Forms to support learners with disabilities

Continuing her series, Emma McKinney discusses the forms that teachers need to complete to access support for learners

In this section of the series, we focus on providing teachers with an understanding of the second stage of the screening, identification, assessment and support (SIAS) policy. This stage includes assessments and interventions provided by the school-based support team (SBST).

Identifying and addressing barriers

If a teacher has identified a learner as vulnerable or at risk during the initial screening, the class teacher becomes responsible as a case manager for ensuring the learner is provided the necessary support. Decisions around the support provided are made collaboratively with the parents or caregiver and the learner (usually from 12 years and older).

The educator will be guided by the SIAS policy and needs to complete forms one and two of the Support Needs Assessment (SNA) with the parents or caregivers.

SNA Form 1 (SNA1):

  • The teacher verifies and discusses the areas of concern with the parents or caregiver, then determines whether the learner has received any earlier intervention.
  • They identify and document the strengths and needs of the learner and develop an individual support plan.
  • They set up a date to review the support plan, which should ideally be once a term.
  • If the learner’s needs are ineffectively or not met, the teacher should make an appointment with the SBST for a discussion as to what the school can do.

SNA Form 2 (SNA2):

  • The second form guides the SBST when a learner is referred to them and is used to review the identified barriers and interventions.
  • An action plan is developed in collaboration with other specialists, experienced teachers and staff.
  • The support plan is captured, actioned and dates set for the reviewing of progress or lack thereof, which should take place at least once in a term.
  • After the review date, the SBST may adjust the plan and involve higher-level support structures (for example, a district-based support team) to further assist the learner and teacher.
  • In exceptional cases, such as when a learner’s life is in danger (for example, abuse cases), direct referrals and deviations can be made from the standard procedure. The next article will examine stage three, which involves identifying and addressing barriers to learning and development at a district level.

Dr Emma McKinney is a lecturer at the University of the Western Cape. She is also the owner of Disability Included, a company specialising in disability research, children, and employment of adults with disabilities. email:

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