Section 13 Identification and Assessment of Additional Support Needs

Identification

Additional support needs can emerge and develop at any time: at birth, pre-school, in Primary school and also at the Secondary stages and beyond. Clearly, it is imperative that additional support needs are identified at as early a stage as possible, but this may not always be at an early age.  Nevertheless, Scottish Authorities are strongly committed to early intervention and supported in their work by Scottish Government’s Early Years Framework.

(Changing) family circumstances, social and emotional difficulties, the environment and health needs can substantially affect a young person’s ability to learn and function. In order to ensure timely identification and improved assessment of additional support needs – and additional support where appropriate – it is essential that all practitioners before and during pre-school, at primary and secondary stages continuously observe and monitor the progress of each child and young person to ensure that development is in line with expectation. Using normal classroom procedures, the Nursery / Class teacher monitors individual learning needs and difficulties in order to informally screen children and young people and identify as early as possible issues to do with learning and overall functioning. The same approach applies equally to Health practitioners, Community Learning and Development workers, Social workers, partners in external agencies and parents and carers.

When the child is having difficulty in the classroom, the first step is an alert to and discussion within the school support team or equivalent. In small schools, it may simply involve a discussion with the Headteacher. At this stage, the team, whatever its size, will use professional judgement and take account of legislative advice to agree the appropriate timing of involving the child’s parent. This will depend on whether the parent has instigated the concern as well as the nature and degree of concern. In almost all cases the school will involve parents, but in a way which does not exacerbate concerns, since initial investigation may find a simple way forward . All Class teachers are expected in the first instance to review the learning environment, the class curriculum, use different resources, or provide more intensive individualised direction and support.

In all cases, the effective practitioner – Teacher, Social worker, Therapist – takes action, often using a common sense and unobtrusive approach to overcome the perceived barrier/ s to learning or functioning within a defined period. For some children, where the nature of their need is fairly clear, education staff may be able to arrange a direct relevant referral, or consultation with other services and agencies. This includes, for example , Speech & Language Therapy, Community Child Health, the Police and most Voluntary sector agencies. For others, where the benefits of involvement with particular service(s) is less clear, an appropriate referral may emerge through discussion of the presenting concerns with partners using the Integrated Assessment Framework . Therapists and other Health practitioners will pursue different approaches including, where appropriate, reviewing medication. Social workers and Community Learning and Development workers will consider and support changing family circumstances. Following these interventions, all practitioners have a duty of care to communicate and share continuing concerns with relevant members of the School’s Pupil Support team. They will of course be mindful of issues of confidentiality . The school and partners will, together, take forward any continuing concerns and in line with the principles of GIRFEC, plan joint strategies and request additional advice and more specialist assessment from relevant partners when necessary.

In Primary schools, Support for Learning teachers have a key role in working with Headteachers and staff to ensure that early identification, effective strategies and, where necessary, additional supports are in place.

In secondary schools, Principal teachers (Support for Learning / Guidance / Pastoral Care) and their staff help Secondary colleagues to identify learning and behaviour needs. In line with best practice, at the start of each session, Principal teachers Support for Learning provide all staff with a profile of all pupils with identified additional support needs and make very good use of transition information to highlight needs of children moving on from Primary 7. Along with others they deploy support where necessary. Similar careful communication of identified needs takes place for all other transitions including from Nursery to Primary and post school.

This link to Chapter 3.31 shows you the three Levels of Identification and Support described in the revised Supporting Children’s Learning’s Code of Practice.

Further information on identification is provided at the end of this section.

Assessment

Managers and practitioners should be clear that the 2009 ASL Act extends the rights of parents and children and young people with additional support needs to enable them to request a specific assessment, such as an educational, psychological or medical assessment at any time.

Effective teachers continuously monitor their pupils’ progress, most often using a common sense approach informed by previous experience and the advice of colleagues. In every situation, assessment must follow the principle of least intrusive but most effective intervention. This means causing minimal change to the child’s routine, ensuring the learning environment is appropriate, not involving more people than is needed, not referring to external resources or seeking alternative placement until internal resources are exhausted, and continually working hard to find the means to support the child.

