What is a Coordinated Support Plan (CSP)?
A Coordinated Support Plan is a statutory document which formally records the details of any coordinated strategies between education services and other involved agencies that are put in place to support a child or young person overcoming any barriers that they may have to effective learning.
I understand education services, but what is meant by other agencies?
There may be occasions where other professionals outwith education provide a service which supports the education of a child or young person. Such professionals will belong to either Social Work Services or to services provided by the NHS Health Board Trusts (for example, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy)
Who is responsible for opening and maintaining the coordinated support plan (CSP)?
This plan is drawn up by the Education Authority responsible for your child’s education. They are required to seek and take account of relevant advice and information from professionals in other agencies, from education and school professionals and finally from yourselves as parents as well as your child. You, as parents, will be consulted at every step of the process should the decision arise to consider whether a CSP is required. There will also be a formal process for ensuring that the CSP is regularly reviewed and kept up to date.
What are the criteria for opening a coordinated support plan (CSP)?
- The education authority must be responsible for the school education of the child or young person
- The child or young person will have additional support needs arising from: - One or more complex factors, or - Multiple factors
- The identified additional support needs are likely to continue for at least a year
- The identified needs require significant additional support to be provided by the education authority and one or more appropriate agencies.
How do i know if my child requires a coordinated support plan (CSP)?
The Education Authority has arrangements in place to identify those children and young people who have additional support needs and who may also meet the criteria for a Coordinated Support Plan. You also, as parents, have the right at any time, to request that consideration be given to the opening of a CSP for your child.
What rights do you as a parent and your child have?
You have the following rights:
- to request that the Education Authority establish whether any child or young person requires a CSP
- to be informed of any decision to consider the opening of a CSP for your child
- to request a particular type of assessment for your child
- to have access to dispute resolution services when you may disagree with the proposals outlined in a CSP
- to ask for an early review of an existing Coordinated Support Plan
- to appeal to a new independent family friendly Tribunal on a range of issues concerning the Coordinated Support Plan
- to make a placing request to another school or establishment if the child or young person has additional support needs
Find out more about handling disputes.
Will a coordinated support plan stay in place throughout a child or young person’s years in education?
Not necessarily. The CSP will only remain in place as long as it is necessary to help ensure the coordination of a range of services from education and other agencies that are crucial to supporting your child’s access to as full an education as possible. If such coordination ceases to be required the CSP can be closed. It is important to realise that the CSP will be subject to regular review, with your own input, and will not become a ‘label’ that a child or young person will carry throughout school and beyond into adulthood.
Can I talk to anyone from the authority about whether a child or young person may need a coordinated support plan?
Your first port of call will always be the head teacher of the school that the child or young person attends (or head of establishment if a child is in his or her pre-school years). They will be able to discuss the whole process sympathetically and clearly with you. You may also find it helpful to have a discussion with the educational psychologist that visits the child or young person’s school on a regular basis and the school will arrange for this if you wish.