Analysis of Additional Needs Tool

Everything you need to know about the Analysis of Additional Needs Tool (AANT).

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The AANT allows colleagues from all kinds of educational settings to take part in a rapid, evidence-based, video consultation process with an educational psychologist (EP). The aim is to help educational professionals understand their learners’ needs and find new ways of supporting them, based on what is already known about them. Consultees receive a concise, solution-focused report containing the practical next steps and ideas that were discussed. The AANT works for learners aged 0-25.

Feedback shows that educational professionals from a wide range of settings value the rich, focused discussion that this framework allows. The AANT is a person-centred, efficient, and supports both early intervention and identification of needs, and unpicking of more complex situations.

To find out more, choose the drop-down menu below that matches your role.

What is an AANT?

An AANT is an opportunity to work collaboratively with an educational and child psychologist (EP) to explore and discuss a learner’s strengths and needs. There are several stages to the process.

1. You (and/or colleagues who know the learner well) fill in a comprehensive online questionnaire, which asks about:

  • Emotional and social skills
  • Attention, motivation, and engagement
  • Speech, language, and social communication
  • Physical skills
  • Learning
  • Sleep
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Sensory needs.

2. The learner’s parent/carer gives permission for the AANT to take place and adds their views. This is all done digitally, so no paper forms or meetings are needed.

3. An EP contacts you quickly to arrange an online video consultation. This lasts around 45 minutes, and involves in-depth discussion of the learner’s needs, and possible next steps for supporting them, based on the information you have provided. Usually only the EP and educational professional are present, although parents/carers can join in if it would be helpful.

4. After the consultation, there is a report for you to download, containing a concise summary of your discussion, and links to resources.

How can it help me?

  • Quick and easy access to professional input from an experienced EP
  • May spotlight less evident areas of need for your learner
  • Protects a dedicated time and space to focus on needs, approaches, and next steps in detail without having to go through a learner’s background, as the EP already has this
  • Supports early identification of needs, so that advice can be implemented sooner and prevent needs escalating
  • Gives you a summary report that can be shared with parents/carers, and anyone else working with the learner
  • A single AANT can have a wide impact in your setting, as strategies and ideas may work for more than just the learner being discussed.

How can I organise one?

Settings in Suffolk (including information on current costs) - Email: aantsupport@suffolk.gov.uk

Settings in other local authorities – contact your Educational Psychology service.

Testimonials from educational professionals 

“The consultations have been informative, professional, with really good two-way discussion, and extremely helpful. Would I use it again? Absolutely. I would highly recommend it to anyone.” – primary school SENDCo

“It may be a concern that the child isn't actually observed during the process, however we found that a positive. It means that the parents would worry less, and we get a better idea of a child’s behaviour because it is not based around one observation, it’s based around a selection of observations.” – Early Years setting key worker.

“The consultations have been informative, professional, with really good two-way discussion, and extremely helpful. Would I use it again? Absolutely. I would highly recommend it to anyone.” – secondary school SENDCo.

Is an AANT what I need?

Unsure if an AANT is what you need for a particular learner? This information may help you decide.

For an accessible version of the presentation, please view our PDF (624KB). 

If you are an early years setting requesting an AANT, please visit the early years AANT page on Suffolk Learning.

How do EPs deliver AANTs?

EPs are introduced to the AANT platform and practise AANT consultations using a fully functional training site.

They are then assigned individual AANTs, via automated email, by their Lead EPs.

Each AANT contains a wealth of information from the consultee across:

  1. Emotional and social skills
  2. Attention, motivation, and engagement
  3. Speech, language, and social communication
  4. Physical skills
  5. Learning
  6. Sleep
  7. Healthy lifestyle
  8. Sensory needs.

The EP can begin hypothesising and formulating questions immediately, making notes on the website to use during the consultation.
Within agreed timescales, EPs arrange a 45-minute, online video consultation with the consultee. The EP can screen-share parts of the AANT and other useful resources/websites during the consultation.
Immediately following consultation, the EP completes a concise summary report on the website, listing points of discussion and the next steps their consultee has agreed. When complete, this is available for the consultee to view and download.

What are the advantages and benefits of working this way?

  • The entire process, from being assigned a new AANT to completing the report takes around two hours. This is time-boundaried, contained work which generates an immediate impact
  • Person-centred consultation is at the heart of the AANT. EPs can rapidly see the impact of multiple factors on a learner’s needs, and then explore these in depth during the consultation
  • It is an empowering process for educational professionals to act and facilitate change, without the EP becoming the problem holder
  • EPs become more involved in the early identification of needs and can support early intervention to reduce demand at later stages of the graduated response
  • If the child/young person undergoes an EHCNA at a later date, your service already has a thorough analysis of their needs as a starting point.