Links to specific diagnostic assessments including general barriers to learning, speech and language difficulties, motor learning difficulties, dyslexia, autism spectrum disorders and emotional wellbeing can be accessed from Further Information 13.1,13.2, 13.3, and 13.4.

Support for Learning teachers and/ or other practitioners depending on each Authority’s policy – can ‘take a closer look’ at a child or group of children following an alert from many people, including the Primary Headteacher during a regular weekly meeting. In Secondary schools it almost always follows a referral to the Principal teacher Support for Learning / Guidance / Pastoral Care). Taking a ‘closer look’, can take various forms depending on the concerns which are raised.  Further Information 13.5 and 13.6 provide details about a range of assessments / standardised tools used by Support staff in both Primary and Secondary schools. Support for Learning teachers regularly consult with their Educational Psychologist regarding the interpretation of their assessments or to access additional advice. They can also consult with the Speech & Language Therapist and others who can use their particular specialist assessment approach to ensure effective assessment of needs.

For a few children or young people whose behaviour places themselves, or someone else (adult or another child or young person), at risk of either physical or psychological harm, a risk assessment must be completed. This assessment will identify the risk, clarify who is at risk and specify preventative and protective measures to be implemented as well as the means by which this is to be communicated to all practitioners involved, and parents – A member of the school’s Senior Management team should oversee this procedure to ensure the control measures are implemented.

All practitioners are expected to pay particular heed to monitoring the progress of Looked After Children and Young People since they can be at greater risk of underachieving at school because of disruption to family life and education – The 2009 Act states that Looked After Children should be deemed to have additional support needs unless there is corroborative evidence to prove otherwise.  Here is a link to information. Some children and young people who are looked after may have low expectations, poor emotional and psychological health and a lack of family support . It is the responsibility of the designated member of staff for Looked After children and young people in each school to ensure that all teachers know which children are looked after and be alert to identifying any barriers to learning. This link takes you to These are our Bairns, Scottish Government 2009 and an important quotation: “Our ultimate aim is that there is no discernible difference between the outcomes of children and young people who have been looked after and their peers who have not”.

Further Information

Introduction

The indicators which follow should be used with caution since children come to school with different experiences and degrees of support from home. In addition, each indicator is on a continuum which stretches from mild to significant . Clearly some indicators can be more concerning than others. All practitioners must be alert to the situation where several of the indicators are present, especially when at least some of them are considered to be beyond mild.

13.1 General Indicators Which Can Support the Early Identification of Barriers to Learning

Attendance
  • Has erratic or poor attendance, often with unexplained absences.
  • Reluctance to come to school / enter the classroom.
Sight/Hearing
  • Peers at text/ has difficulty seeing work on the board.
  • Bumps info things regularly.
  • Has difficulty copying from board or from information on the desk.
  • Ignores the teacher or other children when spoken to.
  • Regularly asks the teacher or other children to repeat information.
  • Answers regularly do not reflect the question.
Visual/Perceptual Ability
  • Complains of ‘ double vision’.
  • Peers at text.
  • Says text ‘disappears’ or ‘swims’ or seems blurred.
  • Has difficulty copying from board or from information on the desk.
  • Letters are reversed or inverted

Teachers should watch for the following: the child tilts his head/holds his book unusually closely or in odd way/the pupils of the child’s eyes are abnormally large or small (Large pupils (in the eye) may react incorrectly to light stimulus).

