
    and describe the pupil’s attainments and the nature of their learning difficulties. The assessment
    should include, at a minimum, an appraisal of the pupil’s cognitive, emotional and social
    functioning; self-image, esteem, motivation and the results of interventions which the Educational
    Psychologist has conducted or been consulted about.
•   Where it is considered necessary, the Educational Psychologist should indicate the need for a
    Child Guidance assessment.
•   An interview with relevant teaching staff by an Educational Psychologist so as to specify and
    define the areas of greatest concern, determine the teacher’s expectations for the pupil, and
    evaluate the effectiveness of any previous interventions.
•   Detail of the following, which will be requested from the parents by the Council:
        •   the parents’ perceptions of the child’s difficulties;
        •   the parents expectations and action for the pupil in the home and school;
        •   any significant family factors;
        •   the child’s relationships with peers, siblings and adults within the community;
        •   the views of the child.


The answers to these questions may indicate immediate remedies which would mean that a
statutory assessment is not necessary.



                                                                                               Page 11
Children with Specific Learning Difficulties (for example dyslexia)

  •   Some children may have significant difficulties in reading, writing, spelling or number work which
      are not typical of their general level of performance. They may gain some skills in some subjects
      quickly and demonstrate a high level of ability orally, yet may encounter sustained difficulty in
      gaining literacy or numeracy skills. Such children can become severely frustrated and may also
      have emotional and/or behavioural difficulties.
  •   Within the context of any mainstream school, children can be placed on a continuum of
      achievement within the Core subjects of the National Curriculum. Children with specific learning
      difficulties are generally those where there are extreme discrepancies between attainment in
      different Core subjects or within one core subject, particularly English.
  •   Estimates as to the number of children with specific learning difficulties vary. The British Dyslexia
      Association estimates that 10% of children have some degree of dyslexia, while 4% may be
      affected severely. From these estimates we might therefore expect some 1,800 children within
      Islington to experience such learning difficulties.
  •   Cambridge Education @ Islington has one post within its Learning Support Service to specifically
      work with this group of children, but given its size, support through delegated budgets offers the
      most efficient means for provision. With intervention by the ordinary class teacher and support
      staff normally available to the school, pupils with specific learning difficulties would be expected
      to enhance their attainments within the Core subjects of the National Curriculum and be able to
      follow, with appropriate differentiation, programmes of work undertaken by other groups of
      children within their school.
  •   Council policy seeks to ensure that the needs of such children are identified early by schools and
      that they receive appropriate group and individual support via delegated budgets. Only an
      extremely small number of children with specific learning difficulties may require statutory
      assessment.

   Criteria for requesting statutory assessment
   In order to determine whether a child’s specific learning difficulties may be severe and complex, and
   therefore whether a statutory assessment may be appropriate, consideration should be given to the
   following:

  •   There is an extreme discrepancy between the child’s academic attainments in different core
      subjects or within one core subject compared to the majority of children of his or her age. For
      example there is evidence that, within the core subject of English, a child has attained average or
      high levels in Attainment Target 1, speaking and listening, but very low levels in AT2, reading,
      and/or AT3, writing.
  •   Evidence that the child is experiencing significant difficulty in one or more of the core curriculum
      subject areas and can be shown to be functioning not only within the lowest 2% when compared
      with national norms but also where there are other significant factors to be taken into account
      e.g. associated emotional/behavioural difficulties. The standardised tests to be used must include
      British Ability Scales (reading, spelling, number) plus WORD basic reading and comprehension
      tests.
  •   Evidence that the school has taken action to make both the curriculum and the school day
      accessible to the child by alerting all teachers to the child’s particular needs, helping the child
      develop appropriate practice for recording information, adopting appropriate marking policies and
      promoting the use of such devices as personal dictionaries and information technology.
  •   Evidence that after following an Individual Education Plan designed and supported by an
      appropriately qualified support teacher and conducted for a reasonable period of at least two
      terms the pupil’s level of achievement fails to improve significantly. Here the term, improve
      significantly’ means that an increased level of achievement in the area of concern has been
      demonstrated. Such interventions would be expected to utilise those services and provision
      normally available to the school through their delegated budgets.


