Glasgow City Council’s policy on inclusion is that every child is included and supported. At Carmunnock Primary, our Additional Support for Learning policy has been developed in line with this wider policy, underpinned by the most recent legislation and guidelines, including:
- GIRFEC: Getting It Right for Every Child (2006, and draft guidelines developed in 2016);
- The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014;
- The Equality Act 2010;
- Additional Support for Learning Act (2004, amended in 2009).
We recognise that there may be a broad range of factors and circumstances, short or long term, which give rise to a child or young person requiring additional support to promote learning, progress and all round development. Examples of these factors are described in more detail in the Additional Support for Learning Act (2004, 2009) and can be found in appendix 1.
Our ASL policy outlines how Carmunnock Primary will meet our duties and responsibilities under current legislation. It summarises the range of strategies and procedures in place to support children with additional support needs.
We promote equality and inclusion, as outlined in the council’s policy “Every Child is Included”, and in our school’s vision, aims and values. We treat each and every child as an individual, encouraging and supporting them to set and meet specific targets. All stakeholders play an important part in achieving success for our children and young people, so we strive to actively work together with teaching staff, support staff, pupils, parents and carers at all times. Our ongoing positive relationships are central to the successful implementation of this policy.
The contents of this policy are closely linked to, and can be used alongside our curricular, learning and teaching, equal opportunities and health and safety policies.
At Carmunnock we aim to:
- Remove barriers to learning, ensuring that all children have the support they need to work towards achieving their full potential;
- Recognise that children may need support in a wide variety of circumstances, identify and respond to issues quickly and efficiently;
- Plan, deliver and evaluate effective learning experiences for children with Additional Support Needs;
- Work in partnership with parents, pupils and other agencies where required.
Provision for Additional Support Needs
Effective Teaching and Learning
All classroom teachers have a contractual and statutory requirement to address the learning and development needs of all the children in their class. For the majority of children, their additional support needs are met by effective learning and teaching within the classroom, including appropriate differentiation. In some cases, teachers will work with other partners to meet the pupils’ needs. Teachers are committed to providing a learning experience where barriers to learning are removed, and the effects of additional support needs are minimised. Examples of effective, inclusive teaching and learning approaches are outlined in appendix 2a and 2b of this policy.
Identification and Assessment Procedures
In most cases, the first step in identifying an additional support need will be an initial observation or assessment made by the class teacher. The class teacher should then discuss their concerns with the Principal Teacher/ ASL co-ordinator as early as possible. At this point, strategies may be suggested to try in the class.
The PT/ ASL co-ordinator may then carry out additional observations and assessments. They will work with the class teacher to develop a Wellbeing Assessment and Plan (WAP) in line with GIRFEC guidelines. A WAP captures information about the child under the wellbeing indicators (safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, responsible, respected and included), building a full picture of the child’s needs. It provides a space to record input from other agencies, as well as long-term and short-term targets for the child, agreed in partnership with the pupil and parent/ carer.
Where the school identifies needs which require additional intervention and support, the process of ‘Staged Intervention’ will begin, to determine the level of support required.
Pupils placed at Stage 1 on the Staged Intervention model are recognised as having additional support needs which can be managed by the class teacher.
Strategies may include using differentiation in the curriculum, PSA support, seeking advice from ASL co-ordinator/ specialist teachers, or adapting resources. Forward planning should include details of strategies used. Details of the child’s wellbeing needs, targets and strategies should be regularly tracked and monitored through the child’s WAP.
Pupils receiving additional support within the establishment, but out with the classroom, are placed at Stage 2.
In Carmunnock, this often applies to pupils who receive Support for Learning from our Additional Support for Learning teacher. Details of the support strategies should be included in forward plans, and targets should be regularly tracked and monitored through the child’s WAP.
In situations where a pupil’s needs can only be met by agencies external to the school, but still within education services, this will be classed as Stage 3 intervention. Examples may be educational psychologists, Glasgow Dyslexia Support Service (GDSS), English as an Additional Language (EAL) outreach team.
Partnership working is key at Stage 3 intervention, and details of all partners involved should be clearly noted on the child’s WAP, along with their role. Long term and short term targets should be planned, considering input from the pupil and their parents/ carers, then evaluated and reviewed on a regular basis.
Where there is multi-agency involvement, including agencies out with education services, a child is placed at Stage 4. Examples of agencies involved may include social work, psychological services, young carers or health services. Support is as stage 3, with wider consultation and shared communication. Pupils at stage 4 of the framework may also have a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP), and this will be considered on an individual basis.
Children who have a WAP will have their targets and strategies reviewed on a regular basis. In addition to this, formal review meetings will be held at least once a year. Parents, the class teacher and the ASL co-ordinator will meet to discuss progress, and make any improvements to the WAP. The pupil will, where appropriate, be invited to attend and contribute to at least the planning and target-setting element of the meeting.