Communication and Language
  • Receptive Language
    • Offen appears not to hear others when they are spoken to.
    • Shows little attention when books are read aloud.
    • Struggles to understand complicated sentences.
    • Struggles to understand spoken instructions.
    • May repeat or parrot words or phrases back to the individual who has spoken them.
  • Expressive Language
    • Is unwilling to speak.
    • Has limited vocabulary.
    • Often has trouble putting words together to complete a sentence or thought.
    • May have hesitant speech while the individual attempts to select the right word.
    • Has difficulty with verb tense or grammar structure for what they are trying to express.
  • Phonology
    • Lacks ability in nursery rhymes.
    • Cannot detect or produce rhyming words.
    • Hesitant or slow or inaccurate when pronouncing words with several syllables (eg buttercup, elephant).
    • Has difficulty when listening, has difficulty identifying words that start with or end with the same sound.
    • Finds it hard to produce a list of animals, objects etc starting with one sound.
    • Has difficulty discriminating speech sounds.
    • Has very unclear speech.
    • Has very poor spelling ability relative to age and/or stage.
  • Reading
    • Cannot identify initial phonics after careful teaching.
    • Cannot ‘hear’ beginnings and endings of words.
    • Is very reliant on picture dues to make guesses at words.
    • Is hesitant and laboured in reading, especially when reading aloud.
    • Has significant difficulties relative to age/stage.
  • Writing
    • (At early stages) cannot do simple drawing.
    • (At all stages) has difficulty copying close work or work from board.
    • Has difficulty forming letters or words.
    • Finds spacing difficult.
    • Has significant difficulty relative to age/stage.
Sequencing and Organisation
  • (At early stages) has difficulty remembering sequences , eg days of the week, the alphabet, months of the year, seasons.
  • Finds form boards difficult.
  • (At all stages) shows poor time keeping .
  • Has difficulty organising work on table or in jotter.
  • Has difficulty getting from one place to another.
  • Has difficulty telling the time.
  • Has difficulty in remembering what day of the week it is, birth date, address etc.
  • Has difficulty remembering more than two instructions/ has poor problem solving skills.
Motor Skills
  • Fine Motor Skills
    • Has difficulty with cutting, glue-ing, threading beads.
    • Has difficulty with drawing or painting.
    • Has difficulty holding or using a pencil/has confusion with hand preference.
    • Confuses right and left.
    • Has difficulty fitting jigsaws together.
    • Has difficulty with personal care skills such as managing buttons, dressing, lacing shoes, using cutlery.
  • Gross Motor
    • Is clumsy and regularly bumps into things.
    • Has poor balance.
    • Finds kicking and throwing or catching a ball difficult.
    • Jumping, hopping and skipping are difficult.
Numeracy
  • Has difficulty with remembering numbers or number bonds.
  • Finds sequential numbering difficult.
  • Is confused by symbols, such as + and x signs.
  • Has significant difficulty relative to age/stage.
Behaviour
  • Seems to ‘dream’, does not seem to listen.
  • Is easily distracted.
  • Seems to crave attention.
  • Is disruptive or withdrawn.
  • Seems excessively tired (possibly due to the amount of concentration and effort required).
  • Shows inconsistent performance – very good work one day, poor work the next.
  • Employs work avoidance tactics, such as regularly going to the toilet and ‘looking for books’.
  • Has very short attention span.
  • Annoys other children and/or finds it difficult to make friends.
  • Demonstrates ‘ bizarre’ behaviour.
  • Is obsessive about certain things such as dinosaurs or trains.
  • Makes little eye contact.
  • Is in a ‘world of his or her own’.

13.2 General Developmental Indicators of Possible ASD in Pre-School Children (taken and adapted from the National Clinical Guideline by Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network/SIGN)

  • Delay or absence of spoken language.
  • Looks through people; not aware of others.
  • Not responsive to other people’s facial expression/feelings .
  • Lack of pretend play; little or no imagination.
  • Does not show typical interest in or play purposefully with peers.
  • Lack of turn-taking.
  • Unable to share pleasure.
  • Qualitative impairment in non-verbal communication.
  • Does not point at an object to direct another person to look at it.
  • Lack of gaze monitoring.
  • Lack of initiation of activity or social play.
  • Unusual or repetitive hand or finger movements.
  • Unusual reactions, or lack of reaction, to sensory stimuli.

This link directs you to further information from Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) about children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

This link takes you to Aberdeenshire’s ‘Working Together to Support Autism’.