                                                                                                  Page 12
•   Consultation with an Educational Psychologist to further develop the Individual Education Plan.
    Such interventions would be expected to continue for at least two terms and utilise those services
    normally available to schools through delegated budgets.
•   Monitoring of learning against realistic targets set in order to demonstrate an improved level of
    achievement. This change may confirm that with continuation of the intervention programme by
    the ordinary class teacher and input from services and provision normally available to the school,
    the pupil could continue with the ordinary classroom and have full access to the National
    Curriculum.
•   Evidence of severe emotional and behavioural difficulties associated with the specific learning
    difficulties such as disruptive behaviour, withdrawal, inability to concentrate, signs of
    considerable frustration or distress.
•   If, in exceptional circumstances, the judgement of the headteacher, parent and educational
    psychologist and LEA is that interventions and adjustments to the curriculum are impractical
    because of the severity of the pupil’s specific learning difficulties, the timescales above may need
    to be reduced.

Information required by the Council in considering a statutory assessment request
The information that the Council will require in order to consider a request for statutory assessment
must include the following:

•   Detailed description of the support which has been provided by the Individual Education Plans
    drawn- up by the school, which have been closely monitored and evaluated, in conjunction with
    external specialist support. This should include evidence of appropriate teaching methods, such
    as a multi-sensory approach.
•   A comprehensive educational assessment provided by the school. The assessment should
    include a profile of the child’s current level of attainment in different subjects of the National
    Curriculum, highlighting areas for modification or exemption. Any diagnostic information provided
    should include the results of appropriately administered standardised tests.
•   The school has secured access for the child to appropriate software and provided training in the
    use of that technology for the child, parents and staff to enable use across the curriculum.
•   The school has closely monitored the child’s emotional and behavioural needs including
    structured observations, and has provided help to reduce anxiety and enhance self-esteem.
•   A review of the pupil’s recent medical history and current state of health, including any necessary
    sensory or neurological tests, conducted by appropriate qualified personnel.
•   Detail’s of school attendance, and where less than 80%, a review of the pupil’s attendance
    undertaken by the school or an Education Welfare Officer, including how this has affected the
    take up of support made available.
•   Evidence of any relevant social, cultural, developmental or emotional factors.
•   The school has taken into account, investigated and recorded parental concern and has sought
    to enrol the support of parents by involving them in creating, delivering and evaluating detailed
    plans to help their child in and out of school.
•   A comprehensive written assessment conducted by an LEA Educational Psychologist to identify
    and describe the pupil’s attainments and the nature of their learning difficulties. The assessment
    should include, at a minimum, an appraisal of the pupil’s cognitive, emotional and social
    functioning; self-image, esteem, motivation and the results of interventions which the Educational
    Psychologist has conducted or been consulted about.
•   Where it is considered necessary, the Educational Psychologist should indicate the need for a
    Child Guidance assessment.
•   An interview with relevant teaching staff by an Educational Psychologist so as to specify and
    define the areas of greatest concern, determine the teacher’s expectations for the pupil, and
    evaluate the effectiveness of any previous interventions.



                                                                                               Page 13
•   Detail of the following, which will be requested from the parents by the Council:
       •   the parents’ perceptions of the child’s difficulties;
       •   the parents expectations and action for the pupil in the home and school;
       •   any significant family factors;
       •   the child’s relationships with peers, siblings and adults within the community;
       •   the views of the child.

The answers to these questions may indicate immediate remedies which would mean that a
statutory assessment is not necessary.




