What kind of support are schools able to provide from their own budgets?
Schools are expected to provide:
- Planned programmes of interventions for children with additional needs including those advised by outside agencies. This might include interventions recommended by healthcare professionals and as part of an ongoing and monitored Health Care Plan.
- Within schools, Teachers, Teaching Assistants or Learning Mentors provide support in a variety of ways. This support should be used to provide evidence based intervention and support to the pupils individually or as part of a group. The common factor is that pupils accessing this support should have individual planned programmes, usually identified through provision mapping, Individual Education Plan (IEP), or equivalent, and this support is to ensure the intervention programme is delivered and monitored. If a number of pupils are working on a similar intervention, group work would be appropriate. However, some pupils would need access to individual intervention over and above any group work at times and therefore the support will be provided to meet this need. This is not only appropriate to children with learning needs, it also includes children who are accessing SEN support for example, who have a range of additional needs including -
- social, emotional/mental health needs,
- medical issues,
- communication difficulties (including autism)
- visual and hearing impairment
In other words, the full range of possible special educational needs
- Support to meet the needs of pupils with mobility challenges. This might include, for example, staff support to transfer from one class to another, support to address toileting needs, support during PE. This will be addressed via the accessibility plan and following a risk assessment. Children with medical or physical needs may not necessarily require support for special educational needs, where they are making expected progress; they may, however, require a medical plan or risk assessment of need.
- Support to address the needs of children who require access to additional supervision at lunchtime (or break) periods, either because of physical issues, or difficulties with their relationships with other children or adults
- Appropriate IT software and programmes to meet pupil needs, for example, dyslexia, reading, handwriting programmes could also be included. Specialist equipment, other than that provided by specialist services or via an Education, Health and Care Plan, may also be available.
- Where external advice and support is required, schools are also able to seek this from the Local Authority or Health Services such as the Speech and Language Therapy Service, Integrated Physical and Sensory Service or Educational Psychology Service. Certain professional services can be bought in by schools for instance counselling, educational psychology or learning support.
- School management must ensure that a regular cycle of training is in place for all staff to update their knowledge and skills in meeting the various categories of additional needs within school and to ensure interventions are delivered correctly.