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School Action and School Action Plus

School Action

Action to meet learning difficulties in school

Evidence that a child is not making progress can lead to the need for action to meet learning difficulties.

Intervention under School Action is taken where there is evidence to support concerns that a child:


  • makes little or no progress, even when teaching approaches are targeted particularly in a child’s identified area of weakness;

  • shows signs of difficulty in developing literacy or mathematics skills, which result in poor attainment in some curriculum areas;

  • presents persistent emotional or behavioural difficulties, which are not improved by the behaviour management techniques usually employed in the school;

  • has sensory or physical problems and continues to make little or no progress, despite the provision of specialist equipment;

  • has communication and / or interaction difficulties and continues to make little or no progress, despite the provision of a differentiated curriculum.

The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and the class teacher decide on the provision necessary for the child to make progress. Parents are consulted and kept informed on what action is to be taken and progress made.

School Action may include the involvement of extra staff but can also require different learning materials, special equipment or an individually planned teaching strategy.

An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is prepared, outlining action to be taken. This is reviewed on a regular basis.

For children under school age, in early education settings, intervention takes the form of Early Years Action.

School Action Plus

Specialist support

If it is found that a child is not making adequate progress, or if a child’s special educational needs cannot be met under School Action, specialists may be consulted and new teaching strategies developed.

Extra intervention under School Action Plus can be made if, despite receiving an individualised programme, a child:


  • continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period;

  • continues working at National Curriculum levels substantially below that expected of children of a similar age;

  • continues to have difficulty in developing literacy and mathematics skills;

  • has emotional or behavioural difficulties, which substantially interfere with the child’s own learning or that of the class group, despite having an individualised behaviour management programme;

  • has sensory or physical needs, and requires additional specialist equipment or regular advice or visits by a specialist service;

  • has ongoing communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning.

It may be necessary to arrange for educational psychologist to provide a specialist assessment of a child’s needs.

A new Individual Education Plan (IEP) is prepared, with new strategies for supporting progress. This is reviewed on a regular basis.

For children under school age, in early education settings, intervention takes the form of Early Years Action Plus.