                                                                                             Page 14
Children with Speech and Language Difficulties
   Children with speech and language difficulties are those whose language behaviours are
   significantly different from those expected for their age and which adversely affect their educational
   performance and may also give rise to emotional and behavioural difficulties. Although most speech
   and language difficulties will have been identified before a child reaches school, some children will
   still have significant speech and language difficulties which impair their ability to participate in the
   classroom by the time they start school.
   Information about the number of children who experience speech and language difficulties suggests
   that 3-8% of three year olds, and 5% of five year old children experience such difficulties. About half
   of the pre-school children identified may continue to have learning or communications problems at
   school. Given the size of the group, support through delegated budgets alongside centrally funded
   Learning Support Service Specialist Teachers and the school-based Speech and Language Therapy
   Service provided by Health offers the most efficient means for providing for children who experience
   speech and language difficulties. With intervention by the ordinary class teacher and support staff
   normally available to the school via delegated budgets, pupils with speech and language difficulties
   would be expected to enhance their attainments within the National Core Curriculum and be able to
   follow, with appropriate differentiation, programmes of work undertaken by other groups of children
   within their school.

   Criteria for requesting statutory assessment
   In order to determine whether a child’s speech and language difficulty may be severe and complex,
   and therefore whether a statutory assessment may be appropriate, consideration should be given to
   the following:
  •   There is an extreme discrepancy between the child’s academic attainments in different core
      subjects or within one core subject compared to the majority of children of his or her age and
      documented evidence that the child’s speech or language difficulties interfere significantly with
      their educational performance.
  •   The child’s expressive and/or receptive language development is significantly below that of the
      majority of children of his or her age as measured by standardised language assessment tests,
      or the language development profile is atypical.
  •   There is a significant discrepancy between the expectations of the child and the results of his or
      her attainments in the National Curriculum or appropriately administered standardised tests.
  •   Evidence that after following an Individual Education Plan designed and monitored by an
      appropriately qualified support teacher and with support from a speech and language therapist,
      conducted for at least two terms, the pupil’s rate of learning and communication skills fail to
      improve significantly.
  •   Consultation with an Educational Psychologist and Specialist Support Services to further develop
      the Individual Education Plan where the pupil’s progress fails to improve significantly i.e. where
      an increased rate of learning and communication skills have not been demonstrated. Such
      interventions would be expected to continue for at least two terms and utilise those services and
      provision normally available to the school through their delegated budgets.
  •   Evidence would include monitoring of learning against realistic targets set. Progress may confirm
      that with continuation of the intervention programme by the ordinary class teacher and input from
      services and provision normally available to the school, including the speech and language
      therapist, the pupil could continue with the ordinary classroom and have full access to the
      National Curriculum.
  •   Evidence of severe emotional and behavioural difficulties associated with the speech and
      language difficulties such as disruptive behaviour, inability to concentrate, signs of considerable
      frustration or distress.
  •   If, in exceptional circumstances, the judgement of the Headteacher, parent, Educational
      Psychologist and LEA is that interventions and adjustments to the curriculum are impractical


                                                                                                  Page 15
    because of the severity of the pupil’s speech and language difficulties, the timescales above may
    need to be reduced.

Information required by the Council in considering a statutory assessment request
The information that the Council will require in order to consider a request for statutory assessment
must include the following:

