Publication - Advice and guidance

A Manual Of Good Practice In Special Educational Needs

Published: 27 Feb 2004

Professional Practice In Meeting Special Educational Needs

110 page PDF

391.9 kB

110 page PDF

391.9 kB

Contents
A Manual Of Good Practice In Special Educational Needs
Page 2

110 page PDF

391.9 kB

Manual of Professional Practice in Meeting Special Educational Needs

INTRODUCTION

1 The Manual
2 Developing Quality in Professional Practice
3 Principles of Good Practice
4 Organisation of the Manual
5 How to Use the Manual

1. The Manual

This Manual offers guidance to all those concerned with the education of children and young persons with special educational needs. It is addressed primarily to :

Local Authorities

Officials of the authority responsible for ensuring that the statutory duties in respect of children and young persons with special educational needs are discharged in accordance with national advice. Boards of Governors, in the case of independent schools.

Schools, including pre-school centres

All staff.

Support Services

Educational psychologists, local authority advisory staff, specialist teachers, pre-school home visiting teachers and a range of other professionals who work in schools.

Voluntary Sector

Organisations supporting children and young persons with special educational needs and their families.

Although the Manual has been written for professionals, parents may find it helpful in their contact with local authorities, schools and support services. More specific advice for parents is contained in the SOEID publication A Parents' Guide to Special Educational Needs.

Terms used in the Manual

child

A person not over school age (generally 16 years of age).

young person

A person over school age who is not yet 18 years of age.

parents

This includes carers.

school

This refers to primary, secondary and special schools unless these schools are mentioned specifically in the text. It also covers the range of pre-school centres attended by children under the age of five, in which case terms such as class, curriculum and teacher should be interpreted as they apply to the pre-school context.

support services

The range of support services which may be secured by an authority can include:

learning support and network support teachers;

pre-school home visiting teachers;

specialist teachers including specialists in sensory impairments;

psychological service;

bilingual or EAL services and interpretative services; advisory services;

health services (speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy community paediatricians, etc.);

social services; and

specialist careers services.

2. Developing Quality in Professional Practice

We are now several years into a quality initiative in Scottish education, where schools are placed at the centre of the drive for quality This is in keeping with our belief that the most effective way of improving the quality of education for individual pupils is to expect schools to take responsibility for their own quality assurance by evaluating their performance and making the necessary changes.

Osler D, HMSCI,

Foreword to Standards and Quality Th Scottish Schools 1992-95
(HMI Audit Unit, June 1996)

The desire to develop and assure quality provision is well established. Reporting on standards and quality is part of the process of school self-evaluation and development planning. This Manual has been designed to help those interested in the self-evaluation of educational provision for children and young people with special educational needs. It complements the already widely-used approach represented in How good is our school? Self-evaluation using performance indicators (HMI Audit Unit, 1996).

The Scottish Office has developed a framework of guidance focusing on provision for children and young persons with special educational needs. The framework consists of four interrelated documents of which this Manual is one:

1. Effective Provision for Special Educational Needs (SOEID, 1994)

HM Inspectors' report on provision for special educational needs

(EPSEN).

2. Children and Young Persons with Special Educational Needs Assessment and Recording (Circular 4/96, SOEID,1996)

Guidance on the assessment and recording of special educational needs.

3. A Parents' Guide to Special Educational Needs (SOEID, 1999)

A booklet offering guidance to parents and Named Persons.

4. Professional Practice in Meeting Special Educational Needs (SOEID, 1998)

Guidance for developing quality professional practice to meet special educational needs.

This Manual builds on the principle that responsibility for developing quality practice rests with all professionals involved in the provision of services to children, young people and their parents. It acknowledges the diversity that is characteristic of local authorities, schools and support services in Scotland. It offers a framework within which self-evaluation can be managed to suit the needs of the organisation concerned. Staff will be able to use the material to evaluate aspects of their provision, set targets for improvement and include these as part of their on-going programme of development planning. This process is seen as consistent with the overall goal of raising standards for all children and young persons, including those with special educational needs.

3. Principles of Good Practice

The Manual is founded on a number of principles of good practice. These have been derived from Scottish law and international statements of principle, from statements and guidelines about inclusion and from guidance on effective provision for meeting special educational needs. Legal requirements and advice from these sources are summarised in Part 1.

Principles

  • Local authorities are committed to providing for all children and young persons in their area a progressive education appropriate to their age, abilities and aptitudes which is provided in a setting where they are valued and safe.

  • All children and young persons have an equal opportunity to achieve excellence, to have the highest expectations set for them and to have their achievements valued in the environment which suits them best.

