Wiltshire Pathways... helping children & young people get the help they need in Wiltshire.
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Safeguarding is the term used to describe the process of identifying children and young people who have suffered or who are likely to suffer significant harm, and taking the appropriate action to keep them safe. Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 places a duty on local authorities and other agencies to have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children when exercising their normal duties.
In addition to local authorities, those agencies covered by section 11 are: the police, the probation service, health authorities, NHS trusts, Connexions, youth offending teams, the prison service and Secure Training Centres.
School Action is additional or different support provided by a school when a pupil is identified as having special educational needs. It is part of the graduated response to meeting a child's special educational needs, as set out in the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice. To help plan the support, the class teacher and SENCO will collect information about the child, undertake further assessment to identify the child's strengths and weaknesses, and involve the parents or carers in discussions. The school may draw up an Individual Education Plan for the pupil, or arrangements may be recorded within class planning.
School Action Plus
School Action Plus is part of the graduated response to meeting a child's special educational needs, as set out in the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice. It is triggered when a pupil continues to make little or no progress despite having received extra support from the school through School Action. School Action Plus involves seeking advice or support from specialists outside the school. The school may draw up an Individual Education Plan for the pupil.
School support staff
The term “support staff” is used to include the whole range of adults who perform supporting roles in schools - for example, teaching assistants, administrative and clerical staff, librarians and laboratory assistants and technicians and midday supervisors.
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This is a heath service term used to refer to specialist care services for identified health needs, typically provided in a hospital setting or following referral from a primary or community health practitioner.
Section 47 enquiries
Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 places a duty on every local authority to make enquiries when it has 'reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm'. These are known as Section 47 enquiries. Social services have lead responsibility for undertaking these enquiries with other agencies, in particular the police, health bodies and schools.
Severe learning difficulty
Children with severe learning difficulties have significant intellectual or cognitive impairments. This has a major effect on their ability to participate in the school curriculum without support. They may also have difficulties in mobility and coordination, communication and perception and the acquisition of self-help skills.
They will need support in all areas of the curriculum. They may also require teaching of self-help, independence and social skills. Some children may use sign and symbols to communicate.
The term “shortbreaks” is used specifically in relation to provision for disabled children & young people. In this context, a “shortbreak” can mean anything from an hour at a youth club, somebody coming to sit with the child while the parents go out, or stays away with a 'foster family'.
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The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of 'significant harm' as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interests of a child. Section 47 of the Act places a duty on the local authority to make enquiries when it has 'reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm'.
Sometimes, significant harm can be indicated by a single traumatic event (for example, a violent assault, suffocation, shaking or poisoning). However, significant harm is more commonly attributed to an accumulation of significant events that damage a child's physical or psychological development.
Harm is defined in section 31 of the Act as 'ill-treatment or the impairment of health and development'.
Social exclusion can be used to refer to the way in which groups of people or a community are effectively excluded from society because of a combination of problems, such as unemployment, discrimination, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime rates, illness and family breakdown.
Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice
The SEN Code of Practice provides local authorities, maintained schools, early education settings and other agencies, with comprehensive advice on how to carry out their statutory duties to identify, assess and provide for children's special educational needs, and to help children with such needs to reach their full potential.
The Code of Practice sets out detailed guidance for a graduated response to supporting children. This approach recognises that there is a continuum of special educational needs and, where necessary, brings increasing specialist expertise (including resources from outside the school) to support a child.
Special educational needs
The Education Act 1996 defines a pupil as having a special educational need if he or she has 'a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for him'.
For the purposes of the Act, children are defined as having a learning difficulty if they:
• Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than most children of the same age;
• Have a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities generally provided for children of the same age;
• Are under compulsory school age and would be likely to fall within one of the above definitions if special provision was not made for them.
The Act imposes duties on schools and local authorities to identify, assess and meet children's special educational needs. The presumption is that, wherever possible, those needs will be met within a mainstream school. The legislation also places a duty on local authorities and health authorities to assist a local authority where any child has special educational needs.
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Where a school is judged by Ofsted inspectors to be failing (or likely to fail) to provide an acceptable standard of education, the school will be judged to need 'special measures'. This will involve the drawing up of a detailed plan of action, with timetabled targets for improvement that must be achieved.
Specialist CAMHS (Specialist Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services) are those NHS service providers that are exclusively concerned with the mental health of children & young people. Sometimes also know as known as: “Children & Families Service” and “Child & Family Therapy”.
Not to be confused with the “CAMHS" and “Comprehensive CAMHS" which refer to the complete spectrum of services that provide mental health services. See Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services.
Specific learning difficulty
Children who have a specific learning difficulty have a particular difficulty in learning to read, write, spell or manipulate numbers so that their performance in these areas is below their performance in other areas.
They may also have problems with short-term memory, with organisational skills and with coordination. Pupils with specific learning difficulties cover the whole range of ability; the severity of their impairment varies widely.
Statement of special educational needs
A statement of special educational needs (SEN) sets out in detail a pupil's special educational needs, the provision required to meet those needs, and the type and name of school that the pupil should attend.
A statement can only be made by a local authority and only after a statutory assessment of the child's needs under section 323 of the Education Act 1996. Local authorities have a duty to arrange the provision specified in the statement, and the governing body of a maintained school has a duty to admit the pupil if it is named in the statement.
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This is a formal and detailed multi-agency assessment of a child's special educational needs carried out (under section 323 of the Education Act 1996) by the local authority.
Most children with special educational needs have their needs assessed and met within school without the need for a statutory assessment. However, if parents or the school believe a child is not making sufficient progress and needs more help than the school or setting can provide, they can ask the local authority to carry out a statutory assessment.
Statutory review refers to the process for reviewing (and changing as necessary) care plans for looked after children. The first review must be held within four weeks of the child becoming looked after; the second review must be held within three months of the first review; and subsequent reviews must be held on a six-monthly basis until the child is no longer looked after.
The statutory sector includes Wiltshire Council, NHS Wiltshire, health trusts, Learning & Skills Council and other public services such as police and colleges.
Substance misuse is the use of illegal drugs and the inappropriate use of legal drugs, including alcohol, prescription medicines and substances such as solvents. Misuse is a broad term encompassing harmful use and dependence.
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There are two very different types of supervision order. One is made by the family court under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989; it is made on the same basis as a care order, in that the court believes that the child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm that is directly attributable to the care being provided by the child's parents (or carers), or because the child is beyond the parents' control.
The other type of supervision order is a community sentence given to young offenders by the youth court under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. This order also requires that the young person be 'supervised', normally by a member of the Youth Offending Team. Its aim is to tackle the young person's offending behaviour.
We are always trying to improve our glossary so if you can add to or correct a definition that we have provided or want to suggest another term to include in the glossary, please contact us
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