13.3 Understanding and Identifying Speech and Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

Understanding and Formulating Spoken Language (Receptive Language) Some children may not be able to understand the words being spoken to them and / or the grammatical rules of sentence construction. Therefore, when their teacher tells the class what they need to do, or explains a new idea or concept, they may struggle to understand what is being said.

Having an appropriate vocabulary is essential for the learning process. The ability and confidence
to ask questions is a vital skill for provoking and shaping new thinking.

Interaction and discussion among pupils is hugely difficult for children with SLCN, so vital learning and opportunities to talk with peers can be missed. They may struggle with developing an age appropriate
vocabulary, formulating sentences, using the right words in the right order and with following grammatical rules to understand or make it clear to others what has happened in space and time.

Processing and Producing
Speech Sounds (Expressive Language)
Children with SLCN may not be able to effectively process the speech sounds that make up words. This means they cannot identify which sounds come at the beginning of words or break up words into their component parts.  Children who struggle with processing speech sounds are at risk of literacy difficulties. An inability to produce speech sounds appropriately can also have a significant impact on a child’s ability to make themselves understood, which can mean difficulty contributing to classroom discussions, making their needs known, sharing information about themselves, answering questions and joining in with conversations with peers.
Using and Understanding All Aspects
of Language Appropriately in Different Social Contexts (Semantic pragmatic language)
Children may have difficulty knowing when and how to use their language in different social situations, or knowing the differences in how to speak to adults or peers. They may not understand jokes or sarcasm or may struggle with metaphorical language, taking well­ known phrases literally . This can often result in adults and other children misunderstanding reactions from these children as they can seem perverse, pedantic or unsympathetic.

There is a whole range of well used phrases, which are new to children starting school that can be very difficult and confusing for children with SLCN to understand. Phrases such as ‘fold your arms’, ‘line up’ and ‘break time’ can all be interpreted literally.

Talk and social interaction among children play a key role in children’s social development and learning and it has been found that improving pragmatic language skills can help prevent problems in later educational performance. In addition to using language socially, using language effectively for a range of functions can be problematic to many children with SLCN; to infer,
debate, reason and predict or to clarify a message to others can be areas of difficulty.

13.4 The following links can help you with more in-depth assessment:

For more information about meeting the Needs of Learners with dyslexia please follow this link

These documents aim to support staff and parents/ carer s in their work with children and young people with selective mutism (SM). They have been produced by a multi-agency team involving Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (RACH) Clinical Psychology and Speech and Language Therapy Services and Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Educational Psychology Services:

Resources to support those working with children who are selectively mute.

Resources to support parents/carers of children in pre-school and school, who are selectively mute.

13.5 Assessments/ Assessment Strategies Used by Support for Learning Teachers in Primary Schools

More in-depth, diagnostic assessment is most effective when undertaken by Primary Support for Learning teachers when there is regular communication between them and the Headteacher / Primary Depute who is the conduit of information from Class teachers who are the eyes and ears of early identification. Concerns from parents will also lead to further discussion and probable action.

During regular meetings the Headteacher/Primary Depute can direct the Support for Learning teacher to individual children or groups of children who have been identified as not progressing as well as expected, not achieving national targets or behaving in an odd or different way. These meetings are essential to ensure best use of the Support for Learning teacher. This good practice requires a flexible approach to the Support for Learning teacher’s timetable to reflect constantly changing demands. It may also lead to changes of deployment of Pupil Support assistants.

(a) Forms of Assessment

Assessment includes ‘taking a closer look’ at children and the learning environment. This can generally be done during normal classroom activities as shown below.

