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Communication and Learning Difficulties Team Assessment

To establish a clearer picture of a child or young person’s profile of need, the Communication and Learning Difficulties (CLD) team often carry out observations and assessments of individual pupils, as requested by school. In order to carry these out, the teachers in the CLD team have undergone specialist training and hold a range of specialist qualifications e.g. AMBDA, APC, CCET, CPT3A. They are consequently able to competently administer a wide range of up-to-date standardised tests e.g.

  • Test of Auditory Processing Skills – 4th edition (TAPS4)
  • Test of Visual Perceptual Skills – 4th edition (TVPS4)
  • Feifer Assessment of Mathematics (FAM)
  • Diagnostic Reading Analysis (DRA)
  • Helen Arkell Spelling test -2nd edition (HAST2)
  • York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension (YARC)
  • Test of memory and Learning (TOMAL)
  • Academic Assessment Battery (AAB)
  • Phonological Assessment Battery – 2nd edition (PhAB2)
  • Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting (DASH)

The type of assessment carried out is dependant on the age and presentation of the child:

Level 1: Initial Observation and Advice

During a level one exercise, the specialist teacher may:

  • Meet with parents and class teacher and SENCo
  • Review and collate all of the background information about the pupil provided by school and other agencies
  • Observe the pupil in school
  • Carry out a pupil discussion eliciting the pupils own views
  • Carry out formal or informal assessments depending on the age of the child
  • Complete a ‘Level one Observation and advice’ form summarising the assessment information

A level one observation can also include an observation to inform referral to other agencies e.g. Specialist Assessment Service, Speech and Language Therapy Service, Occupational Therapy, etc.

Level 2: Targeted assessment

These assessments have a clear focus which is determined by information provided during consultation between school and the Specialist Teacher. The emphasis could be on specific skills e.g. those relating to literacy or maths. During a targeted assessment exercise the specialist teacher may:

  • Review the background information provided by school and other agencies, including possible previous involvement with SISS teams
  • Meet with parents, the class teacher and/or SENCo
  • Observe the pupil in school
  • Hold a discussion with the pupil
  • Use informal and standardised test materials
  • Produce a detailed ‘Targeted Assessment’ report with recommendations, which could include an onward referral to another agency

Level 3:  Comprehensive assessment

This is an in-depth assessment where a wider range of tests will be used as part of the assessment, to give a comprehensive picture of a student’s profile of strengths and weaknesses. This process is similar to the targeted assessment, above, but would go into much more detail.

Monitoring visit

Monitoring visits are carried out in order to review the progress of pupils previously involved with the CLD team or those with a Statement of SEND/Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

The content of a monitoring visit is negotiable, however is likely to include:

  • A review of progress through observation, assessment, discussion with teacher, teaching assistant and/or other agencies
  • A record of progress made resulting from advice given during previous CLD team involvement
  • Completion of a ‘Monitoring Record’ with written advice and further recommendations

Assessment for Examination Access Arrangements

Specialist Teachers in the CLD team can also assess KS4 and KS5 pupils (and complete the corresponding JCQ Form 8) in order to establish a pupil’s need in relation to exam access arrangements. This is a requirement for pupils taking formal examinations e.g. GCSE, ‘A’ Levels, where they require, for example, additional time or a scribe. A recommendation is always made in conjunction with the school’s evidence.

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