Assessment of additional support needs

Assessment helps to identify whether a child or young person has additional support needs and determines what kind of support should be put in place. Assessment is a key feature of education and children’s needs should be assessed informally and formally as part of nursery and school staff’s day-to-day work with a child. It should involve gathering evidence of progress, giving feedback on their strengths and those areas where improvement is required. The assessment should involve all those who know the child well and take into account all aspects of a child’s wellbeing. The National Practice Model should be used in all cases.

Specialist assessments are often required when a child’s needs are more complex. Assessments will be requested from any person or agency who may be needed to provide support. Education staff and other agencies will always gain consent from parents/carers and children over 12 to share information.

Parental Request for Assessment

A parent, or a young person over the age of 12 years, can request an assessment to identify additional support needs, as well as requesting a specific type of assessment. In the first instance the parent or young person will be encouraged to discuss their request first with the school staff. Alternatively, they can make their request directly to the Service Manager - Education (ASN).

If we have arranged to place a child or young person in an establishment in another education authority, a parent or young person should make their request by contacting the Service Manager - Education (ASN). However, if the parent has chosen to send the child or young person to an establishment in another Local Authority, then the parent or young person must make their request to that Local Authority.

Any request made must include a reason/ reasons for making the request and should be made in writing, by e-mail or some other form that can be kept and referred to later.

If we agree to a request, we are still responsible for deciding which professional should carry out assessments. A parent or young person can request that it be carried out by a particular professional but we do not have to agree to this. However, the parent or young person could take action themselves to obtain an assessment from a particular professional and then pass this assessment onto us – which we would then have to take into account.

If we decide a request is unreasonable, we must give clear reasons for this decision and the parent or young person can appeal against this decision.

For children and young people who are educated by their parent(s) at home or in an independent nursery or school funded by their parent(s), a parent or young person or nursery/school staff can request us to provide support by contacting the Service Manager - Education (ASN). It is general practice to provide advice but no other form of support because we can provide support more efficiently in a placement which is managed and funded by ourselves.