  • All children and young persons have an entitlement to a curriculum in accordance with the policy of the authority and in line with national guidance. The curriculum satisfies the principles of breadth, balance, progression, continuity and coherence.

  • All children and young persons have a right, where appropriate, to participate actively in decisions about their education and welfare; those with communication difficulties are, where necessary, assisted to express their feelings and views and these are valued and respected.

  • Parents' responsibilities to safeguard and promote their children's health, development and welfare and their rights in relation to how their children are educated are recognised and respected.

  • Parents are active and informed participants in the assessment of their child's special educational needs and in the formulation and review of measures to meet those needs.

  • The provision of services gives due regard, without discrimination, to disability, gender, religious persuasion, racial origin and to the cultural and linguistic background of children, young persons and their parents.

  • Quality provision for meeting special educational needs is best achieved within the context of a positive ethos of partnership between parents and schools, local authorities, education support services, and other agencies working with children and young persons.

  • The effective provision of services requires an inclusive strategy which is understood by all concerned, is operated collaboratively and commands the confidence of children, young persons and their parents.

  • Quality services for meeting special educational needs are supported by strategic policies, effective planning and resource allocation by the local authority and other service providers, and by a structure which establishes procedures for monitoring and evaluating the services provided for children and young persons.

  • Professionals in local authorities, schools and support services work with relevant voluntary and health sector organisations in a spirit of inclusion, partnership and collaboration. The contribution which each makes is valued equally and regarded as complementary.

  • Schools have a key role to play in enabling all pupils and staff to achieve excellence.

4. Organisation of the Manual

The Manual comprises two parts.

Part 1 describes the policy and legislative framework underpinning provision for special educational needs in Scotland.

Part 2 considers practical guidance for evaluating key areas of professional practice. The selection of key areas has been influenced by the requirements of Circular 4/96, by EPSEN and by the performance indicators in How good is our school? The list of topics is not seen as definitive and it is very likely that local authorities, schools and support services will identify particular areas for further development.

The three key areas covered are:

A: Working together;

B: Providing an appropriate curriculum; and

C: Making decisions involving children and young persons with special educational needs.

In each of the key areas, the Manual focuses on important aspects of professional practice. In respect of each of these aspects, the Manual:

reviews the principles which should underpin good professional practice;

examines in some detail a number of themes; and

suggests features to look for when evaluating professional practice.

These features of good practice (FGP) form the core of the Manual. They can be used to evaluate whether and how the expectations of all partners (children, parents and professionals) are being met. They complement the Performance Indicators (PI) contained in How good is our school? and can be regarded as an extension of PIs to the area of special educational needs.

The aspects and themes covered are indicated below, together with references to associated sets of FGPs.

Key Area A: Working together

ASPECTS

THEMES

FGP reference

LA

school

service

A1 Involving children and young persons

i policy relating to the rights of children and young persons with special educational needs

A1 (1)

A1 (2)

A1 (3)

ii guidance and support procedures for working with children and young persons

"

"

"

iii implementation and evaluation of collaborative practice

"

"

"

A2 Parents as partners

i policy relating to the rights and responsibilities of parents of children and young persons with special educational needs

A2 (1)

A2 (2)

A2 (3)

ii guidance and support procedures for working with parents

"

"

"

iii implementation and evaluation of collaborative practice

"

"

"

A3 The contribution of the voluntary sector

i policy in relation to the involvement of the voluntary sector in Children's Services Plans and in provision for special educational needs

A3 (1)

A3 (1)

A3 (1)

ii guidance and support procedures for working with voluntary sector organisations

"

"

"

iii implementation and evaluation of collaborative practice

"

"

"

A4 Working with health services

i the Children's Services Plan

A4 (1)

A4 (1)

A4 (1)

ii guidance and support procedures for collaborative working

"

"

"

iii implementation and evaluation of collaborative practice

"

"

"

A5 Towards an inclusive school

i the statement of school policy on special educational needs

A5 (1)

ii effective management structures and processes

A5 (2)

iii deployment and development of staffing and resources

A5 (3)

iv the management of forms of provision suited to needs

A5 (4)

A6 The support services

i implementing the local authority's Children's Services Plan

A6

ii policy and guidance for meeting special educational needs

"

iii effective implementation and evaluation

"

A7 The role of the local authority

i the Children's Services Plan

A7

ii policy and guidance for meeting special educational needs

"

iii the effective management of provision for special educational needs

"

Key Area B: Providing an appropriate curriculum

ASPECTS

THEMES

FGP reference

LA

school

service

B1 Learning and teaching

i planning approaches to learning and teaching to take account of special educational needs

B1 (1)

B1 (2)

B1 (3)

ii selecting and using teaching strategies most suited to the assessed needs of the individual in the context of the group or the class

"

"

"

iii using information and communications technology

"

"

"

B2 Planning the curriculum: individualised educational programmes

i the Individualised Educational Programme (IEP)

B2 (1)

B2 (2)

B2 (3)

ii providing a broad and balanced curricular programme which systematically promotes progression in learning and attainment

"

"

"

iii enabling children and young persons to achieve success within a learning programme appropriate to their abilities and long term needs

"

"

"

B3 Support for learning

i ensuring an holistic approach to meeting the needs of children and young persons with special educational needs

B3 (1)

B3 (2)

B3 (3)

ii support for teaching

"

"

"

iii mproving attainment

"

"

"

Key Area C: Making decisions involving children and young persons

ASPECTS

THEMES

FGP reference

LA

school

service

C1 Pre-school years

(EPSEN steps1-9)

i policy in relation to the arrangements for early identification and assessment of special educational needs, as recommended in EPSEN steps 1-9 for the pre-school years

C1

C1

C1

ii guidance and support procedures for identifying, assessing and providing for special educational needs

"

"

"

iii implementation and evaluation of practice

"

"

"

C2 School years

(EPSEN Steps 1-2)

i policy in relation to the arrangements for early identification and assessment of special educational needs, as recommended in EPSEN steps 1-2

C2

C2

C2

ii guidance and support procedures for identifying, assessing and providing for special educational needs

"

"

"

iii implementation and evaluation of practice

"

"

"

C3 School years
(EPSEN Steps 3-4)

i policy in relation to the arrangements for early identification and assessment of special educational needs, as recommended in EPSEN steps 3-4

C3

C3

C3

ii guidance and support procedures for identifying, assessing and providing for special educational needs

"

"

"

iii implementation and evaluation of practice

"

"

"

C4 School 4.1
years
(EPSEN
Steps 5-8)

i policy in relation to the arrangements for the process of statutory assessment

C4.1

C4.1

C4.1

ii guidance and support procedures for the conduct of statutory assessment

"

"

"

iii implementation and evaluation of practice

"

"

"

4.2

i the Case Conference

C4.2

C4.2

C4.2

ii notification of the local authority's decision

"

"

"

iii resolving disagreements and statutory appeals

"

"

"

iv custody, modification, transfer, disclosure, discontinuance, preservation and destruction of the Record of Needs

"

"

"

4.3

i the process of formal review of Record of Needs

C4.3

C4.3

C4.3

4.4

i supporting children, young persons and parents in the contexts of assessments and reviews

C4.4

C4.4

C4.4

C5 The content of the Record of Needs

i the assessment profile and summary of impairments (Parts lIlA and IIIB)

C5

C5

C5

ii the statement of special educational needs
(Part IV)

"

"

"

iii measures proposed (Part V)

"

"

"

C6 Future Needs Assessment

i policy in relation to the statutory arrangements for Future Needs Assessment (FNA)

C6

C6

C6

ii guidance and support procedures for the conduct of FNA

"

"

"

iii mplementation and evaluation of practice

"

"

"

5. How to Use the Manual

The Manual is based on the principle that responsibility for special educational needs lies with all staff in an organisation. It can be used to assist strategic development planning in an authority, school or support service.

The Manual should be used selectively. It is not intended that it be read from cover to cover. To use the Manual, consider the following questions and related steps.

How are we doing?

Step 1 Taking a broad view. Refer to the above list of key areas and select aspects within a particular key area which you wish to explore in depth. (There could be a number of reasons for your choice: the areas you choose may be viewed as successful or as giving cause for concern; you may be looking for illustrations of good practice in an area covered by a Performance Indicator from How good is our school?; you may wish to review an area which has not received attention for some time.)

Step 2 Taking a closer look. Study the themes for the chosen area/aspect and select those to be explored in depth, depending on local circumstances. The features of good practice allow you to consider your own practice across the various themes.

How do we know?

Step 3 Decide what forms of evidence would be useful and how this process will be managed (collection and analysis). Use an approach which is objective, focused and rigorous. Existing sources of evidence may be very appropriate for the purpose. The views of children, young persons and parents should also be sought.

What are we going to do now?

Step 4 Agree outcomes from the exercise and the priorities which will form the basis of your report on standards and quality.

Step 5 Integrate the report into the process of development planning and offer feedback to appropriate managers of other related service providers.

Continue the cycle of self-evaluation while monitoring and evaluating previous outcomes. Ensure that all key areas are reviewed within three years and build this into your development planning schedule.