Support Planner:  Needs ratings


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Performance and support needs

Performance is one indicator closely related to the need for support.

Support is provided as a school / family in response to the perceived needs of the student.

Assessments and support needs

Assessments are often less closely related to the need for support. Assessments indicate

what a student can do rather than their actual everyday performance. Support is about

enhancing a students success & well-being: an outcome of their everyday performance.

Performance/Needs Rating Scales

The school will need to decide on the scales it will use for rating (summarizing) student performance and associated needs. Many schools use a 1 to 4 scale


Performance Needs rating Support (response to needs)
Exceeds expectations     1 Extension in everyday context -possible special opportunities?
Meets expectations     2 Continuation of regular provision
Some concerns     3 Additional support in everyday context (a)
Serious concerns     4 Specialist intervention required (b)


Notes: Examples

(a) A student with a needs rating of 3 in an area will require additional support such as
        - a more individualized program,
        - additional attention (monitoring), supervision, encouragement within ongoing class program
        - additional attention, supervision, encouragement from family members, friends and peers

(b) A student with a needs rating of 4 will require specific intervention and provision, such as

        - a highly individualized program

        - therapy or the provision of a dedicated aide

        - very extensive attention, supervision, encouragement within ongoing class program
        - very extensive attention, supervision, encouragement from family members, friends and peers

Performance areas

In its current form, the database is designed to indicate student's everyday performance in the areas of 

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Work practice
  • Social skills (Managing Well-being?)
  • Behaviour (Acting Democratically?)
  • Reading (Reading Recovery Level?)
  • Physical activity

Needs (related to particular physical or psychological conditions)

In addition the Needs field allows special needs to be summarized using multiple coding if necessary. Schools might use the following codes

AS = Aspergers syndrome

AU = Autism

CP = Cerebral Palsy



HI = Hearing impaired

VI = Visually impaired

FX = Fragile X syndrome

DS = Down Syndrome

SL = Specific Learning Difficulty

UD = Undiagnosed


These codes can be matched with an indication of the associated severity or need, eg, by using the scale of 1 to 4. 



  • A student with very serious ADHD might be coded as AH4
  • A student with mild Aspergers who is managing it really well largely as a result of highly successful ongoing support from the family and school might be coded as AS2
  • A visually impaired student who is high performing academically might be coded as VI1



Describe the above Grade 5 student and any implications for support (and for dealing with an incident in which he is involved).

Managing Needs Rating data

Click the Student Ratings button on the Main Menu. This Student (needs) Ratings form enables Needs Ratings to be entered and edited easily. The buttons at the top of the form provide class lists of the current Needs Rating data for reviewing, discussion and updating. Provision of this data to teachers who are unfamiliar with the students  (beginning of the year, newly appointed staff, relief teachers...) can be really valuable to both teachers and students. The data can also be useful when creating groups, etc.


Gathering the initial data may require a some extra effort but can be worth the investment if extensive use is made of it.


Initially trust the judgement of those teachers who know the children. Simply

  • provide teachers with class lists (initially these will have all ratings of zero)
  • after some discussion ask the teachers to fill in the lists using their best judgement
  • share the lists around so that other teachers may check the ratings for confirm or review
  • enter the data


From time to time repeat the above process, eg,

  • provide the Needs Ratings lists the teachers to assist with report and assessment
  • update Need ratings during or after assessment and reporting
  • discussion between this year's teachers and last year's teachers can be very valuable






Ivan Webb Pty Ltd 2001 onwards