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Can I use one LSA for more than one statemented student in a class?

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by peckhamwill, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. peckhamwill

    peckhamwill New commenter

    Dear all,

    this is my first post so please bear with me and direct me to any existing threads that might deal with this concern.

    My issue is that I have hours allocated on statements/EHC plans for which I have attached LSAs.

    In some classes I have placed on LSA to work with two statemented students - parents/carers often expect their child to have 1:1 support and yet I cannot provide this. Is there any guidance on this? I have heard that as SENCos we have to be creative and from consultants that LSAs should not be attached as velcro as this can inhibit independent work etc.

    How can I give value for money whilst being accountable for the use of LSAs as a resource that parents/carers perceive as being exclusively for their child?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. sofia_sen

    sofia_sen Occasional commenter

    I am not sure about the guidance but I would guess that the LA has assessed the child and depending on that assessment gives the funding. You could explain parents that you need to work within that funding. At my (SEN) school there have been parents who have pushed the LA for more funding and sometimes this worked and would result in an extra block of SaLT for example.

    As for the ratio, I would say the average in my school is 4 TAs on 8 or 9 students for classes with SLD learners. MLD will have maybe 3 TAs on 12 learners and PMLD will have 3 TAs on 5 learners. We don't have any student who has 1:1 on a daily basis, even though parents want that and sometimes expect that, especially if the child was at a mainstream setting before and had a "Velcro TA" attached to them.

    Do the students have an EHCP yet or other targets that were agreed with the parents? As long as you are able to meet the targets, parents shouldn't complain. It is up to you how you use the funding and no, 1:1 support is not always the best way to meet a target.
  3. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    All the statements I have ever seen deliberately spoke of small group, in class or individual support so that the child can be supported flexibly within a class. We have always been encouraged not to Velcro a TA to a SEN child. Under new Code of Practice and funding arrangements we have been told to share support. I tell parents this is the case unless the local authority has agreed a personal budget. No doubt they will soon put pressure on to try to get these. I think you are doing the right thing.
  4. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    This! The Velcro TA is not thought to be in the best interests of the child and the aim is to encourage independence and encourage social relationships.
  5. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Completely agree about being creative and flexible with ( dwindling ) provision and that over used 1: 1 in particular can detrimental to the students ' long term progress / performance. I can sympathise with colleagues who have parents who expect / demand the intensive nature of the support allocation. I understand why they might consider this essential. In Secondary we used to find that many students started to reject / resent the 1: 1 in class allocation and this made it easier to withdraw it. I think ultimately you need to look at the results / outcomes which supports continuing provision for any student and this is difficult to evidence. Better to make the case that your setting is equipping the students with the skills, capabilities, attitudes for learning and as a previous colleague said to be developing confidence, independence, and ' knowing what to do when they don't know what to do ' rather than be passive and reliant.
  6. nuander

    nuander New commenter

    1. If it is a statement go back to it - it will usually say 1:1 on an individual and small group basis.
    2. If it is an EHC it should outline in the provision part how and what hours are given for what activity - this should clearly state 1 hr for this at 1:1 or 45 mins to deliver this in small group.

    Going through this melee at the moment not fun!
  7. rolls

    rolls Occasional commenter

    The role of support in a classroom may not be to always to provide direct support to learners. It is to enhance the provision for a child or group of children but this might be by allowing the teacher to spend more time with these specific children whilst the support staff deals with general classroom management issues. Likewise doubling up of support may be useful for developing social skills so that children are working as a group, communicating and learning from each other. Following the DISS report OFSTED may question why any child is continually working with Support staff in the classroom.
    However, you deploy support staff you need to be able to justify it in educational terms to yourself, other staff, management, parents, OFSTED and the young people themselves. The latter should have some say in how support is deployed. If the EHCP is overly restrictive then discuss and get it changed at the next review. Statements tended to be written to a LEA formula but EHCPs should be more flexible.

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