Every child and young person who has been living in statutory out-of-home-care for at least three months (consecutively or for a period that adds up to three months) requires an educational needs analysis (ENA). If a member of the student support group (SSG) has concerns regarding the student’s presentation and rate of progression the process should begin immediately.
Purpose of an ENA
The ENA is a process of understanding and addressing a student’s social, emotional and cultural learning needs, as well as their strengths. This involves collecting, reviewing and analysing personal, health, and educational information from a range of sources and determining the need for additional interventions and services.
An effective ENA is trauma-informed and takes a holistic view of the child or young person across their physical, social, emotional, educational, and psychological development.
The flowchart in appendix A of the ENA guidelines (in the Resources section below) outlines the ENA process, including significant milestones and the timeline for completion.
Schools should inform their student support services (SSS) key contact (DET) or equivalent prior to or at the time of the student’s enrolment or entry into out-of-home care (OOHC). This will enable prioritisation of the referral, including planning for necessary consultation and attendance at SSG meetings.
Detailed ENA Quality Guidelines have been developed for private providers who are contracted to undertake ENAs on behalf of DET. These guidelines outline the principles and expectations regarding the ENA process for disengaged young people in statutory OOHC and can be found below in the Resources section below.
The key steps of an ENA process
Step 1: initial student support group meeting
An SSG meeting should be convened by the school principal or delegate within one week of a student in OOHC enrolling in the school or entering statutory OOHC.
Steps 2-4: information gathering and review
This phase involves the collection and review of information determined necessary at the initial ssg meeting and the outcome of any program and/or external referrals.
Step 5: ENA SSG meeting
Following collection, collation and analysis of information by the SSS, the school convenes the ENA SSG meeting with membership from the initial meeting and any other relevant stakeholders.
Steps 6 and 7: need for further information
SSS or equivalent will complete the ENA report after the agreed actions have been undertaken. The ENA status report may be completed prior to or finalised during the ENA SSG meeting, based on the discussion that occurs.
Step 8: review cycle
Students residing in OOHC require SSG meetings at least once a term to review their presentation and progress, and refine and evaluate current interventions, including a review of the individual education plan.