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Needs Code February 2017

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

fails to match or better

fails to match or better the child’s or young person’s previous rate of progress; or, fails to close, or widens, the attainment gap between the child or young person and their peers. 7.2.22 It can include progress in areas other than attainment, for instance where a learner needs to develop wider social or emotional behaviours in order to make a successful transition to adult life. When making a judgement of the child’s or young person’s needs there is a need to consider their progress in a range of areas of development, such as learning, social, emotional and behavioural. 7.2.23 A judgement has to be made in each case as to what it is reasonable to expect a particular child or young person to achieve. Where progress is not adequate, it will be necessary to take some additional or different action to enable the learner to learn more effectively. Differentiated teaching 7.2.24 The first response to inadequate progress should be high quality teaching targeted at pupils’ areas of weakness. Schools should not delay in putting in place differentiated teaching or other targeted interventions designed to secure better progress where appropriate, for all pupils. This is a fundamental element of high quality – but routine – teaching. Consideration should be given to whether suitable teaching strategies have been employed. That said, where progress continues to be less than expected, the class or subject teacher may come to consider that a pupil may have ALN. In that case, and working with the ALNCo, the governing body must make a determination of the matter (unless one of the exceptions applies – see above). 7.2.25 It is to be expected that children and young people in a class or school will progress at different rates. There will always be some who have lower levels of attainment and ability who will progress at a slower but steady rate. They will require support to a differentiated curriculum to make suitable progress. When considering the child’s or young person’s needs, it might be revealed that the child or young person is actually making good progress from a low base. Continued concerns 7.2.26 Whenever teaching staff have concerns, they should consider notifying the school’s ALNCo, who will be able to provide further support and assistance. There should be clear processes in schools for staff to highlight their concerns and seek further advice and assistance. Depending on the circumstances, external advice might also need to be sought. Page | 54

7.2.27 Concerns might also be expressed by the child, their parents or the young person. Parents’ observations of their child are often crucial to early identification, as are observations by children and young people themselves. Schools should be open and responsive to such expressions of concern and take account of any information provided. 7.2.28 Where the school has concerns about the child’s or young person’s progress and believes that the child or young person has, or might have ALN, they must involve the child, the child’s parents or the young person and take their views into account. 43 A discussion might include strategies for support, which should include sharing information on the tracking of progress and other key information with the child, the child’s parents or the young person. Other factors 7.2.29 It is important to remember that there are other contributors to poor academic performance, such as external factors and circumstances. These can include poor attendance records, not having adequate learning opportunities, frequent moves of school or changes to teaching staff/learning environment and wider social and family challenges. These do not necessarily indicate the child or young person has ALN. Those considering the evidence, such as the ALNCos, will always need to consider whether in light of the evidence, the child has ALN (as defined) 44 , regardless of the factors which might have contributed towards the person having ALN. In some cases, poor academic progress may not be the result of ALN, but other underlying factors. In these cases, there may be other ways to support the child or young person and other services which need to be involved in the child’s or young person’s life. 7.2.30 It might be useful to consider if the child or young person 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 or young person is in different settings, will give a more accurate understanding of the child’s or young person’s needs. Where there is marked disparity it might indicate a need to consult with someone outside the school who can consider the child’s or young person’s needs holistically. 7.2.31 However, where the child or young person is expected to be making better progress than they are, given their potential and being adequately supported, then it should be considered if the child or young person has ALN. 43 Section 6 of the Act. [See Chapter 3.] 44 A learning difficulty or disability which calls for ALP. See Chapter 6 for more on the definition. Page | 55

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