If a pupil has significant special educational needs they may require a Statement of Special Educational Needs issued by the Local Authority. This sets out the Special Educational Needs of the child and the additional help they should have at school.
The majority of pupils with Special Educational Needs have their needs met by local schools without a statement of Special Educational Needs.
A statement of Special Educational Needs is a legal document laying out the details of the Special Educational Needs, which your child is considered to have.
The different parts of a statement
The statement outlines the specific help, which will be made available to meet your child’s Special Needs. This is called Special Educational Provision. A statement of Special Educational Needs is set out in six parts:
Part 1 – Introduction
- The child’s name address and date of birth
- The child’s home language and religion
- The names and address(es) of the child’s parents
Part 2 – Special Educational Needs
Details of each and every one of the child’s Special Educational Needs as identified by the Local Authority during the Statutory Assessment from the advice received and attached as appendices to the statement.
Part 3 – Special Educational Provision
The Special Educational Provision which the Local Authority considers necessary to meet the child’s Special Educational Needs:
Part 4 – Placement
- The long term objectives for the pupil which the Special Educational Provision should address
- The Special Educational Provision that the Local Authority considers appropriate to meet the needs specified in Part 2.
- The arrangements for monitoring progress in meeting those objectives.
The type and name of school where the Special Educational provision specified in Part 3 is to be made or the arrangements for the education to be made otherwise than in school.
Part 5 – Non – Educational Needs
All relevant non-educational needs of the chid as agreed between the Health Services, Social Services or other agencies and the Local Authority.
Part 6 - Non-Educational Provision
Details of relevant non-educational provision which will be made available to meet non-educational needs of the child as agreed between the Health Services and/or the Social Services and the Local Authority, including the agreed arrangements for it’s provision.
The undertaking of a statutory assessment does not necessary mean that statement of Special Educational Needs will be issued.
The Proposed Statement
If it has been decided to issue a statement of Special Educational Needs, then you will first be sent a ‘Proposed Statement’. All sections will be completed except part 4 (describing the type and name of the School), which is left blank.
Along with a copy of the Proposed Statement, you will receive a letter telling how you can give your views on the Proposed Statement before a Final Statement is issued. Details of Local Authority mainstream and Special Schools in the area are sent to you at this point, along with details of all non-maintained and independent schools approved by the secretary of state for education as suitable for children with Special Educational Need.
Expressing a preference for a school
You have a right to express a preference for the Local Authority maintained school you want your child to go to. This may be the school that your child is already attending.
We will agree with your preference providing:
- The school you choose is suitable for your child’s age, ability, and Special Educational Needs.
- Your child’s attendance there will not effect the efficient education of other children already at the school
- Placing your child at the school will be an efficient use of resources
You may also make representations in respect of seeking a place at a non-maintained independent school outside the Local Authority, although the Authority is not obliged to fund a place in one of these schools. The LA normally tries to make provision for children in one of it’s own schools. Deciding which school you would prefer your child to attend is a very important matter and we will be pleased to talk to you and provide you with additional information to assist you with making your decision.
You may wish to visit schools in order to familiarise yourself with the provision made by the Local Authority. You have 15 days in which to make any comments and express your preference of school you want for your child.
Usually the Local Authority will send you the Final Statement within 8 weeks of issuing the proposed statement. You will be informed of your right of appeal against the Authority‘s decision to an independent Special Needs Tribunal if you do not agree with the Final Statement issued by the Authority.
An assessment should take no longer than 6 months (There are exceptions to the time limit e.g. when professional advice is received late).
Parents or carers can help by replying quickly whenever Children and Young People's Integrated Services contacts you.