•   Detail of an education assessment conducted by the school which documents the effect of the
    child’s speech or language difficulties on educational performance and results of appropriately
    administered literacy and numeracy tests. In addition, the educational assessment should include
    a profile of the child’s current level of attainment in different subjects. Particular references
    should be made to any modifications necessary to ensure full access to the National Curriculum.
•   A detailed description of the school based intervention including Individual Education Plans,
    which have been developed and reviewed in conjunction with external experts, utilising resources
    normally available to the school. The programme should be conducted for at least two terms.
    Intervention should help to determine if specific teaching methods and strategies, or specialist
    therapies, could improve the pupil’s educational performance within the resources ordinarily
    available to the school.
•   Purely home-based programmes, or parent purchased or organised support can not be
    considered.
•   The school has secured access for the child to appropriate information technology, providing
    training in the use of that technology for the child, his or her parents and staff so that the child is
    able to use that technology across the curriculum.
•   The school has closely monitored the child’s emotional and behavioural condition including
    structured observations of the pupil’s behaviour and has provided help to reduce anxiety and
    enhance self-esteem.
•   In the case of a child experiencing language difficulties, an evaluation undertaken by the
    Learning Support Service’s specialist teacher for children with language impairment. This should
    include:
        •   informal and formal assessment of language and communication skills
        •   additional information gathered from sources such as criterion-referenced materials and
            classroom observations related to communication skills
        •   discussion with parents and class teachers.
•   In all cases an assessment, undertaken by a Speech and Language Therapist which would
    include:
        •   use of appropriate standardised assessment instruments
        •   use of criteria referenced assessments
        •   assessment of language use within the classroom context
        •   discussion with classteacher, parent, child and others.
•   Details of social and self-help skills.
•   A review of the pupil’s medical history and current state of health, including any necessary
    sensory or neurological tests, conducted by appropriate health personnel.
•   Detail’s of school attendance, and where less than 80%, a review of the pupil’s attendance
    undertaken by the school or an Education Welfare Officer, including how this has affected the
    take up of support made available.
•   Evidence of any relevant social, cultural, developmental or emotional factors.
•   Evidence that the school has taken into account, investigated and recorded parental concern and
    has sought to enrol the support of parents by involving them in creating, delivering and evaluating
    detailed plans to help their child in and out of school.


                                                                                                   Page 16
•   A comprehensive written assessment conducted by an LEA Educational Psychologist to identify
    and describe the pupil’s attainments and the nature of their learning difficulties. The assessment
    should include, at a minimum, an appraisal of the pupil’s cognitive, emotional and social
    functioning; self-image, esteem, motivation and the results of interventions which the Educational
    Psychologist has conducted or been consulted about. This assessment should also identify and
    describe the nature of the pupil’s speech and language difficulties and non-language abilities and
    level of social development.
•   An interview with relevant teaching staff by an Educational Psychologist so as to specify and
    define the areas of greatest concern, determine the teacher’s expectations for the pupil, and
    evaluate the effectiveness of any previous interventions.
•   Detail of the following, which will be requested from the parents by the Council:
       •   the parents’ perceptions of the child’s difficulties;
       •   the parents expectations and action for the pupil in the home and school;
       •   any significant family factors;
       •   the child’s relationships with peers, siblings and adults within the community;
       •   the views of the child.

The answers to these questions may indicate immediate remedies which would mean that a
statutory assessment is not necessary.




                                                                                             Page 17
Children with Hearing Impairment
   Many children may experience some degree of hearing difficulty, ranging from a temporary mild
   fluctuating loss to a permanent and profound sensori-neural deafness. Hearing loss may seriously
   compound other learning difficulties and has wide ranging implications for the child’s education.


   Early recognition and specialist support for pupils with hearing difficulties are essential to ensure the
   child’s language acquisition, academic achievement and emotional development do not suffer
   unnecessarily.

   Criteria for requesting statutory assessment
   Having medical evidence establishing the nature and extent of the child’s hearing difficulty a
   statutory assessment may be appropriate, after considering the following;

  •   Evidence which would suggest that the child requires a special communication strategy which
      includes oral or total communication.
  •   Evidence that the child requires daily input from a qualified teacher of the deaf to improve
      language and communication skills which may be significantly delayed or disordered by
      comparison with children with normal hearing.
  •   Are there significant discrepancies:
          •   between the child’s academic attainments and the attainment of the majority of children of
              his or her age
          •   the child’s expected attainment
          •   discrepancies between core subjects.
  •   Evidence that the majority of learning activities require significant modification.
  •   Medical confirmation of the extent and nature of the child’s hearing loss

   Information required by the Council in considering a statutory assessment request
   The information that the Council will require in order to consider a request for statutory assessment
   must include the following:

  •   Detail of the child’s academic attainments across the curriculum
  •   Detail of the child’s self help and social skills
  •   An evaluation of the quantity and type of curriculum modifications necessary f or the child,
      undertaken by the Headteacher and those who teach and/or support the child.
  •   An evaluation undertaken by the Learning Support Service’s specialist teacher for children with
      hearing impairment. This should include:
          •   curriculum modifications necessary for the child
          •   additional information gathered from criterion referenced materials and classroom
              observations (speech discrimination test etc)
          •   support offered within school, including support form the Learning Support Service
          •   classroom strategies adopted by the child and staff, including the child’s use of hearing
              aids and radio aids
  •   Medical detail of the child’s hearing difficulties including the results of audiogram tests any
      medical implications that need to be taken into account when considering special provision for
      the child.
  •   Evidence of any relevant social, cultural, developmental or emotional factors.


                                                                                                    Page 18
•   A comprehensive written assessment conducted by an LEA Educational Psychologist to identify
    and describe the pupil’s attainments and the nature of their learning difficulties. The assessment
    should include, at a minimum, an appraisal of the pupil’s cognitive, emotional and social
    functioning; self-image, esteem, motivation and the results of interventions which the Educational
    Psychologist and Learning Support Service Teacher for children with Hearing Impairment has
    conducted or been consulted about.
•   An interview with relevant teaching staff by an Educational Psychologist so as to specify and
    define the areas of greatest concern, determine the teacher’s expectations for the pupil, and
    evaluate the effectiveness of any previous interventions.
•   Detail of the following, which will be requested from the parents by the Council:
       •   the parents’ perceptions of the child’s difficulties;
       •   the parents expectations and action for the pupil in the home and school;
       •   any significant family factors;
       •   the child’s relationships with peers, siblings and adults within the community;
       •   the views of the child.

The answers to these questions may indicate immediate remedies which would mean that a
statutory assessment is not necessary.




                                                                                             Page 19
Children with Visual Impairment
   Many children may experience some degree of visual difficulty, ranging from relatively minor and
   remediable conditions to total blindness. Visual difficulties may seriously compound other learning
   difficulties with widely differing implications for the child’s education.


   In some cases visual impairment is one aspect of a multiple disability. In all cases an important
   factor will be a child’s ability to adapt social and psychologically to their visual impairment as well as
   to be able to make educational progress.

   Criteria for requesting statutory assessment
   In order to determine whether a child’s visual impairment may be severe and complex, and therefore
   whether a statutory assessment may be appropriate, consideration should be given to the following:

  •   Medical evidence which establishes the extent of the child’s visual difficulty and its effect on
      functional vision
  •   Evidence that the child may require substantially adapted teaching methods, materials and/or
      environment
  •   Are there significant discrepancies:
  •   between the child’s academic attainments and the attainment of the majority of children of his or
      her age
  •   the child’s expected attainment
  •   discrepancies between core subjects.
  •   The child requires regular input from a qualified teacher of the visually impaired to improve
      access to the curriculum and/or specialist instruction to develop communication and mobility
      skills which may be significantly delayed by comparison with children with normal vision.
  •   Evidence that the majority of learning activities require significant modification

   Information required by the Council in considering a statutory assessment request

   The information that the Council will require in order to consider a request for statutory assessment
   must include the following:

  •   Detail of the child’s academic attainments across the curriculum
  •   Detail of the child’s social, self help, independence and mobility skills
  •   An evaluation of the quantity and type of curriculum modifications necessary for the child,
      undertaken by the Headteacher and those who teach the child.
  •   The school has secured access for the child to appropriate information technology, providing
      training in the use of that technology for the child, his or her parents and staff so that the child is
      able to use that technology across the curriculum.
  •   An evaluation undertaken by the Learning Support Service’s specialist teacher for children with
      visual impairment. This should include:
          •   advice on the effects of the child’s visual condition on their functional vision
          •   advice on the effects of the child’s visual condition on their social and academic
              performance
          •   curriculum modifications necessary for the child
          •   advice on specialist equipment, where appropriate.