Focus on Child/ren Focus on the Learning Environment
Through observation in the classroom, or in small group or one-to-one and by speaking with relevant practitioners the Support for Learning teacher will assess:

  • the degree of engagement of the child with adults and other children along with their motivation, length of concentration and evidence of
    fatigue;
  • left/ right orientation and consistency, visual tracking, visual transfer and word boundaries;
  • the ability to recall and retain both auditory and visual information in the short term; as well as sequencing ability;
  • phonological awareness, reversals (letters and / or words), verbal and semantic fluency;
  • disparity between written and oral performance;
  • disparity across the curriculum.
Through observation and discussion the Support for Learning teacher will assess:

  • the quality of relationships between adult/s and children, children and children and the general ethos of the class in terms of boundaries, rewards and consequences;
  • the suitability of seating arrangements, lighting or sound distraction, visual support (pictorial, symbols, key vocabulary, text as appropriate) and use of resources including IT;
  • the nature and level/s of the curriculum;
  • the degree to which motivation and success is promoted through positive, active teaching and learning;
  • clarify of planning for the range of children , including where necessary Individual Education Plans, and ensuring these are implemented;
  • suitability of learning styles and teaching strategies particularly in relation to child/ren being assessed.
  • Effective Support for Learning teachers will also examine evidence of children’s learning through checking their Pupil Profile Record (PPR), speaking with relevant practitioners about the child in a range of settings and speaking with parents or carers. Consultation with an Educational Psychologist is available when required to support assessment.
  • The skill of all teachers lies in the ability to make sense of the assessment information and highlight what are the barriers to learning. Effective analysis leads to strategies or resources which can reduce these barriers and enable the child to make progress. Always, the first question when undertaking (diagnostic) assessment must be ‘What is the purpose of this exercise?’
  • The purpose in every case is to identify why a child is not progressing sufficiently well and to identify what are the barriers to the child’s learning. The purpose is not to ‘label’ the child or categorise the child with a disability which may lead to an assumption that he or she cannot succeed.
  • The teacher’s role and responsibility is to devise suitable means, along with others where appropriate, to overcome or circumvent those barriers to learning and enable the child to progress.

The following is an example of an Autism Outreach Consultation Record for a Pl child. It shows what has been observed and describes the suggested strategies .

Observations
  • X was sitting on the periphery of the group during ‘ together time’.
    The teacher was introducing a new phonics sound (ay) and encouraging the children to learn the associated song.
  • X was lying on the carpet playing with the hair of another child sitting in front of him.
  • He was participating in the lesson and singing along with the other children.
  • When it came to having turns to write on the whiteboard, X started asking for a turn and becoming agitated when asked to waif his turn and not shout out.
  • At the end of the lesson the children were orally given a follow up activity to complete – a worksheet based on the new sound they had learned.
  • X had difficulty making the transition to the activity and was obviously still agitated. At first he did not comply with the teacher’s instructions.
  • After some negotiation with the teacher, X eventually went off to complete his follow-up activity.
  • When his work was finished, X referred to the choosing board and went off to access the role play area appropriately.
Strategies and Resources Offered
  • Sensory issues of the child may have been the cause of him feeling more comfortable sitting on the edge of the group – it is easier for him to sit at the back so he can reduce the possibility of others invading his space.
  • X has low muscle tone and finds it difficult to sit cross legged for long periods. It may be beneficial for him to sit on a chair and build in active or ‘brain breaks’ periodically.
  • Playing with another child’s hair is satisfying his need to fiddle with something but must be irritating for the other child – provide X with a fiddle toy – a Koosh ball or something similar.
  • Turn taking can often be an area of difficulty for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. This can be alleviated by making it clear who is going to have a turn next. This can be done by making a list on the board and saying ‘first A, then B’.
  • Visual prompts can be used at the beginning of each lesson reinforcing the desired behaviour eg ‘good sitting’, ‘good looking’, ‘ good listening’. It is important to model and discuss what the desired behaviours are.
  • At the end of each lesson it is important to tell the children that the lesson has ended and what is expected next. With children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder this should be done visually by referring the child to look at his visual timetable, remove the symbol and refer to the next activity. Make sure X knows where to access the materials needed to complete the task. This will help the child be able to make the desired transition. It is good practice to use a choosing board consistently and effectively. This helps X be able to make choices which can be difficult for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
  • Use a ‘Fiddle toy’; Use a ‘First’ and ‘ then’ board; Encourage and use the phrases ‘Good sitting, Good looking, Good listening’.

