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Needs Code February 2017

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

signs that the child

signs that the child experiences considerable frustration or distress in relation to his or her learning difficulties; some medical diagnosis, such as deafness and visual impairment; 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. 7.1.12 Concerns may arise, for example, where a child, despite receiving appropriate education experiences: makes little or no progress towards meeting their potential, even when approaches are particularly targeted to improve the child’s identified area of weakness; continues working at levels significantly below those expected for children of a similar age, or those expected of the individual themselves; presents persistent emotional or behavioural difficulties, which are not ameliorated by the behaviour management techniques usually employed; has delayed personal and social development, which are not ameliorated by strategies and techniques usually employed; has delayed physical development or delayed creative development, which are not ameliorated by strategies and techniques usually employed; has sensory or physical problems, and continues to make little or no progress against that which is expected of the individual, despite the provision of specialist equipment; or, has communication and/or interaction difficulties, and continues to make little or no progress despite the application of strategies and techniques usually employed. 7.1.13 Tracking pupils’ progress through data is key. This data might come from measuring progress against reasonable targets considering baseline data and clear individual benchmarks. 7.1.14 It is to be expected that children will progress at different rates. There will always be some who have lower levels of ability who will progress at a slower but steady rate. They will require support to make suitable progress. When considering the child’s needs, it might be revealed that the child is actually making good progress from a low base. 7.1.15 Concerns might also be expressed by the child’s parents. Parents’ observations of their child are often crucial to early identification; settings and local authorities should be open and responsive to such expressions of concern and take account of any information provided. 7.1.16 Local authorities will need to consider whether the evidence points to reasons for under performance other than ALN and thus whether there are Page | 44

alternative and more appropriate ways to support the child’s access to learning, such as referral to an educational psychologist, education welfare services, social services or health bodies. Other factors 7.1.17 It should be borne in mind that some factors, including problems in the child’s home or family circumstances, can contribute towards under achievement but may not always be indicators of ALN. Local authorities should therefore seek any evidence of such identifiable factors that could impact on learning outcomes, including: evidence that the child’s performance is different in different environments; evidence of contributory medical problems; evidence from assessments or interventions by external agencies. 7.1.18 It might be useful to consider if the child is showing different behaviour or demonstrating different learning ability in different settings and environments. Considering the evidence in a holistic manner and examining if there is a marked disparity of evidence provided by different individuals/agencies and where the child is in different settings, will give a more accurate understanding of the child’s needs. Where there is marked disparity it might suggest a need to consult with services with expertise in considering the child’s needs in a holistic manner. 7.1.19 Where the child is not progressing as might be expected, the possibility of ALN should be considered. 7.1.20 Where the local authority becomes aware of the possibility of ALN, they might decide to set up a multi-agency meeting with other agencies, such as health bodies and other local authority services, to discuss the child’s needs. The local authority’s central team should work in close partnership with parents and staff working with the child in the non-maintained setting to help identify and meet the needs of children. 7.1.21 Where the child is receiving education, the local authority might consider providing additional support to the setting, for instance in a nonmaintained pre-school nursery, to help the setting provide relevant ALP and relevant strategies. Local authority responsibilities 7.1.22 Where a child is under compulsory school age and is in a setting other than a maintained school and it is brought to the attention of, or appears to, a local authority that a child for whom it is responsible may have ALN, the local authority must decide whether the child has ALN, unless: Page | 45

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