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Please can someone bring me up to speed with the usage of P Scales for assessment? Although I have a vague idea about how and why they are used, I suddenly need to develop a much better knowledge!

 

In particular, do they ever have a place in the assessment of children under school age?

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Please can someone bring me up to speed with the usage of P Scales for assessment? Although I have a vague idea about how and why they are used, I suddenly need to develop a much better knowledge!

 

In particular, do they ever have a place in the assessment of children under school age?

 

 

What are P scales?

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Our school uses P levels to support the assessment of children with special needs - not sure if this is right? We don't use them in Foundation as the EYFSP allows us to do this in a much more specific, appropriate way.

Tinky

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p levels are for children in Year 1 and beyond you haven't reached all the early learning goals - special needs. Don't think they're supposed to be used immediately in Y1 either, transition allows for children in Y1 to continue with EYFS curriculum if all ELGs not met. They're to assess children who are working towards level 1 national curriculum, and are smaller steps so that some progression can be shown (otherwise some children would be forever working towards).

 

Hope this is right - if not please feel free to contradict. It's my understanding.

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I had to use them a couple of years ago to access funding for a little autistic girl we had who was starting school. She wouldn't have been assessed immediately for a support worker without it. I found them quite useful. She did get support straight away as no time was wasted. It was a good learning experience for me as the SENCO

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THis info on the national strategies website may be useful.

 

here

 

They are not appropriate for use with children under 5.

Thank you for that link surfer. You've all reinforced what I was thinking - my first reaction was right. The key person for this child has been asked to use the P scales by the parents - she's been presented with all the paperwork, much of which has already been completed by them! I've requested a meeting but needed to make sure that my knowledge and information was correct first.

 

Yes, Marion, we do have links with Portage and I will look into that. We are also starting to use the Early Support materials with all our families of children with additional needs, an approach which is proving extremely popular and effective.

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wouild reinforce what's been said. P levels stands for Pre National Curriculum and they were designed as a way of recording some achievement for SEN children from year 1 onwards, many of whom otherwise could have been W ( working towards level 1) for most of their school life. I would say they are totally inappropriate to use with children under 5 and would not even consider them!

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Well I tried to argue that point to the powers that be, but they were adamant that they could/would not provide one-to-one support for the autistic girl without this in place - in spite of the inch-thick wad of paperwork she'd already generated in the two years with us!

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I agree with every thing that has been said so far-P scales are a way of measuring steps of progress/attainment for a child who has not yet reached level 1 National Curriculum BUT should not be used until the child reaches the final term in Year 1 ( until then any child who has not reached level 1 should be working towards Early Learning goals) -this is what we are told in Durham LEA -sorry but I think the powers that be who are requesting P Scales for a child who is under this age do not really understand what they are for and they should be informed of this.

 

Hope all of you who are having half term this week have had a good one-I have spent much of my time doing school work but I am determined not to do any more till Sun night!!!

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I'm the SENCO in my school and would never use P scales for younger children (or expect other staff to either) I've obtained statements for children without needing to use P scales as long as there is evidence the child has significant difficulties. Some P scales are higher level ability than ELGs so aren't an indicator of SEN in children much before the end of Y1

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In particular, do they ever have a place in the assessment of children under school age?

 

As everyone has said the P scales are for children who are following the NC not for the under-fives.

http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.g...605?uc=force_uj

 

The way forward with SEN under-fives is to work through the Area SENCO supporting the child and the setting, and working in partnership with the parents, who will need a lot of help and encouragement at a very difficult time. It does say in the Statutory Guidance for the EYFS assessment scales :2.23 Children with special educational needs may be working below the level of the scales and require an alternative approach to assessment. In these cases providers may use the assessment systems of their local authority or other systems according to the needs of the children.

So I suppose if the LA was asking for this then you would have to do it! I have worked for two different authorities and have never been asked to use the P Scales with under-fives by them. I have been asked to do this by an HT, but that's another story! :o

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It does say in the Statutory Guidance for the EYFS assessment scales :2.23 Children with special educational needs may be working below the level of the scales and require an alternative approach to assessment. In these cases providers may use the assessment systems of their local authority or other systems according to the needs of the children.

 

That's in relation to scoring 0 on EYFSP scales at the end of reception - you wouldn't be using that to assess children prior to YrR (as a tracker, I know you might be looking at end of nursery etc etc), and even if they were scoring 0 on entry to YrR there's no way of knowing that they wouldn't score something by the end.

 

As the EYFS framework allows us to look at progression and development from birth isn't this what we are tracking children's progress against??? Thus making P levels utterly irrelevant in an eyfs context.

CX

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As the EYFS framework allows us to look at progression and development from birth isn't this what we are tracking children's progress against??? Thus making P levels utterly irrelevant in an eyfs context.

 

This is the argument that I shall be making at the meeting!

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That's in relation to scoring 0 on EYFSP scales at the end of reception - you wouldn't be using that to assess children prior to YrR (as a tracker, I know you might be looking at end of nursery etc etc), and even if they were scoring 0 on entry to YrR there's no way of knowing that they wouldn't score something by the end.

 

As the EYFS framework allows us to look at progression and development from birth isn't this what we are tracking children's progress against??? Thus making P levels utterly irrelevant in an eyfs context.

CX

 

Exactly.

 

Unfortunately like everything else EY's there are still some battles to be fought for some people, as in Cait's case with the autistic child, and in my case where the HT, Assessment Co-ordinator and SENCO wanted ALL children tracked on the P scales from Nursery onwards! They would not accept anything else although we had the LA system, which was excellent and very similar to what we have in EYFS now, in place.

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I think I've found what I'm looking for and would be grateful to hear the opinions of others..

 

As I mentioned, our Centre has been trialling the use of the Early Support materials with families of children wiht additonal needs and our SENCO has had nothing but positive feedback from everyone involved. I've jusy been browsing the website and notice that the Developmental Journal has been revised in line with the EYFS, using the same six areas of learning. It looks ideal for our purpose...

 

 

http://www.earlysupport.org.uk/decMaterial...%20generic.html

 

What do others think?

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I used to be (in another life) the primary strategy manager for my school and worked incredibly closely with the borough consultants with regard to literacy/numeracy. P scales should not ever be used for children in the foundation stage. They are a special eduactional needs resources for assessment and basically just break down the national curriculum level W, which is working towards level 1. You would never use these with children who didn't have a special educational need and this includes not using them for children with english as an additional language and nursery/reception children.

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