Identifying additional support needs

Children and young people may have additional support needs if they are unable to benefit from their school education without help beyond that which is normally given to children or young people of the same age. Children or young people may have additional support needs at any time during their school life. It is not possible to list all the circumstances where this is necessary because every child is different and one thing that affects one child’s learning could have little or no effect on the learning of another.

The following are example of situations that may give rise to additional support needs:

  • Learning environment – access to an appropriate curriculum, English as an Additional Language
  • Family circumstances – family breakdown, being a young carer, being looked after, housing issues
  • Disability or Health need – motor impairment, ASD, mental health problems, temporary or longer term physical condition
  • Social or emotional problems – bereavement or loss, misuse of drugs or alcohol by the young person and/or parents/carers/family

All looked after children are considered to have additional support needs, unless assessment concludes that they do not.

We are responsible for making arrangements to identify additional support needs and we will do this working in close cooperation with parents and other services in contact with children and young people. It is important to identify additional support needs as early as possible, as early action is helpful in its own right and can help to prevent further difficulties developing later.

Children up to the age of three

We work closely with colleagues from other agencies and services who have contact with children in the first few years of life (e.g. family or hospital doctor, a health visitor or a social worker). When we receive information about a child who may have a disability and/or additional support needs we will use this information to plan and support an appropriate transition into an early learning and childcare setting.

When young children have been identified as having a disability or complex additional support needs before the age of 3 years they should be referred to the Pre-school Outreach Teacher or the appropriate specialist service. With consent, the Pre-School Outreach Teacher or relevant specialist service will arrange to visit the family at home to assess the child’s needs and put in place appropriate support. They will be involved in supporting the transition to an early learning and child care setting or school.