Multi-agency planning meetings
So we have all been to those multi-agency planning meetings (MAPM) where professionals are making decisions regarding our children's education.....
Some great and more often than not there is a hell of a lot of gaslighting going on, where parents (including myself) feel that it is pretty much a tick box exercise whereby senior professionals are trying to superficially meet legislative requirements by holding a MAPM.
- What is the point in wasting these public monies and resources when there are no clear actions and objectives for the child?
So what happens in reality?
Parents can usually expect to hear from most professionals for example health visitors, SALT, OT, Ed Psyc etc a day or week before the meeting as professionals scramble to get their paperwork together, they will casually find out a little bit about your child's progress on that call so that they can join the meeting and have something to say.
It is very clear to me that in some cases, particularly where children are placed on a reduced timetable that decisions are being made with absolutely no regard whatsoever for the legislation of Scotland.
In summary, The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 provides that the Legal definition of additional support needs is where, for whatever reason, the child is, or is likely to be, unable without the provision of additional support to benefit from school education provided or to be provided for the child or young person.
The Act imposes various duties on education authorities for children and young people with additional support needs belonging to their area. Including (but not limited to)
- Make arrangements to identify additional support needs.
- Provide appropriate additional support for children under school age (preschool and anti preschool) belonging to their area who have been brought to the attention of the authority as having additional support needs arising from their disability.
- Making adequate and efficient provision for the additional support required for each child or young person with additional support needs for whose school education they are responsible.
- Considerations for the child's needs identified and the adequacy of support provided to meet the needs of each child or young person.
- Publishing, reviewing and updating, as necessary, specified information about their policy and arrangements in relation to provision for identifying, addressing and keeping under consideration such provision for each child or young person with additional support needs.
- Provide parents of children with additional support needs with all of the information they are required to publish under the Act
- Ensure that a summary of the information published under the Act is available, on request, from each place where school education is provided, regardless of whether the school is under the management of the education authority
- Provide the above summary in any handbook or other publications provided by any school for the purposes of providing general information about the school or, as the case may be, the services provided by the authority, and on any website maintained by any such school or the authority for that purpose
- Assess the capacity and impact on the wellbeing of a child over the age of 12 years to be able to exercise their rights in respect of additional support for learning, where a child of this age seeks to exercise any right under the Act
- Provide those children or young people, who need one, with a co-ordinated support plan and keep this plan under regular review
- Provide independent and free mediation services for those parents and young people who want to use such services and publish information on these services
- Have in place arrangements for resolving disputes
- At least 12 months prior to the expected school leaving date, request and take account of information and advice from appropriate agencies likely to make provision for the child or young person when he or she leaves school
- No later than 6 months before the child or young person is expected to leave school provide information to appropriate agencies, who may be responsible for supporting the young person once they leave school.