Co-ordinated Support Planning
Pupils at stage 4 of the Staged Intervention Framework will have significant and continuing needs. Therefore, in line with the council’s Every Child Is Included policy, Carmunnock Primary will formally consider the appropriateness of constructing a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP) for pupils at stage 4, at every annual review meeting. In doing so, we will refer to the criteria outlined in the council’s policy. The outcome of this decision will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting, and reflected in the pupil’s WAP.
- An up-to-date overview of the ASN in the school can be accessed by all staff on Our Establishment, in the Additional Support for Learning folder.
- The PT/ ASL co-ordinator has overall responsibility for pupils’ WAPs.
- WAPs are held centrally on the SEEMIS system, and a “hard” copy is also held by the Head Teacher.
- The class teacher will be responsible for reviewing and adapting long-term and short-term targets, at agreed intervals throughout the year.
- The target pages from the WAPs will also be kept by the class teacher in the Forward Plan, to monitor progress towards short term targets.
- Pupils who are referred to other agencies will have letters, assessments and evaluations held by the HT.
- In particular, pupils referred to Psychological Services will have a psychological services record kept by the H.T/Educational Psychologist.
Draft guidelines suggest that following the implementation of new GIRFEC guidelines (expected 31st August 2016), all establishments will be legally required to hold a current WAP for all pupils who have an additional support need. WAPs will be key in sharing information at important times of transition, since they will transfer between establishments. Carmunnock are preparing for this by implementing WAPs at this stage and using them to share information between staff and other agencies.
Nursery to Primary 1
Information on pupil progress will be received through transition records, meetings and reciprocal visits between nursery and primary school. Identified needs will be discussed and taken into account by the P1 teacher.
WAPs will be discussed with the next member of staff in June/August, and current targets pages will be passed on. Pupils will have the opportunity to “meet the new teacher” in June, where possible.
Transition to Secondary School
- Pupils with WAPs will have these updated as per statutory requirements;
- Joint assessment team meetings will be held;
- Information on WAPs will be transferred to Additional Support for Learning staff in the appropriate Secondary School, and liaison meetings will be held.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Named Person
The Named Person for the establishment is the Head Teacher, Zahida Din. This is in line with new GIRFEC guidelines. More information on the role of the Named Person can be found on the Scottish Government website, and through the Council policy, Every Child is Included.
The Lead Professional
The Lead Professional identified in the Wellbeing Assessment and Plan format is the PT/ ASL co-ordinator, Gayle McDonald. The ASL co-ordinator will be responsible for managing WAPs. They are also responsible for managing the learning support resources, liaising with staff and parents, assisting in assessment, target setting, monitoring and recording, maintaining pupil tracking records and updating these on a regular basis.
The Class Teacher (See Appendices 2a and 2b)
The class teacher should discuss any concerns they have about a child with the PT/ ASL co-ordinator at the earliest opportunity. In partnership, they will then be responsible for setting long-term and short-term targets as part of the child’s WAP.
Progress in achieving these targets should be monitored and evaluated by teacher and pupils. Effective use should be made of the wide range of teaching materials available and agreed programmes of study. The class teacher will be responsible for planning, recording and evaluating progress of children at Stages 1 and 2.
Where part of the support programme is to be delivered by support staff there should be joint planning and assessment to ensure that the class teacher can maintain the role of principal educator.
The Head Teacher
The Head Teacher will be responsible for carrying out the statutory duties as outlined in The Additional Support for Learning Act (2004, 2009), liaising with external agencies/psychological services and parents. In assisting ASN Co-ordinators in the management of the Additional Support Needs strategies at Carmunnock she has overall resource responsibility. As outlined in the GIRFEC guidelines, the Head Teacher is also the Named Person at Carmunnock.
The Pupil Support Assistant
PSAs will support pupils’ learning by working with groups or individuals in learning experiences directed and designed by the teacher. They also allow teachers to concentrate on direct teaching activities by carrying out support/admin tasks.
The Educational Psychologist
The role of the Educational Psychologist is, as part of the SIIM (Staged Intervention Inclusion Meeting):
- to assist the school in assessing the needs of pupils;
- to provide support strategies for staff, parents and pupils;
- in suitable cases, provision for the additional support needs of such children.
Working with Parents
At Carmunnock Primary, we are committed to working closely with parents/ carers to ensure they are fully involved in identifying, assessing, planning and providing for additional support needs, and reviewing progress. We have clear and open lines of communication with our families, and ensure we work in partnership to develop pupil plans and set targets.
Where parents need to communicate in a language other than English, we will make appropriate arrangements to enable them to participate fully in meetings to discuss their child’s needs. Parents/ carers who have a disability which makes attendance to a meeting difficult, will be offered alternative means of contact. Parents/ carers and young people have the right to have a supporter or advocate present at any meeting where the needs of a child are being discussed.
