Additional support for learning: guidance on assessing capacity and considering wellbeing

Guidance on the assessment of capacity and consideration of wellbeing in respect of additional support for learning in school education.

Chapter Five Assessment of Change in Circumstances

Assessing capacity and adverse impact on wellbeing when similar matters have recently been considered

47 Where a child has requested to exercise their rights within a short period of time after an earlier request to use a similar right, an education authority will assess whether there has been any significant change in circumstances of the child, since the request was made. This assessment will take into account the following factors:

  • time elapsed since request was made, usually there will be little time elapsed between a request to exercise a right and the use of the right, in other instances the time elapsed may be a significant factor,
  • consideration of any changes in the child's circumstances, in the key barriers to learning:
  • learning environment
  • health and disability
  • social and emotional factors
  • family circumstances
  • ensure active participation of the child in decision-making,
  • support from an adult who knows the child well. The assessment of the teacher who knows the child will be based on a wide variety of sources of evidence including observing day-to-day learning, learning conversations and/or planned periodic holistic assessment,
  • involve and inform parents, good communication with parents and carers will lead to everyone being updated about significant changes.

Notifying the conclusions of considerations on capacity and adverse impact on wellbeing

48 The child and their parents or carers must be informed of the conclusions of these considerations. In the circumstances where the child or their parent does not agree with the outcome of these considerations, they may refer this to the Tribunal for consideration. Where it is decided that the child is not considered to have capacity and/or there is adverse impact on wellbeing, the education authority (and the child) may not carry out the right.


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