What is a CSP?
A CSP is the statutory education plan for children and young people with additional support needs arising from one or more complex factors or multiple factors which are likely to continue for more than a year; and who require significant additional support from the education authority as well as another part of the education authority carrying out another function, for example, Social Work or from an appropriate agency, for example, the NHS.
The CSP includes information about the child or young person, their additional support needs and the different types of support the child or young person needs in order to benefit from their education within the year ahead. It will contain educational outcomes and detail the support that will be provided by the school and other agencies. The CSP will specify the range, type and frequency of support, who is providing this and importantly, how the support will be coordinated. The child, young person, parents or carers and the school's views are included in the CSP.
The CSP is designed to keep the child or young person at the centre and to support good communication and partnership working between the school, the child or young person, parents or carers and other professionals.
The 2004 Act sets out the criteria for a CSP in Section 2. A child or young person must be provided with a CSP when:
a) An education authority is responsible for the school education of the child or young person,
b) The child or young person has additional support needs arising from-
i. one or more complex factors, or
ii. multiple factors,
c) The additional support needs are likely to continue for more than a year, and
d) Those needs require significant additional support to be provided-
i. by the education authority in the exercise of any of their other functions as well as in the exercise of their functions relating to education, or
ii. by one or more appropriate agencies, such as Health as well as by the education authority themselves.
The 2004 Act also requires education authorities to consider whether each individual looked after child or young person requires a co-ordinated support plan.
The 2004 Act provides parents and carers with the right to ask the education authority for their child to be assessed for a CSP and to challenge this decision if it is refused. Children aged 12 – 15 with capacity also have similar rights.
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