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How is additional support provided?

Photo: Children who have long-term, complex or multiple needs have a coordinated support plan

If the local authority (LA) agrees to assess your child and decides that they have additional support needs, the local authority (LA) must provide adequate and efficient additional support to meet these – this will usually be in the form of one of the plans below.

Additional support plan

An additional support plan (ASP) involves teachers working with parents, children and young people to set clear goals and review progress on a regular basis. All children and young people with additional support needs should have an ASP and for many this will be enough to address their additional support needs.

Individual educational programme

For some children and young people, an individual educational programme (IEP) is needed. This can be called different things depending on where you live. For example, it may be called an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) or an Individual Support Plan (ISP).

Whatever it’s called, it provides more detailed planning for learning than an ASP. An IEP describes in detail the nature of a child or young person’s additional support needs, the ways in which these are to be met, the learning outcomes to be achieved, and specifies the additional support that’s required, including that required from agencies other than education such as health or social services.

Coordinated support plan

Some children and young people who have long-term, complex or multiple needs have a coordinated support plan (CSP). They also typically need significant additional support from other agencies such as health or social services. A CSP is a legal document so all LAs must follow the same detailed rules and regulations.

Once the LA has agreed to create a CSP it has 16 weeks to produce it. You’ll usually be invited to a meeting along with other professionals to discuss what should go in the CSP. The LA should then send you a draft of the CSP to approve.

A CSP will include information on:

  • the child or young person’s strengths
  • why they have additional support needs
  • their educational objectives
  • what support is needed to help them achieve their objectives
  • who will provide this support
  • details of the person responsible for coordinating their plan
  • any other additional information.

Your child’s CSP should be reviewed at least once every 12 months.

You have the right to appeal to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal if the LA decides not to carry out an assessment for a CSP or if you’re not happy with the contents of the CSP.

Transition planning

Transition is the name given to the time when your child is moving from one stage of their life to another, for example, moving from primary to secondary school.

Whatever the reason for the transition, the LA has a duty to do some form of transition planning for children or young people with additional support needs.

The LA should begin to gather information and views from any professionals who have been working with your child at each transitional stage:

  • starting pre-school (six months before)
  • pre-school to primary (six months before)
  • primary to secondary (12 months before)
  • changing school for another reason (e.g. moving house; school closure, etc.)
  • leaving school (12 months before).

Examples of how additional learning needs can be met:

  • Teaching methods such as an auditory-oral approach, sign language or total communication to make sure the child can access the full curriculum.
  • Support from a Teacher of the Deaf (ToD).
  • Speech and language therapy.
  • Support from a learning support assistant (with experience of working with deaf children) for literacy based subjects.
  • Support from a communication support worker (CSW).
  • Provision of radio aids at all times (both in and out of school).
  • Provision of technology to allow direct input from the television and video into hearing aids or cochlear implants. Notes of the contents of videos to be provided in advance and all videos to be subtitled.
  • Background noise kept to a minimum and the classroom to have the best possible acoustics to cut out echo and sound bouncing back from floors, walls and ceilings.