Criteria and Timeline for Accessing Support from Exceptional Teaching Arrangements

Criteria and Timeline for accessing support.

Criteria and Timelines are under review as part of the SEND Transformation Programme. They are also impacted by the current significant financial constraints and pressures facing education.

Criteria for Accessing Support from the Service

Criteria Pathway   Evidence to be provided 
Weight bearing short-term injuries which are unlikely to require further medical referrals and where the school is unable to make reasonable adjustment.  A signed letter from a GP confirming the nature of the injury.
Complex medical needs where the pupil is under the care of a medical consultant or is at Tier 3 of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Stepped care model  A signed report from a medical consultant outlining the anticipated impact on school attendance. 
Pupils who are clinically assessed as unable to attend school due to mental health reasons.  A signed report from a medical consultant outlining the anticipated impact on school attendance. 
School-aged mothers.  A referral from the Education Welfare Service or School Aged Mothers (SAMs) Coordinator. 

In arriving at a decision on whether to accept a referral for ETA support, the ETA Panel must be mindful of relevant research indicating that the education of a pupil outside their registered school can reinforce avoidance strategies and so prove detrimental to the pupil’s return to full-time education. For this reason, the Panel expects a high level of evidence that the pupil fulfils set criteria before an application can be approved.

Notwithstanding, the Panel also retains the ability to approve an application in exceptional circumstances where even though certain evidence may be lacking, it is clear that the provision of ETA is in the best interests of the pupil.

Timeline for Accessing Support from the Service

  • here there is appropriate medical evidence to support a referral, the educational setting can apply for support from the Exceptional Teaching Arrangements Service (ETA) for your child. 
  • Each month a referral panel meets to discuss pupil information relevant to the referral and ensure that all information has been provided. 
  • The decision for support is made on the same day as the referral panel meeting and the educational setting is informed of the decision within a week.  Included with an acceptance letter, the educational setting are sent a link to the Partnership Agreement which they must complete and return before support can be allocated. 
  • As soon as the educational setting receives an email of acceptance, and completes the Partnership Agreement, the setting should inform the child or young person’s parents or carers and any other relevant parties, e.g. Education Welfare or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). 
  • The educational setting and Exceptional Teaching Arrangements Service will work together throughout the duration of the support provided to the pupil. 
  • The length of support is dependent upon each individual pupil and their circumstances.
  • Monthly Learning Summaries will be sent to the setting and review meetings will be held every six - eight weeks to determine progress, future needs or changes to support.  
  • When a referral has been declined, schools can apply again should the pupil’s circumstances or available evidence change.  

1 Referral received

4 weeks

2 Decision panel

1 week

3 School informed of decision

2 weeks

4 Support provided (if required)

Similar content

Contact the Exceptional Teaching Arrangements Service

The Exceptional Teaching Arrangements Service can be contacted for advice and information specific to children and young people who are unable to attend their educational setting because of physical illness or mental health.