How can we start using the AANT in our service?

Local authorities can purchase a licence granting:

  • Full, secure access to aant.online
  • Training for an initial group of EPs, which can then be cascaded to other colleagues by a Lead EP within your service
  • Support documentation, including user guides for EPs and business support colleagues.

To discuss bringing AANT to your service, contact Claire.Darwin@suffolk.gov.uk

Testimonials from EPs who are using AANT

“I really like the opportunity for pure consultation. The fact that the consultee has filled in detailed information about the young person means that they have had time to think about them in detail which makes for a more focused consultation.”

“You are in the advantageous position of having a richness of details about a child’s strengths and needs, parental and school concerns, allowing you to form hypotheses prior to the consultation and focus on key topics from the very beginning.” 

“I was surprised at just how productive these consultations can be. In a short amount of time, there is space for reflection, hypothesising, thinking about next steps and planning.” 

“It is a very satisfying process. Simple, discrete, and nice to have a piece of work that can be turned around so quickly.” 

“It has helped reconnect with the importance of consultation, with other parts of the process (referral, forms, report writing, diary management) being less of a distracting factor.” 

What is an AANT?

An AANT allows a member of staff from your child/young person’s education setting to talk to an educational psychologist (EP) about your child. The EP meets with the member of staff online. They write a short report afterwards to help the setting plan next steps to support your child/young person.

Will the EP see my child/young person?

No, an EP does not visit the setting or work with your child/young person during an AANT. Instead, they work with an adult from the setting who knows them well.

How can it help my child/young person?

An AANT can:

  • create a better understanding of what might be making it harder for your child/young person to learn and make progress
  • give the adult who completes the AANT new ideas and strategies to try
  • keep your child/young person at the centre of the discussion and think about how adults in their setting can promote their strengths as well as supporting their needs.

How does it work?

  1. A member of staff will contact you about using an AANT. You will then get an email with a link inside. Clicking on the link takes you to a secure webpage, where you can give permission for the AANT to happen, and type your views in.
  2. After you have given permission, the member of staff will answer some questions about your child/young person. These will cover lots of different topics such as learning, emotional and social skills, and physical skills.
  3. The member of staff will have an online video meeting with the EP and talk about what your child/young person needs to help them make progress.
  4. The EP will write a short report about the meeting, including ideas for staff at the education setting to try. You should receive a copy of this from the setting.

Click here for more information about the AANT (PDF, 130KB).

How can the AANT help to reduce statutory demand?

  • Settings access educational psychology (EP) guidance at an earlier stage in the graduated response
  • Setting staff work collaboratively with EPs to shape specific next steps and actions which support inclusion
  • The subsequent summary report provides setting staff with a clear framework for developing effective intervention strategies
  • These strategies can potentially reach beyond the learner who was the focus of the AANT, facilitating positive changes for a wider group of learners in the setting.

Feedback from commissioners and settings in Suffolk suggests that the AANT has been effective in stabilising school placements for pupils where alternative or specialist provision is being considered. For vulnerable pupils such as looked after children, the AANT has been part of supporting the maintenance of both school and care placements.

How does AANT link to wider SEND strategy?

  • The AANT is solution-focused: identifying strengths as well as areas that would benefit from greater support
  • The AANT is geared towards early intervention and identification of needs
  • It is used as part of a graduated response - empowering staff to make positive changes before issues escalate and require a higher level of support
  • The AANT reflects current best practice in multi-agency collaboration across the UK, both in the way it was designed and developed, and because it promotes joint problem solving and solution building between EPs and educational settings.

How can the AANT contribute to analysis of need and provision mapping?

Local authority level

The AANT highlights analytical patterns and recurring themes in the broader pupil population. This allows for resources to be directed more efficiently towards areas of greater need. For example, AANTs in Suffolk frequently highlighted sleep as an area of difficulty for children and young people - impacting across development. In response, training and resources were developed to directly support settings and families with sleep.

Educational setting level

When an individual setting uses the AANT repeatedly for different learners, it becomes possible to establish themes at a whole school level. This again allows for more effective targeting of resources, as well as the opportunity to make connections between settings which appear to have similar themes within their pupil population.

Claire Darwin (Principal Educational Psychologist, Suffolk Psychology and Therapeutic Services) has created the presentation video below, to provide a through overview of the AANT for potential commissioners. 

Find out more about how Suffolk County Council and IJYI worked together to help promote inclusive support for children and young people.

The AANT operates on a full cost recovery model, meaning that it is not-for-profit and income generated from licensing to other organisations is re-invested.