                                                                                                     Page 20
•   A medical examination giving a description of the child’s visual difficulties and any medical
    implications that need to be taken into account when considering special provision for the child.
•   Evidence of any relevant social, cultural, developmental or emotional factors
•   A comprehensive written assessment conducted by an LEA Educational Psychologist to identify
    and describe the pupil’s attainments and the nature of their learning difficulties. The assessment
    should include, at a minimum, an appraisal of the pupil’s cognitive, emotional and social
    functioning; self-image, esteem, motivation and the results of interventions which the educational
    psychologist has conducted or been consulted about.
•   An interview with relevant teaching staff by an Educational Psychologist so as to specify and
    define the areas of greatest concern, determine the teacher’s expectations for the pupil, and
    evaluate the effectiveness of any previous interventions.
•   Detail of the following, which will be requested from the parents by the Council:
       •   the parents’ perceptions of the child’s difficulties;
       •   the parents expectations and action for the pupil in the home and school;
       •   any significant family factors;
       •   the child’s relationships with peers, siblings and adults within the community;
       •   the views of the child.

The answers to these questions may indicate immediate remedies which would mean that a
statutory assessment is not necessary.




                                                                                              Page 21
Medical Conditions
  Some medical conditions may have a significant impact on a child’s educational progress. Such
  conditions might include, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, haemophilia, sickle cell anaemia, leukaemia and
  childhood cancers.
  This conditions may impair the child’s ability to access the curriculum, either intermittently or on a
  continuous basis. Medication or treatment may also have implications for the child’s education.
  Consultation between parents, school and medical services will always be essential to ensure that
  the child has full access to the curriculum.

  Criteria for requesting statutory assessment
  In order to determine whether a child’s medical condition may be severe and complex, and therefore
  whether a statutory assessment may be appropriate, consideration should be given to the following:

  •   Recorded evidence of a serious medical condition and the need for special educational provision,
      based on observations by an appropriate professional, of the child during a range of school-
      based activities.
  •   Evidence of significant discrepancies:
          •   between the child’s academic attainments and the attainment of the majority of children of
              his or her age
          •   the child’s expected attainment
          •   discrepancies between core subjects.
  •   Evidence that the majority of learning activities require significant modification.
  •   The child has significant self help difficulties and is unable to fully take part in school life.

  Information required by the Council in considering a statutory assessment request
  The information that the Council will require in order to consider a request for statutory assessment
  must include the following:

  •   Detail of the child’s academic attainments across the curriculum
  •   Detail of the child’s self help and social skills
  •   An assessment of motor skills and abilities undertaken by an appropriate professional.
  •   An evaluation of the quantity and type of curriculum modifications necessary for the child,
      undertaken by the Headteacher and those who teach the child.
  •   Medical information which describes the child’s medical condition and any treatment or
      medication that needs to be taken into account.
  •   The school has secured access for the child to appropriate information technology, providing
      training in the use of that technology for the child, his or her parents and staff so that the child is
      able to use that technology across the curriculum.
  •   Evidence of any relevant social, cultural, developmental or emotional factors
  •   A comprehensive written assessment conducted by an LEA Educational Psychologist to identify
      and describe the pupil’s attainments and the nature of their learning difficulties. The assessment
      should include, at a minimum, an appraisal of the pupil’s cognitive, emotional and social
      functioning; self-image, esteem, motivation and the results of interventions which the educational
      psychologist has conducted or been consulted about.
  •   An interview with relevant teaching staff by an Educational Psychologist so as to specify and
      define the areas of greatest concern, determine the teacher’s expectations for the pupil, and
      evaluate the effectiveness of any previous interventions.



                                                                                                          Page 22
•   Detail of the following, which will be requested from the parents by the Council:
       •   the parents’ perceptions of the child’s difficulties;
       •   the parents expectations and action for the pupil in the home and school;
       •   any significant family factors;
       •   the child’s relationships with peers, siblings and adults within the community;
       •   the views of the child.

The answers to these questions may indicate immediate remedies which would mean that a
statutory assessment is not necessary.




                                                                                             Page 23