FOI Request - Cognitive and Learning Difficulties Within Education
I am writing to make a request under The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, regarding an enquiry surrounding the testing, diagnosis and reasonable adjustments that are put in place for those suspected or confirmed as having a cognition and learning difficulty within your Education Department and I would be grateful if you could answer the following queries:
1. Does the Education Department, test all children for the following and if so, at what stage of their development?
a. Dyslexia b. Dyscalculia
2. If learning disabilities are not diagnosed but suspected by staff or parent/carer, would the Education department instigate testing and what professionals would be involved?
a. Dyslexia b. Dyscalculia
3. Does the Education department recognise Dyscalculia as a learning difficulty and what actions are put in place by schools to ensure individual support is provided under the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009 for those with Dyscalculia, particularly for those participating in SQA examinations?
4. If a private diagnosis has been obtained by parent/carer, would the Education Department accept this as evidence and would reason adjustments be actioned to ensure the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009 and Equality Act 2010 was adhered too?
In Moray we use a collaborative model of assessment and intervention following a staged intervention approach. Collaborative assessment is the national model in identifying literacy difficulties. This would also be the case regarding numeracy assessment. Developmental Co-ordination Difficulties (DCD) would also be collaborative, however a referral to our health colleagues would be required for formal identification. I have attached a couple of documents for you which outlines the practice in this area (Listed at the below).
A dyslexic or dycalculaic learner should be identified over time following support and intervention. This enables gaps in literacy or numeracy to be identified and supported as the pupil or young person may need to revisit previous learning that they may not have consolidated or may have missed for a variety of reasons. If difficulties persist at the word level in spelling/reading/writing or in difficulties performing calculations/presenting with weak mental arithmetic skills, following evidence gathering and assessment and intervention over time, then a child or young person can be identified as a dyslexic or dycalculaic learner. It is all about evidencing over time that literacy or numeracy difficulties persist following timely and appropriate interventions.
Moray Council support all its learners through a process of staged intervention.
A per the above response a stage intervention approach is used in Moray. If a learning disability were suspected by a member of staff or parent/carer the attached stage intervention process and paperwork should be used to identify needs and establish what interventions or supports should be put in place. These should then be monitored over time by Class teacher and the Team Around the Child (TAC) within the child planning process. Staff involved would be the class teacher with support from a Pupil Support Assistant (PSA), if appropriate. Through staged intervention it may also be appropriate to involve the Support for Learning Teacher (SfL) or PT SfL, Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology, Education Support Officer (ASN) or Occupational Therapist.
If identified through staged intervention, dyscalculia would be recognised and appropriate support put in place for SQA examinations.
Any private assessment/diagnosis would be incorporated into any ongoing assessment and child planning. This would assist in the profile of needs and subsequent actions and interventions put into place in response to those identified needs. Any reasonable adjustments would be made based on the individual additional support needs of the child or young person.
Please find attached the following documents: