School Action and School Action Plus

 

  

 

 

        We can support you in meetings with the school to discuss your child’s difficulties and progress

        We can support you in asking the school to explore different strategies

        We can support you in considering your child’s IEP 

        We can consider  the paperwork with you and/or meet with the school and advise on whether there is the evidence to support a request for Statutory Assessment

        We can support you in collating the evidence to present to the LA in your request for Statutory Assessment

What does it mean to say my child is on the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Register?

 

If your child requires some additional support at school the school may tell you that your child is being supported on:

 

  • School Based Stages ; i.e. School Action or School Action Plus

 

  • The School is applying for a Statutory Assessment of your child’s Special Educational Needs

 

  • The LA has provided your child with a Statement of Special Educational Needs; for this the LA would have had to tell you in advance that they were carrying out a Statutory Assessment and consulted you throughout the process  

 

 What does it mean to say that my child has Special Educational Needs and thus requires a “ Statutory Assessment and possibly a Statement of Special Educational Needs “?

 

 

A child is defined as having special educational needs if he has a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for him.

 

Definition of a Learning Difficulty:

 

 (a)      he has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of his age,

(b)       he has a disability which either prevents or hinders him from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of his age in schools within the area of the local education authority, or

 

Definition of Special Educational Provision

 

Special educational provision” means—

  1. educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of his age in schools maintained by the local education authority (other than special schools)

 

Thus a  child may have a diagnosis of a learning difficulty ; e.g. dyslexia , ADHD, Dyspraxia , and the LA may argue that he does not have a “ learning difficulty in the eyes of the law” as it is not necessary for them to carry out a Statutory Assessment or issue a Statement of Special Educational Needs as the school can provide for the child from the money already given to them . ( This is often referred to as their “ delegated budget “ or “ predictable needs budget “ or “ additional educational needs budget “ )

On the other hand, a child may not have a diagnosis but the School or LA may tell the parent that they consider he has a Learning Difficulty as the school need to provide additional resources or provision to that which they would normally offer , in order for your child to access learning. Thus the LA may carry out a Statutory Assessment and may issue a Statement of Special Educational Needs

 

What are School Based Stages of Special Educational Needs?

 

School Action

 

School Action , put basically , is when a school provides some extra support for the child from the staff or resources already available to the school . This may include  providing the child with small group work for certain subjects supported by a Teacher or Teaching Assistant , seeing the Learning Mentoring or receiving extra help in class from a Teaching Assistant

 

The SEN Code of Practice says:

 

5:43 When a class teacher or the SENCO identifies a child with SEN the class teacher should provide interventions that are additional to or different from those provided as part of the school’s usual differentiated curriculum offer and strategies (School Action).

 

Nature of intervention   

 

 The SENCO and the child’s class teacher should decide on the Action needed to help the child to progress in the light of their earlier assessment.

 

There is sometimes an expectation that this help will take the form of the deployment of extra staff to enable one-to-one tuition to be given to the child. However, this may not be the most appropriate way of helping the child.

 

 A more appropriate approach might be to provide different learning materials or special equipment; to introduce some group or individual support; to devote extra adult time to devising the nature of the planned intervention and to monitoring its effectiveness; or to undertake staff development and training to introduce more effective strategies.

 

Speedy access to LEA support services for one-off or occasional advice on strategies or equipment or for staff training may make it possible to provide effective intervention without the need for regular or ongoing input from external agencies.

 

 Individual Education Plans( IEPs )

 

These SHOULD, but do not HAVE to be provided for a Child on School Action or School Action Plus. There MAY be IEP meetings to which you are invited ; however it may be that the school write the IEP and send a copy home for you to see.

 

Parents are recommended to always ask the school whether their child has an IEP, how often it will be reviewed , whether they can be invited to IEP meetings to consider targets and progress and how often the IEP will be reviewed

 

The SEN Code of Practice says:

 

 Strategies employed to enable the child to progress should be recorded within an Individual Education Plan (IEP).

 

 The IEP should include information about:

  •       the short-term targets set for or by the child
  •       the teaching strategies to be used
  •       the provision to be put in place
  •       when the plan is to be reviewed
  •       success and/or exit criteria

 

        School Action Plus

 

In general if a child is on School Action Plus the school will involve external specialists (E.g.  an Educational Psychologist , specialist teacher , speech and language therapist , occupational therapist ) . The young person may also receive regular support from a Learning Support Assistant or Teaching Assistant

 

The SEN Code of Practice says:

 

5:54 A request for help from external services is likely to follow a decision taken by the SENCO and colleagues, in consultation with parents, at a meeting to review the child’s IEP.

 

Schools should always consult specialists when they take action on behalf of a child through School Action Plus. But the involvement of specialists need not be limited to such children. Outside specialists can play an important part in the very early identification of special educational needs and in advising schools on effective provision designed to prevent the development of more significant needs. They can act as consultants and be a source for in-service advice on learning and behaviour management strategies for all teachers

 

 

5:56 The triggers for School Action Plus could be that, despite receiving an individualised programme and/or concentrated support under School Action, the child:

 

  • continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period
  • continues working at National Curriculum levels substantially below that expected of children of a similar age
  • continues to have difficulty in developing literacy and mathematics skills
  • has emotional or behavioural difficulties which substantially and regularly interfere with the child’s own learning or that of the class group, despite having an individualised behaviour management programme
  • has sensory or physical needs, and requires additional specialist equipment or regular advice or visits by a specialist service
  • has ongoing communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning.

 

What happens if my child has failed to make progress on School Action or School Action Plus?

 

 

If your child has failed to make progress whilst on School Action or School Action Plus and the learning difficulties remain the school, or yourself, may decide to apply to the Local Authority for a Statutory Assessment of your child’s Special Educational Needs

 

It may be that you and the school disagree whether your child is making adequate progress on School Action or School Action Plus; either you or the school can apply for Statutory Assessment. You , as parents , do not necessarily need the support of the school although once the application is made to the LA , the LA will consult the school and ask for their opinion on attainment , progress and access to learning , the curriculum and school life

 

The only way to obtain a Statement of Special Educational Needs is through a Statutory Assessment

 

 

Frequently asked questions ?

  1.  Can I ask for my child to be put on School Action or School Action Plus?  Who should I ask?  
  2.  Can I choose what type of help and support my child receives on School Action or School Action Plus?  
  3.  What happens if the school say they are delivering support on School Action or School Action Plus and I don’t think my child is receiving that support ?  
  4.  What happens if I think my child should be receiving more support or a different kind of support on School Action or School Action Plus ?
  5. Do the school have to write Individual Education Plans and do they have to hold a meeting to discuss these? How many IEPs does a child need each year? Who writes them?
  6. Does a child have to be on School Action or School Action Plus before getting a Statutory Assessment or a Statement of Special Educational Needs?
  7. What happens if I think my child needs a Statutory Assessment and the School does not?
  8. What happens if the school thinks my child needs a Statutory Assessment and I do not?
  9. Can I forbid the school from requesting a Statutory Assessment?