SEN Factsheet 4 Statutory Assessment by act50979

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									  Children & Young
  People’s Services


Special Educational Needs:
Statutory Assessment

What is a Statutory Assessment?

Statutory Assessment is a very detailed assessment of your child’s needs under the 1996
Education Act. It will include reports about your child from a number of people. These will
include you, teachers, an Educational Psychologist, a Community Paediatrician and others
who work with or support your child. The assessment will identify your child’s special
educational needs and any special help that he/she may require.

When will a Statutory Assessment be carried out?

The SEN Code of Practice is very clear in its guidance that most children with special
educational needs should be supported in their education through School Action or Early
Years Action, or with more severe and complex needs, through School Action Plus or
Early Years Action Plus. All schools and early education settings provide a cycle of
planning, teaching assessment and review that takes account of the wide range of abilities,
aptitudes and interests of children. The majority of children will learn and progress within
these arrangements and be included in mainstream settings.

However, for a very small number of children with more severe, complex and long-term
needs, additional support may be required. A Statutory Assessment is only necessary if the
school or the early education setting cannot provide all the help your child needs with the
resources made available to them through School Action (Early Years Action) and School
Action Plus (Early Years Action Plus).

Can the school or early education setting ask the Local Authority (LA) for a
Statutory Assessment?

Yes. The school or early education setting can ask for a Statutory Assessment when there
are concerns about the progress of your child. They should always consult with you,
however, before they take this action.

If the school or early education setting ask for a Statutory Assessment for your child, the LA
will write to you and ask whether you agree and also whether you would like to send them
any supporting information. You will be asked to provide this information within 29 days
and you can get help at this point from Supportive Parents, a voluntary organisation which
provides the independent parent support service in North Somerset, if you wish. Contact
details are at the end of this Fact Sheet.




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Can I ask the LA for a Statutory Assessment?

Yes. As a parent you can ask for a Statutory Assessment if you feel that your child’s needs
are not being met through School Action Plus (Early Years Action Plus). It is a good idea to
discuss this with your child’s school or early education setting first. You may also find it
helpful to talk it through with Supportive Parents as an independent parent support service
(see contact details at the end of this Fact Sheet).

What happens after the request for a Statutory Assessment (by the school,
early education setting or yourself?)

The LA will decide whether to carry out a Statutory Assessment and this decision will be
based on all the information sent into the Education department. Therefore, it is very
important that good quality and complete information is provided. In most cases, the LA
should make a decision within 6 weeks of receiving the request.

After considering the information, the LA will decide either that:

   your child’s special educational needs can continue to be met appropriately through the
   support available at School Action Plus or Early Years Action Plus. If so, the LA will
   decide that a Statutory Assessment is not needed.

OR

     the LA will proceed with a Statutory Assessment

OR

   more detailed information is required about your child’s special educational needs
   before a decision can be made

What if the LA will not agree to start a Statutory Assessment?

If the LA decides not to carry out a Statutory Assessment for your child, they must write and
tell you and the school their reasons. They may also make further recommendations about
the help needed for your child in school and the outside help that will be appropriate. They
will also:

   offer you an opportunity to talk things through with the LA or suggest that you may wish
   to contact Supportive Parents for independent advice
   offer you access to independent disagreement resolution via Wessex Mediation (contact
   details at the end of this Fact Sheet)
   inform you of your right to appeal to the independent Special Educational Needs and
   Disability Tribunal (SENDIST)

Supportive Parents can give you more information and advice about these last two options
and can be contacted at the address at the end of this Fact Sheet.




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If the LA does agree to start a Statutory Assessment for my child, what
happens next?

The LA will inform you in writing of their decision to proceed with a Statutory Assessment
and will also give you details of the LA named SEN Officer who will be able to discuss and
help you with any part of the process. Supportive Parents can also help you at this point.

As part of the Statutory Assessment, the LA will ask a number of professionals to give their
views on your child. They will ask advice from:

    your child’s school or early education setting
    an Educational Psychologist
    a doctor
    Social Services (if they know your child)
    anyone else whose advice the LA considers appropriate

You will also be asked to give your views again. This is separate from those you gave
when you or the school were asking for the Statutory Assessment to start. You can also
send in reports on your child that you may have sought independently, and the LA should
take these into account. You can say if there is anyone else you wish us to approach.

Your views and knowledge are very important and you have an essential role to play at this
point. The named SEN Officer of the LA should help to explain the process, but you may
also wish to ask for help from:

    Supportive Parents
    voluntary organisations working with children and young people
    other parent support groups

Supportive Parents can tell you about these organisations and groups, and particularly
about local details.

The LA will also seek the views of your child as part of the process of Statutory
Assessment. Your child’s views are an important part of the information, but it may not
always be easy to get these views and your child may need help and support to give them.
it is very helpful if you can include your child’s views in your own contribution.

In order to carry out the Statutory Assessment quickly, the LA will ask you to give your
advice within 6 weeks. The overall time that the LA should take to complete the Statutory
Assessment and to receive and take account of all the advice is 10 weeks from the start of
the assessment.




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What happens when all the information has been collected and the Statutory
Assessment is completed?

Once the LA has received all the advice and information about your child, including your
own contribution, they will then decide on the basis of all this information whether to issue a
Statement of Special Educational Needs for your child. They will normally tell you their
decision by letter within 2 weeks of receiving all the advice (12 weeks in all from the
decision to start the assessment.

When they write to you, their will either:

   tell you that they are going to issue a proposed Statement of Special Educational Needs
   for your child and ask you to look at it and discuss it further with them.

OR

   tell you that they have decided not to issue a Statement. They will explain their reasons
   and issue a document that describes your child’s needs and makes recommendations
   about how they should be met in school or early education setting. This is called a Note
   in Lieu. It is an advisory document and does not have the legal status of a Statement.

Again, if you disagree with the LA at this point, you have a right of appeal to the
independent Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST). You may also
wish to seek help from Supportive Parents or to find out details of the local disagreement
resolution arrangements provided through independent mediators in North Somerset.

Help and advice

Supportive Parents                           Telephone: 0117 989 7725
3rd Floor Royal Oak House                    (Daily 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, answerphone at
Royal Oak Avenue                             all other times)
Bristol
BS1 4GB

Wessex Mediation                             Telephone: 01823 336 465
5 Weymouth Road                              Email:     info@mediationsomerset.co.uk
Dorset
DT1 1QR

Contact us …….

Special Educational Needs Team                     Telephone: 01275 888 294
North Somerset Council                             Fax:       01275 888 309
Children & Young People’s Services
Town Hall
Weston-super-Mare
BS23 1UJ




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