13.6 Assessments/Assessment Strategies Used by Support for Learning Teachers in Secondary Schools

lntroduction

All Secondary schools work very closely with their Primary colleagues to gather relevant assessment and progress information about all children. Transition meetings, involving all key practitioners and parents or carers, are held for children with Additional Support Needs who have Individual Education Plans and Co-ordinated Support Plans. They can also be held for children and young people who require personalised arrangements or where parents have particular concerns and have expressed a wish for a transition meeting.

For a few children enhanced transition arrangements are planned, involving a range of practitioners often including a Community Link worker. All Primary 7 pupils have meaningful induction days so that many staff, and Support staff in particular, can informally observe the children in different situations and classes. A few children, along with relevant
practitioner/s and sometimes accompanied by parents or carers, have additional visits to help them orientate and become used to their new environment.

Secondary schools vary in their approach to initial assessment at Secondary 1. Whilst taking full account of the information from the Primary school, they also wish to ensure each child has some opportunity to settle into their new routines before critical assessments are undertaken. One school organises an Adventure day during the first term where outdoor education activities and other experiences help staff to assess motor skills and social skills, evaluate levels of confidence and self esteem and provide opportunities for team building.

The school also gathers ‘positive comments’ from all subject teachers during the first term. These include comments such as the pupil ‘Has improved greatly in Maths/Good efforts are made to follow instructions/Excellent behaviour and concentration in computing/Confident/Works well with classmates/Keen in class and eager to please/Extremely interested in Science and has excellent questioning attitude/More settled and participative/Friendly pupil who always does his best. Staff are also helped to identify behaviours more accurately using the following descriptors: Over-active behaviour/Impulsive behaviour/Inattentive behaviour so that Support staff can help with appropriate strategies.

Most effective Secondary schools allocate a ‘case load’ of pupils with Additional Support Needs to individual members of Support staff, ie they appoint a lead person, in order to promote strong relationships and ensure closer observation and monitoring. This ensures parents or carers are clear who to contact for information when they are concerned.

(a) Forms of Assessment

Effective Secondary Support for Learning/Guidance/Pastoral Care teachers supported by the Depute Support, have a key role in observing learning and behaviour in a range of situations. They also informally discuss concerns with and offer advice to subject teachers and follow up concerns raised by parents or carers. Support for Learning/Guidance/Pastoral Care teachers examine pupils’ jotters, PPR information, including medical information, and previous reports to make sense of children’s (lack of) progress. All effective schools have a referral system which enables subject teachers to access more formal assessment via Principal teachers (subject) and Principal teachers Support for Learning/Guidance/Pastoral Care and the Depute ensure that they discuss concerns with parents and carers and relevant partners when appropriate. One school undertakes an informal audit of behaviour in S1 by gathering information from subject teachers and Pupil Support assistants and the Care and Welfare officer. The Support faculty agrees how to deploy support on the basis of regular monitoring and assessment. Continually changing needs means that the timetables of Support for Learning teachers and Pupil Support assistants have to be flexible and regularly changed.

Secondary Support for Learning teachers generally use formal assessments to confirm their own professional judgment. They regularly discuss the results of their assessments with their Educational Psychologist who can provide additional advice and help.

(b) Assessment Arrangements for Candidates with Additional Support Needs (including those for whom English is an additional language)

The SQA publish guidance for schools to help them to choose the most appropriate assessment arrangements. A key part of this is ensuring that schools meet duties under Equality legislation which includes the Additional Support for Learning Act 2004, the 2009 ASL Act, the Disability Discrimination Act and Education (Disability Strategies and Pupils’ Educational Records) (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Equalities Act 2010. Principal teachers Support for Learning play a key role in ensuring young people who require alternative assessment arrangements are appropriately supported during their course work in the first instance. They work to the principles laid down in the SQA document “Introduction to Assessment Arrangements for Schools and Colleges” which are as follows:

  • candidates for whom assessment arrangements are requested should potentially have the ability to achieve the national standards, but be unable to do so using the published assessment arrangements for the particular qualification;
  • the integrity of the qualification must be maintained;
  • any adjustment that you request should be tailored to meet a candidate’s individual needs;
  • any assessment arrangements requested should reflect, as far as possible, the candidate’s normal way of learning and producing work.

