Is it Provision?


SEN has so many acronyms that when we come across a normal word we try to add multiple meanings to it!

In Edukey’s Provision Map we use ‘PROVISION’ to mean anything that you provide to a student that is additional to or different from what the rest of the school is accessing.  It might be an INTERVENTION or it might be a RESOURCE.

So, then the next question usually follows, hot on the heels, “which ones should I include?”

I have a rule of thumb that works well.  If the provision has a cost in terms of money or staff time and/or if it is something I’d like to review then it needs to be included.

Let’s have a look at a few examples:


  1.  I have a student who has been using a yellow overlay since primary school.

I provide the yellow overlays to class teachers and the student.

The yellow overlays cost me money…but they don’t cost me any staff time and in this scenario I wouldn’t want to review (it’s a reasonable adjustment) so I would add it as a provision, add the cost of the overlays and uncheck the “requires review” box

2. I have a student who needs to find the best type of pencil grip to support their grasp.

I provide the pencil grips.
The pencil grips cost money…but not staff time and this time I DO want to review.  I want to write whether the pencil grips helped and which one they need to use in the future.  I add as a provision, add the cost and keep the review box checked

3. I have a group of students who access a break time provision in my office.

I cannot guarantee that I am always there, so I have to make sure a staff member is present too.
This is a staffing cost, but I’m not going to review it.  I’ll add it as a provision, add the member of staff and uncheck the review box.

Something I wouldn’t include?

Anything that doesn’t cost me money, or time, or need a review.

A student wears piedro boots provided by the OT service.  I might make a note about adjustment to uniform, but it’s not costing me anything in terms of staffing or finances and I certainly won’t be asked to review them.

A student is provided with a talking calculator from the VI service.  Again, I’ll have a note…but it’s not ‘provided’ by me.  It hasn’t cost me any money or staff and I’m not required to review it.

The more vague examples.

Of course, there are other more ambiguous scenarios…I mean, do I really want to put on there every reasonable adjustment I make?  Go back to the original statement I made…if it’s not costing me money or staff, or I don’t need to review it, then it can just go somewhere as a note.  Uniform adjustments are a great example.

So, toilet passes!

This is the one that causes difficulty.

It doesn’t cost anything in terms of money or staff.  And should we really be reviewing the impact or effectiveness of a toilet pass?  What are we even measuring and is it even useful to measure after a term of use?

I think there’s two ways to look at this; why are we recording it and what needs to be done with the information?  Knowing that a student has a toilet pass is an incredibly useful piece of information, but it could just be a note on a file just the same as a student needs an inhaler or should wear glasses for board work.  However, often with toilet passes there is a reason why we have issued it, normally that the paediatrician has put them on some medication and is likely to ask us whether the student’s issues have changed.  In a smaller school or where the child has a high degree of other support, you might add this as a table on a plan.  “Date, Time, Notes (including time taken)”, it’s less of a review and more of a record.

The same rationale could be used for time out cards (although these do, generally, have a staffing implication.)

Basically, if you need a record of it, or it costs something or needs a review, then put it down as a provision!