The Local Authority (LA) will normally write to you again within 12 weeks of the date you were told the Assessment would go ahead.
In all cases, this letter will come from the Special Educational Needs Officer or one of her assistants based at County Hall.The letter will tell you whether or not a Statement of Special Educational Needs will be made for your child.
A statement of Special Educational Needs sets out what your child’s needs are and what special help is required.
A statement contains 6 parts:
Part 1 gives your own and your child’s name and address and other details.
Part 2 gives details of all your child’s learning difficulties and disabilities, as identified by the LA during the Assessment.
Part 3 describes:
- all the special help that the LA thinks your child should get to meet the needs set out in Part 2
- the long term objectives to be achieved by that special help
- the arrangements to be made for setting short term targets and regularly reviewing your child’s progress towards those targets.
Part 4 tells you about the school where your child will go to get the special help set out in Part 3, or the arrangements for education to be made otherwise than at school.
Part 5 describes any non-educational needs your child has, such as transport to school.
Part 6 describes how your child will get the help described in Part 5.
If the Special Educational Needs Officer or one of her assistants has decided that a Statement is to be made for your child, you will receive a letter containing the following:
- The decision that a Statement will be made
- A copy of a proposed Statement, with all parts except Part 4 (the name and type of school) completed
- Copies of all the Assessment reports and information written about your child, including yours.
- A reply slip telling you how you can give your views on the proposed Statement
- A list of ordinary and special schools in your area
- A list of ‘non-maintained’ and independent special schools approved by the Department for Education and Employment
- A leaflet explaining how to express your preference about schools.
You should write back to the Officer within 15 days, telling her your views on the proposed Statement and saying which school you would prefer your child to attend.
You can ask to meet with an officer of the LA to discuss the proposed Statement. After this meeting you would have a further 15 days for your comments, or to ask for another meeting. Within 15 days of your last meeting, you can add further comments for the LA to consider.
The Final Statement
The LA, in most circumstances, will be able to send you the final Statement within 8 weeks of having sent you a proposed Statement.
The Final Statement is a legal document. It means that you have agreed to your child attending the school named on the Statement. The LA and the school’s governors must make sure that your child receives the help written in the Statement.
Neither you nor the Local Authority can change the school unless everyone agrees that a change is in the child’s best interests.