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1.        Introduction

1.1       Educational psychologists have a statutory role in providing advice to the
          Local Authority during a statutory assessment under the regulations of the 1996
          Education Act.

1.2       The submission of that advice is directed by the Code of Practice.

1.3       Locally, Educational Psychology Service practice is directed by the Kent Local
          Decision Making Procedures and the internally agreed Appendix D guidelines.

1.4       The purpose of this policy reinforces the role of each of the above documents and
          summarizes the procedures unique to educational psychologists within these

2.        Requests for information following a parental request to the LA for a
          statutory assessment under the 1996 Act

2.1       Parents have a right to request a statutory assessment under the 1996 Act and
          LA must comply with this request unless it can show it to be unreasonable.

2.2       In these circumstances the LA will write directly to appropriate professionals
          including teachers and educational psychologists to gather appropriate

2.3       In such cases educational psychologists will receive a standard letter from the
          caseworker and this must receive a response within two weeks.

2.4       Educational psychologists must in these circumstances consult the service files to
          find out the level of knowledge already held whether the child in question is
          actually known to the receiving psychologist. In the light of all available
          information a response should be made to the caseworker. This can be done on
          a standard letter format, which is provided, though the particular circumstances of
          the case may require adaptations as necessary.

2.5       There is no necessity at this stage to undertake any further assessment. You are
          only required to provide information as available at the time.

          Decision Making

3.1       Decisions as to whether or not a statutory assessment is initiated lies with the LA.

42e8592b-c4b9-4c82-a868-0160efbfee0c.doc                                                   Section 5.3
3.2       All available evidence, whether as a consequence of a parental request or as a
          consequence of a school submission, is considered by the LA and a decision
          made as to whether or not a statutory assessment is initiated. If so, this
          information is relayed to the caseworker who undertakes the appropriate actions
          including a notification to the Educational Psychology Service.

          Note: It is not at this point from which psychologists have six weeks to submit
          their advice, that point comes at the time at which a parent has agreed to the
          assessment taking place and letter 2 having been issued.

3.3       If a statutory assessment is declined this information is conveyed to school and/or
          parents. In these circumstances parents have the right of appeal through the SEN
          tribunals. No further action would normally be required of the casework

3.4      Comprehensive guidelines regarding the decision making process undertaken by
         the County Panel are available.

3.5      The Educational Psychologist sitting on the County Panel is required to provide
         feedback regarding decisions made to casework psychologists in order to ensure
         maximum advance notice of any potential assessment advice that is going to be

3.6       The meeting’s role is to consider all the evidence presented and to make a
          decision as to whether or not to issue a statement and if so what provision should
          be offered to parents. Under the Act parents have a right to express a preference
          and while this preference is taken into account the decision as to what provision to
          make rests with the LA.

3.7       Should a Statement of Special Educational Need be declined or if the provision
          identified is not acceptable to the parents, they again have a right of appeal
          through the SEN Tribunals.

3.8       At the meeting a record is kept by the representative psychologist of all the
          decisions made, partly so they can be reviewed for quality assurance purposes
          and partly so that previous decisions can be examined should a case return to the

3.9       As appropriate these decisions are conveyed to the case psychologists thus
          keeping them informed and enabling good file management. It is often at this
          point that the case, as far as the educational psychologist is concerned, ceases to
          be “live” and the case file is returned to the main filing cabinet.

3.10      Once a final statement is issued this is normally sent to the Educational
          Psychology Service and can be added to the file.

3.11      Clearly for some cases they remain live even beyond the issuing of a statement
          as ongoing monitoring and reviewing may be part of the educational

42e8592b-c4b9-4c82-a868-0160efbfee0c.doc                                               Section 5.3
          psychologists’ role. Indeed they may be involved further in more formal ways
          such as annual reviews and transitional plans.

4.        Psychological Assessments for the provision of statutory advice

4.1       The procedure for this element of practice are laid down by the Code of Practice
          as required by the 1996 Education Act.

4.2       In many circumstances, cases for which psychologists are requested to provide
          statutory advice will be well known ones. In such circumstances a good deal of
          information may already be known. However, parents have a legal right to be
          present during a statutory assessment and must be informed of this right in
          writing. In some circumstances there may be no further need to interview the
          child but in such cases this must be clearly discussed with the parents and their
          agreement sought.

4.3       Where a further interview of the child is required parents must be informed of the
          proposed date, time and place of that interview and be given the opportunity.

4.4       A number of standard letters are available for correspondence with parents and
          although individuals may well choose to adapt these to suit their own style, written
          correspondence in advance of statutory interviews clearly informing parents of
          their rights is always required.

4.5       Following the completion of psychological assessment the submission of
          psychological advice to the caseworker in the AEN&R Department must be
          completed within six weeks of being requested. A framework for constructing this
          advice has been agreed and is contained in the guidelines for writing Appendix D.

5         Annual Reviews

5.1       Annual reviews are carried out by the school and only require the attendance and
          involvement of psychologists where necessary.

5.2       Should this be the case it is expected that psychologists’ involvement in an annual
          review will be negotiated and consequently sufficient time allocated.

5.3       If involved in the annual review, according to legislative guidelines, the
          psychologist would sometimes need to provide written information (not necessarily
          a formal report) such that it may be circulated two weeks in advance of the actual
          annual review meeting.

5.4       It is also envisaged that a psychologist may well be involved in an annual review
          though providing no information in advance. The purpose of such involvement
          would be to involve the psychologist in the discussions so as to enhance the
          decision making of the meeting.

42e8592b-c4b9-4c82-a868-0160efbfee0c.doc                                                Section 5.3
6.        Transitional Plans

6.1       In most respects the psychologists’ involvement in transitional plans mirrors that of
          their involvement in annual reviews in general.

6.2       Involvement will only be appropriate where deemed necessary and in such
          circumstances advance planning would be expected to have taken place.

6.3       Briefly, it is anticipated that any need for a psychologist’s involvement in a
          transitional plan should have been considered carefully during a child’s year 8
          either through the previous annual review or, if the psychologist was not present,
          then through further discussion with the school. In any event an Educational
          Psychologist’s involvement should have been discussed and agreed with the
          Educational Psychologist in question.


          This policy document is intended to outline as clearly as possible the procedures
          under which educational psychologists in Kent work with respect to the statutory
          assessment procedures laid down by the 1996 Education Act. Kent’s locally
          agreed policies are designed to enhance and compliment the national legislation
          and by following these procedures psychologists should ensure their appropriate
          involvement with maximum efficiency.

42e8592b-c4b9-4c82-a868-0160efbfee0c.doc                                                Section 5.3

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