Assessment is the ongoing process of gathering, structuring and making sense of the information about a child or young person. The purpose of assessment is to help identify the actions required to maximise development and learning.
Assessment is a dynamic process. As a result it should not be divorced from other aspects of the child or young person's life at school, home or in the community. Assessment will include discussion with parents and professionals. It may involve observation and/or individual work with the child or young person as required.
Assessment, and the provision of additional support, is managed through a process of staged intervention which can be summarised as follows:
"In class" approaches - class teacher reviews the curriculum, approach to personal learning planning, pace and challenge. This would be considered 'routine' practice learning and teaching and parents would get feedback through the general home-school partnership working.
"Class Plus" approaches - class teacher seeks support and advice from colleagues, e.g. Support for Learning Teacher, additional resources may be introduced. Parents should be involved in discussion with the class teacher or guidance teacher when the level of intervention is moving from stage one to stage two. The contribution of parents to assessment and planning is highly valued and it is recognised that they have valuable information that helps professional staff understand how a child or young person learns.
"School" approaches - class teacher is actively supported by Support for Learning Teacher, additional resources are allocated to the child or young person, informal request for advice may be made to Pupil Support Team, school based team consult with staff from Educational Psychology Service. At Stage 3, intervention will be supported by a cycle of planning and review which involves parents as well as the child or young person themselves.
"School Plus" approaches other staff and providers, for example, staff from the pupil support team may be asked to assist with the assessment activity and/or direct provision of support through a formal request for involvement. At stage 4, the child or young person will have an individualised education programme and this will be reviewed on a regular cyclical basis. Reviews will involve parents, the child or young person and others who are working with them.
"Multi-agency" approach - planning and provision is undertaken by a multi-agency team.
Getting it Right for every child is a national initiative. Getting it right for Orkney’s Children and Young People describes the approach taken locally to giving all children and young people the best start in life. This includes the Council as a Corporate Parent working in partnership with others service providers.
Every child and young person in Orkney is on a journey through life, experiencing rapid development and change as they make the transition from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood.
This guide provides an overview of the Getting it Right for Orkney’s Children and Young People approach and developments so far. It provides information on emerging national and local thinking, building from the work of national pathfinders and existing local good practice. It shows how the practice model and tools can be used to secure better outcomes for children and young people.
This guide is relevant to all those involved or working with children and young people, including practitioners working in adult services with parents and carers.
Applying a Getting it Right approach to improve outcomes for children and young people contributes directly to the way agencies work to help them become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.
If a parent has a concern about their child, or feels that their child has an unmet need, the first point of contact would be the class teacher for pre-school and primary education or guidance teacher for secondary education.