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ADD/ADHD Information - Scotland

Record of Needs

What is a Record of Needs?

It is a formal document recording the results of various assessments and outlining provision for the child's education. Local Authorities are required by the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 (as amended) to open a Record of Needs for children found to require one.

It is a means of identifying, planning for and reviewing special educational needs so that long term educational strategies can be developed for individual children.

Different parts of the Record of Needs

Part I provides details of the child or young person and information about the transfer, discontinuance or preservation of the record.
Part II provides details of the parents and Named Person.
Part IIIA is the assessment profile.
Part IIIB is a summary of the child's or young person's impairments.
Part IV is a statement of the SEN arising from those impairments.
Part V is a statement of the measures proposed by the education authority to be taken to meet those needs.
Part VI is where the school nominated to be attended by the child is named.
Part VII contains the views of the parent or young person.
Part VIII is a summary of reviews of the Record.
Part IX is information about disclosure of the Record.

It is in Part VII that you will be given the opportunity to state your opinion on any of the following:

a. your child's interests, abilities and interactions with others;
b. the opening and keeping of the Record;
c. anything that has been included or omitted from the Record;
d. particular considerations;
e. reservations or concerns.

Regulation 7 of the Education (Record of Needs) (Scotland) Regulations 1982 states that education authorities MUST allow access to the Record if the following people ask for it, or a copy of it:

a. your Named Person;
b. a relevant officer of the Scottish Ministers;
c. a Reporter of the local authority who has statutory functions concerning the individual.

With discretion, the authorities may also disclose information about the contents of a Record except for Part VII to:

a. a relevant teacher;
b. a relevant officer of the local authority;
c. a relevant officer of the health board or trust;
d. a person engaged in research or studies of an educational, medical or social nature;
e. any other person with written consent from the parents or young person as appropriate.

Who may benefit from a Record?

A Record of Needs is only opened for the very small minority of children with 'pronounced' 'specific' or 'complex ' special educational needs 'requiring continuing review'.

Most children with special educational needs do not require a Record of Needs. A Record does not mean access to additional resources. If your child has special educational needs, provision should be made for them, regardless of whether they have a Record opened or not.

When is a Record opened?

A Record of Needs can be opened any time from birth onwards, until a young person becomes 18. A Record of Needs is not usually opened for a child under two. However, local authorities must open a Record of Needs for children between the ages of two and 16 who require it. In practice most Records are opened when the child is at primary school, or just before they begin primary.

Who can ask for a Record to be opened?

If you suspect your child may require a Record, you can formally write to the education authority asking them to consider opening a Record. Alternatively, the school or other professional may feel the child requires to be considered for a Record, and the parent will be informed of the decision to assess for a Record.

For how long does the Record remain opened?

Until it is no longer considered necessary, or when your child leaves school, or when he/she reaches the age of 18 (even if still at school).

Assessment and reviews

The 1980 Act states that statutory procedures for assessment should be put in motion upon identifying that a child may require a Record of Needs. Different professionals (eg. Educational psychologist, teacher, medical officer and social worker) may all be asked to provide an assessment. It is the responsibility of the education service within the local authority to co-ordinate these assessments.

The knowledge you have of your child's strengths and weaknesses should be sought by the professionals during the assessment process. It is helpful if you take a note of these beforehand. You should be given copies of all assessments and given the opportunity to comment on these. It is good practice to review a Record, ideally on an annual basis. In practice this may involve a short meeting with school staff and parents.

Parental involvement and meetings

Part VII of the Record is the section that allows you to express your views about your child's strengths and educational needs. You may wish to comment on anything that has been included or omitted from the Draft Record and highlight any considerations or concerns you feel should be noted.

Once assessments have occurred, it is likely that a meeting will be held to discuss the implications of the assessments. You will be invited to attend. The educational psychologist will usually chair these meetings. Others attending this meeting may include any of the professionals involved with conducting assessments and your Named Person (if you have one).

Often it is helpful to appoint and use your Named Person. S/he can attend these meetings with you, help to ensure your views are expressed and help you to get the information you need before, during and after a meeting.

Involving children and young people

The child's views and opinions should be sought and considered at all stages of the Record of Needs assessment and review process.

In particular, young persons (ie. a person over school leaving age who is not yet 18) are given specific rights by the 1980 Act.

These are that they:

1. can request an assessment or refuse an assessment;

2. can express their views about their SEN and the measures required to meet those needs;

3. must be notified in writing of the decision to open or not to open a Record of Needs and the reasons for that decision from the local authority;

4. must be informed of the terms in which the authority propose to record them and be given the opportunity to express an opinion on this;

5. told their rights of appeal and provided with a copy of the Record of Needs;

6. can require a review if there has not been a review within the last 12 months;

7. can require their Record to be discontinued.

What can you appeal about? Ideally, disagreements between young people or parents and professionals can be resolved informally before the need to make an appeal becomes an issue.

If you wish to appeal, you can do so in the following circumstances:

a. if parents or young people disagree with the education authority's decision not to open a Record, or following review, to discontinue a Record;
b. if parents disagree with the education authority's decision to open a Record, or following review, to continue a Record (the consent of a young person is required to open or discontinue a Record);
c. if they disagree with the terms of the summary of the child's, or young person's impairments in Part IIIB of the Record or with the statement of special educational needs noted in Part IV;
d. if they disagree with the nomination, in Part VI of the Record, of the school to be attended (a valid placing request to an alternative school must be made first);
e. where a decision is made refusing a placing request in respect of a child or young person. Appeals should be lodged within 28 days from receipt of draft Record (although the local authority has discretion to accept appeals after that date).

The procedure for appealing

You appeal in writing to the Education Authority Appeal Committee if you disagree with any of the points listed above. Appeals relating to the opening or closing of a Record, or Part IIIB or Part IV, will be sent to the Scottish Ministers for a decision. Their decision is final.

The Education Authority Appeal Committee will consider appeals relating to Part VI or a refusal for a placing request. If they uphold the education authority's decision, you can then take the appeal to the Sheriff Court. The Sheriff's verdict is final.



adders.org - Ecosse ADDers 2005

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