In a very small number of cases, it may be necessary to carry out a formal assessment of special educational needs. You will sometimes see this referred to as a Section 323 assessment. It is also known as a formal assessment. It is usually carried out when your child continues to find it difficult to learn with the existing support that has been put into place at School Action Plus or Early Years Action Plus. The purpose of the assessment is to clearly identify your child’s needs and how these needs can be met.
Requesting a statutory assessment
You or the school can make a request for a statutory assessment. The Local Authority may also recommend that an assessment is carried out, in certain circumstances. A request can be made for a child from the age of two years upwards. You can make the request by writing to the SEN casework team at County Hall. The Parent Partnership Service can help you with making a request. If the school makes a request for a statutory assessment for your child, you should be consulted before the request is made.
Once the LA has received your request, it then has six weeks in which to decide whether or not to proceed with a formal assessment. During these six weeks, the LA will gather information from all the educational professionals who know your child.
Once you have requested a formal assessment, the LA will write to you explaining the assessment process and will attach a form for you to put forward your views. This is an opportunity for you to make us aware of your child’s history and to express your concerns. If you feel that you need some support in filling in this form, you can contact Parent Partnership Service. A leaflet on filling in the form is also included in this section.
All the information will then go for consideration to the SEN Assessment Panel. Assessment panel leaflet [PDF 45.75KB]
What Happens Next?
The Statutory Assessment process is divided into a number of stages. The links below enable you to read further information about what happens at each stage in the process. The LA receives a referral or a request to carry out a Statutory Assessment and a letter is then sent out to parents confirming receipt of the request.
Deciding to Assess (6 weeks to complete this stage)
Referral to the Assessment and Statementing Panel
Making the Assessment (10 weeks to complete this stage)
The Local Authority gathers information and advice from those involved with the child
Writing the Proposed Statement (2 weeks to complete this stage)
The Local Education Authority writes the statement
Finalising the Statement (8 weeks to complete this stage)
The parent considers the Proposed Statement
Total 26 weeks
The recommended time limits shown may not be met because of the following circumstances:
- school summer vacation
- delayed reports from Health or other Agencies
- children not attending appointments
- parents requesting additional meetings
- require further reports