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Needs Code February 2017

Draft%20Additional%20Learning%20Needs%20Code%20February%202017

18.5 Staff that are

18.5 Staff that are delivering these arrangements must have a detailed understanding of the ALN system. They should also have no vested interest in the outcome of any potential disagreements. 18.6 The arrangements should be child and young person friendly. 18.7 Many children will want to access these arrangements via their parents. However some children, especially older children, may want to access the arrangements separately from their parents. Local authorities must facilitate this. 18.8 Whilst young people must be able to access these arrangements in their own right, local authorities should recognise the specific needs of young people at the same time as ensuring co-ordination and consistency in what is offered to children, their parents and young people. 18.9 Young people may be finding their voice for the first time and may, therefore, need support in exercising choice and control over the support they receive. Avoiding disagreement arrangements 18.10 Local authorities must make arrangements for avoiding and resolving disagreements between a maintained school, FEI, local authority and proprietor of a relevant institution. 254 Relevant institutions might, for example, include an independent school, and a child, child’s parent or young person. These arrangements must cover the way that schools/FEIs/local authorities undertake their duties under the Act and the way that ALP is made and delivered, including if it is felt that the ALP is not being delivered in a suitable manner or to a suitable quality. 18.11 The purpose of the arrangements is to help to unpick and uncover the underlying nature of any potential disagreements. It can also help to support the child, child’s parents and young person to further understand the ALN system. The arrangements should encourage parties to compromise or negotiate as much as possible. 18.12 The avoidance of disagreement arrangements must be able to work with the school, FEI and local authority and the child, child’s parent and young person. The arrangements can help to build and maintain partnerships and help foster the understanding that the child or young person is central, with everyone working together to support the child or young person. 18.13 The arrangements can provide the following: Advice on the rights and responsibilities of a child, child’s parent or young person needing support; 254 Section 61 of the Act. Page | 170

Support to unpick difficulties and plan a way forward with the other people involved; Face to face meetings to work out what to do next; Support to attend and contribute to meetings; Ongoing support if problems are difficult to solve. 18.14 The arrangements can help to build trust and avoid disagreements by: Supporting the child, child’s parent or young person and professionals, as appropriate, to have the same information from the same trusted source; Reassuring children, their parents and young people that discussions and decision-making will be centred on the best interests of the child or young person and they will receive the level of support that they need; Improving communication and building trust between the parties to create an environment where the child, family and young person understand that they are full partners in this process and there is nothing influenced by vested interest and concerns can be addressed through open and constructive dialogue; Ensuring decisions are properly explained in a way that is understandable to the child, child’s parent or young person; Explaining the legislation underpinning decisions that are taken and support the child, child’s parents or young person to challenge these, offering or signposting advocacy as required; Providing an early opportunity to question decisions, which is key to avoiding disputes, as through appropriate questioning issues are presented and dealt with - so that positions do not become entrenched; Supporting the examination of the IDP to understand how the decisions made were reached and see if there is any evidence that has not been taken account of. 18.15 Independent advocates and, where they have been appointed, case friends, may have a critical role to play in the effective functioning of the arrangements for avoiding disagreements. Resolving Disagreements 18.16 Where it has not been possible to prevent disagreements arising, the focus will necessarily shift to resolving them as quickly and efficiently as possible. Early resolution of disagreements significantly benefits the child, child’s parent or young person and can avoid unnecessary stress and expense. 18.17 Local authorities must make arrangements for resolving disagreements between a maintained school, FEI, local authority and proprietor of a relevant institution, and a child, child’s parent or young person 255 . These arrangements 255 Section 61(1) and (2) of the Act. Page | 171

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