All subject teachers should take responsibility for alerting Support for Learning teachers when young people ore underachieving. Special assessment arrangements can only be agreed when the candidate submits two pieces of work which clearly demonstrate what difference the requested support makes.

Digital Examinations and Accessible Resources

Digital examinations are enhanced digital versions of the paper exams and enable the student to sit their exam independently. Pupils must be given the opportunity to practise with the digital format and it is their decision if they choose to use them or not.

Digital exams:

  • have the some appearance and layout as the paper so that students can use both digital and hardcopy during an exam;
  • can be magnified and adjusted (for example by changing foreground and background colours on screen);
  • allow students to type directly on to the paper or screen; are compatible with assistive technologies such as screen or text reader programs, specialised keyboards or access systems, or speech recognition software.

This technology reduces the need for the candidate to rely on additional human support such as readers, scribes and prompts to help them read the paper and/or write the answers, thus reducing possible stigma and embarrassment.

Classroom resources and inferno/ assessments can be prepared with accessibility as a priority. The whole class can use the some resource, reducing the possibility of any pupil feeling stigmatised or different. This includes resources such as Text Help Read Write Gold which enables any format of electronic documentation to be read to the pupil using the highest quality of voices available , including the Scottish Voice “Heather”. Free accessibility software called Wordtalk can be downloaded. It uses the new Scottish Voice, Heather, which is of the some quality as voices in Read Write Gold.

Prompts for Reflection

How well do the school and its partners identify and assess additional support needs?

Best Practice What is the Impact?
Information issued to staff on children already identified as having Additional Support Needs, including those who are looked after, is clear and accurate and is used effectively to plan and
teach.There are good opportunities for formal and informal professional development, often inter-agency, in relation to identification and assessment of learning and behavioural needs and related issues.
Every practitioner takes responsibility for tracking and monitoring the progress of each child and young person and has confidence in the advice on identification and assessment provided by Support colleagues, Senior Managers and School partners.
School/service staff effectively use assessment to judge whether children and young people are progressing in line with expectation and take action accordingly (QI 2.3)
School/service staff are alert to lack of progress/accelerated progress and know who to speak with for advice and support (QI 2.3, 3.2)
(Classroom) practice is systematically observed and discussed to ensure robust identification and assessment and Senior Managers provide opportunities to discuss with staff, including School Support staff, how well they believe needs are identified and assessed.
When parents or carers of children with additional support needs, including those who are looked after, raise concerns about their child, the school/service listens carefully and can clearly articulate the steps they will take to clarify needs and arrange a meeting to take this forward when necessary.The use of digital resources, supports practitioners to respond to individual needs, support particular aptitudes and talents and build on prior learning.
Assessment advice, including assessment for (pre-) examination arrangements for young people
with Additional Support Needs, is used to support learning and positive behaviour and promote achievement.
Senior Managers have confidence that the needs of children and young people are very well identified and assessed by all Class teachers and other practitioners (QI 1.2, 1.4, 2.3)
Parents and carers of children with Additional Support Needs, including those who are looked after, believe their children’s needs are identified and assessed well (QI 2.3, 2.4, 3.3 )
Senior Managers in Schools and Services use the Pupil Support team/the multi-agency team to ensure
school staff and colleagues in Health, Social Work and other services work closely together to identify and assess needs
The school has in place a robust policy and procedures for risk assessments which practitioners follow.
School staff and their partners work together within an staged intervention framework to provide advice to each other and support each child or young person to maximise progress (QI 1.1, 2.3, 2.4, 3.2)
Risk assessments ensure staff and children and young people are as safe as possible (QI 1.4, 1.5, 3.1)

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