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Needs Code February 2017

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

7.3.19 A judgement has

7.3.19 A judgement has to be made in each case as to what it is reasonable to expect a particular 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 7.3.20 The first response to inadequate progress should be high quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness. FEIs should not delay 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, staff may come to consider that a pupil might have ALN. In that case, and working with the ALNCo, the FEI must decide the matter (unless one of the exceptions applies – see above). 7.3.21 It is to be expected that young people 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. When considering the young person’s needs, it might be revealed that the young person is actually making good progress from a low base. Continued concerns 7.3.22 Whenever teaching staff have concerns, they should consider notifying the ALNCo, who will be able to provide further support and assistance. There should be clear processes in FEIs for staff to highlight their concerns and seek further advice and assistance. Depending on the circumstances external advice might also need to be sought. 7.3.23 Concerns might also be expressed by the young person. FEIs should be open and responsive to such expressions of concern and take account of any information provided. 7.3.24 Where staff have concerns about the young person’s progress and believe that the young person has, or might have, ALN they must involve the young person. 48 A discussion might include strategies for support, which should include sharing information on the tracking of progress and other key information with the young person. The Act allows a young person to withhold consent in relation to decisions around deciding whether they have ALN. Therefore their views in relation to these matters need to be sought and recorded, particularly if they do not consent to a decision being made. Such a position would negate the need for further investigation or discussion of ALN. 48 Section 6 of the Act. Also, the duties in sections 9 and 10 of the Act (to decide and prepare and maintain an IDP) do not apply in relation to a young person who does not consent to the decision or the plan being prepared or maintained (as the case may be). Page | 62

7.3.25 Where FEIs have staff which are trained and qualified to assess and make educational diagnosis in certain areas, they should be used to consider the young person’s needs and to consider how their needs can be met. Where staff within the FEI do not have the required expertise and are not able to assess the young person’s needs they should consider referring the young person to external services. Other factors 7.3.26 It is important to remember that other factors contribute to poor academic performance, such as external factors and circumstances. These can include poor attendance records, not having adequate learning opportunities, frequent moves or changes to teaching staff/learning environment or wider social and family challenges. These do not necessarily indicate the young person has ALN. Those considering the evidence will need to consider whether the evidence points to other underlying needs and whether there are other ways to support the young person’s needs and other services which need to be involved in the young person’s life. 7.3.27 It might be useful to consider if the 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 young person is in different settings, will give a more accurate understanding of the young person’s needs. Where there is marked disparity it might indicated a need to consult with someone outside the FEI who can consider the young person’s needs holistically. 7.3.28 However, where the 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 young person has ALN. Duty to decide 7.3.29 Where the FEI believes that the young person may have ALN, the FEI must decide whether the young person has ALN (unless the exceptions listed at the start of this Chapter apply.) When making this decision, consideration needs to be given to a range of factors. Practitioners should refer back to the definition of ALN at section 2 of the Act, have regard to the guidance on the application of this definition set out at the beginning of Chapter 6, and apply it to the individual circumstances of the case. 7.3.30 Where it is determined that the pupil has ALN, the governing body of the FEI must prepare and maintain an IDP, unless certain circumstances apply. 49 See Chapters 9.1 to 16 for further information about IDPs. 49 Section 10 of the Act and see the circumstances listed in subsection (2). Page | 63

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