Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Procedures when Children with Significant Additional Support Needs Move into Orkney

These procedures relate to pupils who have significant additional support needs. They relate to situations, for example, where the pupil has received high levels of support for learning teaching input and/or a high level of support for learning classroom assistant support immediately prior to moving to Orkney. They also apply if a pupil has attended a specialist provision in their previous L.E.A. e.g. a specialist provision for children with dyslexia or autistic spectrum difficulties.

If a pupil has less pronounced additional support needs, for example, has received occasional visits from Children’s Services support staff or a share of existing within school support, then these procedures do not apply and the pupil should be enrolled as soon as possible within the catchment area school. Their needs should be monitored by school staff in consultation with the school’s Educational Psychologist and/or other agencies as appropriate.

Step 1

  1. Where parents or carers contact the school about enrolling their child, the Head Teacher should advise the parents or carers that their child’s enrolment will not proceed until initial assessment has been undertaken by the Educational Psychology Service, including gathering information from and about the previous educational placement. Parents or carers should be informed that they will be contacted by an Educational Psychologist within two weeks of the date of their contact with the Head Teacher. The Head Teacher should notify the Principal Psychologist and the Service Improvement Officer with as much information as possible.
  2. If the parents or carers initial contact is with the Service Improvement Officer, the Officer advises them on the catchment area school, placing request procedures, and interim home teaching if appropriate. The Officer should inform the parents or carers that their child’s enrolment will not proceed until initial assessment has been undertaken by the Educational Psychology Service, including gathering information from and about the previous educational placement. Parents or carers should be informed that they will be contacted by an Educational Psychologist within two weeks of the date of their contact with the Service Improvement Officer. The Service Improvement Officer should immediately notify the Principal Psychologist with as much information as possible.

Step 2

The Principal Psychologist will allocate the initial assessment to the appropriate Educational Psychologist and will notify the Additional Support Needs Management Team of the date planned for discussion with parents.

Step 3

The Educational Psychology Service will contact the previous school and any other agencies who have been involved with the pupil. Written information will be requested.

Step 4

Within two weeks the Educational Psychologist will meet with parents or carers to discuss the local provision, both specialist and mainstream, seek parental viewpoint and undertake initial assessment of the child’s needs and situation as appropriate.

Note: If the child is currently maintained in existing specialist provision outwith the Authority, then parents are advised of the possibility of temporary maintenance of the placement prior to the decision on appropriate local placement. Parents are informed that this decision will be made within four weeks.

Continuation within out of Orkney specialist placements will only be considered if local options have been thoroughly explored and recommended as inappropriate. Evidence of the requirement of the specialist placement will be sought by the allocated Educational Psychologist.

Step 5

The allocated Educational Psychologist discusses all assessment information with the Additional Support Needs Management Team and a date is made for a placement meeting involving parents or carers, Educational Psychologist, Principal Psychologist and Service Improvement Officer.

Step 6

The Educational Psychologist has a feedback meeting with parents or carers, to inform them of his or her placement recommendation and informs them of the placement meeting.

Step 7

A meeting chaired by the Service Improvement Officer is held to discuss the recommended placement with parents. Minutes of the meeting are sent to all participants and to the Head Teacher of the recommended school.

Step 8

A planning meeting is held involving parents or carers, the Educational Psychologist, school staff and Service Improvement Officer in order to establish the starting date, support requirements and learning strategies. A date for an initial review meeting should be set.

Note: In cases where home teaching has been given, the allocated psychologist should liaise regularly with the teacher and arrange for the teacher to liaise with the placement school in respect of teaching programmes followed at home. Information and recommendation should then be forwarded to the Pupil Support Management Team before an offer of full time placement is made to parents or carers.