The commitment outlined in our policy to ensuring that parents/ carers are listened to and feel valued at all stages will minimise the need to use formal measures to resolve disputes. The 2006 Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act includes the expectation that schools work with parents to resolve informally any disagreements that arise. It also provides for all parents to have access to a formalised complaints procedure. Carmunnock Primary follows the Council’s complaints procedure which is available on the Glasgow Council website. More information can also be obtained from the Head teacher, or from the school office.
All staff at Carmunnock Primary are committed to continuing professional development. Staff are encouraged to keep up to date with the latest developments in educational legislation and guidelines, and are given the opportunity to develop in specific areas through Glasgow’s CPD Manager. All staff in our school take part in training during in-service days and regular collegiate meetings, and formal CPD records are kept by all, as required by the General Teaching Council Scotland.
Electronic copies of ASL resources/ information are accessible on Our Establishment, in the Additional Support for Learning folder. Support for Learning resources and games are kept in the Learning Centre. Management Circulars are available to all staff on the council Intranet page.
A list of publications and websites containing information about current guidelines and legislation can be found in appendix 3.
In line with guidance from the Council’s Head of Information Governance, Carmunnock Primary will adhere to the requirements of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 with regard to seeking appropriate consent in the exchange and sharing of information. WAPs and Co-ordinated Support Plans are confidential documents. Copies of these documents or extracts from them, however, need to be shared with key personnel who have a responsibility for supporting a child or young person. Parents/Carers or a young person should give their consent to the sharing of any information.
This policy was updated March 2016.
Review at publication of final GIRFEC guidelines (expected August 2016).
The Additional Support for Learning Act (2004, amended in 2009) gives examples of situations where a children may be considered to have additional support needs.
Children and young people may:
- Have parents abusing drugs or alcohol;
- Be caring for others or be themselves parents;
- Be affected by disability;
- Encounter barriers to learning arising from a specific learning difficulty such as Dyslexia, ADHD or dyspraxia;
- Have language and communication disorders;
- Be in need of protection;
- Be bullied;
- Be experiencing difficult family circumstances, e.g. divorce or serious illness;
- Be exceptionally able as learners, or talented in particular areas, such as sport, music or art and design;
- Require support in acquiring full fluency in English;
- Have experienced a bereavement;
- Not be attending school regularly;
- Have learning disabilities;
- Have mental health problems;
- Have physical or sensory disabilities;
- Require transport or particular transport arrangements;
- Have particular emotional and social needs;
- Present challenging behaviour and may be in conflict with the law;
- Be chronically ill.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and a child may be considered to have additional support needs for any reason which poses a barrier to their learning and progress.
Effective approaches to learning and teaching
Staff in primary schools have a particularly important role in assisting pupils to acquire positive attitudes to formal education and the skills required for lifelong success. Meeting these goals should avoid or reduce difficulties, and result in greater efficiency in learning.
Some characteristics of effective learning and teaching:
- Establish and maintain a good classroom ethos in which pupils are motivated to learn;
- Plan, prepare and organise lessons well and ensure that pupils are clear about what they have to learn;
- Recognise the need for good classroom organisation, including the organisation of resources;
- Shared learning outcomes and success criteria;
- Set a good example and foster good relationships with pupils;
- Have high, but attainable expectations of pupils in respect of both academic performance and good behaviour;
- Provide tasks which are well matched to the needs, aptitudes and prior knowledge of individual pupils;
- Understand the role of language in learning;
- Encourage and support pupils to become independent, resourceful and responsible, able to work purposefully on their own and with others;
- Check that learning is taking place by ensuring that assessment is an integral part of the classroom work and provides diagnostic information on pupil progress and information which can be used to evaluate their teaching and to inform parents;
- Give feedback on their work to help them learn effectively and identify the best next steps for them, taking account of their strengths and needs;
- Support classroom learning with work done at home where this is appropriate.
Examples of good, inclusive practice
Learning and Teaching
- Effective formative assessment
- Shared understanding of pupils’ needs and targets
- Setting clear, achievable goals
- Positive encouragement and feedback
e.g. two stars and a wish
- Variety of teaching methods, considering all types of learner
- Inclusion in class/group activities at every opportunity
- Paired reading/writing/maths
- Using I.C.T.
- Plenary lessons – link the learning
- Reinforce the feeling that everyone has a contribution to make
- Valuing everyone as a member of the class
- Encouraging a sense of achievement
- Activity breaks/chunk lessons
- Developing teaching expertise through C.P.D.
- Keeping up-to-date with guidelines and legislation
- P.S.D. strategies:
- time out
- circle time
- bubble time
- circle of friends
- social stories
- positive, calm atmosphere
- brain gym
- behaviour charts/targets
- good book
- Visual timetables
- Easy access to resources
- Jobs/ responsibilities for pupils
- Consistent expectations
- Involving pupils in setting guidelines and targets
- Additional Support for Learning (Scotland) Act (2009)
- The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
Revised Statutory Guidance for parts 4, 5 and 18 (section 96)
- Education Scotland information page on Additional Support for Learning
- Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)
- Information on the Named Person
- Information on the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006