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Statement of Special Educational Needs (Part 1)

SEN Code of Practise 2001 Statements

In order to get a statement for your child you first need to get an Assessment of Special Educational Needs from the LEA, if you have not done so please refer to the fact sheet called Requesting an Assessment of Special Educational Needs.

The criteria for deciding to draw up a statement:

The LEA should consider all the information gathered during the statutory assessment process and relate it to that presented by the school. They may wish to consider the following:

The Child's Learning Difficulties.

o Does the information on the child's learning difficulties provided in the advice for the assessment broadly consist with the evidence presented by the school?

o If not, are there aspects of the child's learning difficulties which the school may have overlooked and with advice, equipment or other provision, the school could effectively address through School Action or School Action Plus?

The Child's Special Educational Provision:

o Do the proposals for the child's special educational provision, arising from any of the assessment advice, indicate that the provision being made by the school, including teaching strategies or other approaches, appropriate to the child's learning difficulties?

o If not, are there approaches which, with the benefit of advice, equipment or other provision, the school could effectively adopt within its own resources through School Action or School Action Plus?

Consideration of provision's that may need to be made:

If the assessment confirms that the schools assessment and provision is appropriate but the child is still not progressing, or not progressing sufficiently well, the LEA should consider what further provisions may be needed and whether those provisions can be made within the schools resources or, whether a statement is needed.

The Following are examples of possible approaches:

If the LEA concludes that the child's learning difficulties call for:

o Occasional or irregular advice to the school from an external specialist
o Occasional or irregular support with personal care
o Access to a particular piece of equipment such as a portable word processor, an electric keyboard or tape recorder

The LEA may feel that the school could reasonably be expected to make such provision from its own resources through School Action Plus.

If the LEA concluded that the child's learning difficulties called for:

o Regular and frequent direct teaching by a specialised teacher
o Daily individual support form a learning support assistant
o A significant piece of equipment such as a closed circuit TV, a computer or CD Rom device with appropriate software
o The regular involvement of non-educational agencies

The LEA may conclude that the school could not make such a provision and therefore they should formally identify in a statement the child's needs, the full range of provision to be made and review arrangements. The LEA's conclusions will depend on the precise circumstances of each case and take into account funding arrangements for schools in their area. Where they conclude that a day or residential special school placement might be necessary, they should draw up a statement.

Writing up a statement:

Where an LEA , having made the decision to make a statement, they shall serve a copy of a proposed statement and a written notice on the child's parents within 2 weeks of the date on which the assessment was completed (schedule 27, education Act 1996 and the education (special educational needs) (England) Regulations 2001).

The notice must be in the form prescribed in schedule 1 of the regulations. The statement must follow the format and contain the information prescribed by the regulations:

All the advice obtained and taken into consideration during the assessment process must be attached as appendices to the statement and must include:

A. Parental evidence, which includes representations presented to the LEA when considering the need for an assessment, parental views and evidence submitted as part of the assessment, and when the statement is finalised any representations and responses to the proposed statement.

B. Educational advice

C. Medical advice

D. Psychological advice

E. Social services advice

F. Any other advice, such as the views of the child, which the LEA or any other body from whom advice is considered desirable. In particular, where the child's parent is a serving member of the armed forces, advice from the Service Children's Education (SCE).

PART 1 - Introduction: - The child's name, address and date of birth. Their home language, religion, names and addresses of parents.

PART 2 - Special Educational Needs (Learning Difficulties):- This section should describe all of the chills learning difficulties identified during the assessment, including a description of what the child can and cannot do. Along with the advice received during the assessment, attached as appendices to the statement.

PART 3 - Special Educational Provision: - The provision that should be included in this section is provision the LEA consider necessary to meet the child's needs:

Sub-section 1: The objectives that the Special Educational Provision should aim to meet and should directly relate to the needs in Part 2. They should generally be of a longer term nature and be described in terms that will allow the LEA and school to monitor and review the child's progress over time. Sub-section 2: The provision which the LEA consider appropriate to meet all the learning difficulties set out in Part 2. Some will be made by the school from within its own resources and some by the health authority. The LEA is responsible for arranging the provision, irrespective of who delivers it, unless the LEA is satisfied that the parent have themselves made suitable arrangements.

The Education (Special Educational Needs) Regulations 2001 say that a statement must specify

a. any appropriate facilities and equipment, staffing arrangements and curriculum
b. any appropriate modifications to the application of the national curriculum
c. any appropriate exclusions from the application of the national curriculum in detail, and the provision which it is proposed to substitute for any such exclusions, in order to maintain a balanced and broadly based curriculum, and
d. Where residential accommodation is appropriate, that fact.

LEAs must make decisions about which actions and provisions are appropriate for pupils on an individual basis. Provision should normally be quantified (i.e. In terms of hours of provision and staffing arrangements). There will be cases where flexibility should be retained in order to meet changing needs. It will be necessary for LEAs to monitor the child's progress, however the provision is made. They must not in any circumstances, have blanket policies not to quantify provision.

For pupils whose assessment is close to their preparation for GCSE's or vocational exams, the LEA should indicate any exam provision recommended enabling the pupil to have full access to the exam. In some cases approval may be needed from the awarding body. This is very simple to do and is handled from the centre where the pupil takes their exams, usually their school.

Please note: A Pupil does not have to have a statement to benefit from any concessions that an exam group might grant to a pupil with SEN.

Sub-section 3: This 3rd sub-section should describe the arrangements to be made for setting shorter-term targets. The targets themselves should not be a part of the statement but form an integral part of their IEP (Individual Education Plan), and they will need regular review and revision. The school should devise the first IEP in consultation with the parents and where appropriate within 2 months of a placement in a different school or immediately the statement is finalised, if the child remains in the same school. The Childs achievements in light of the IEP should be reviewed at least twice a year and be fully considered at the first annual review of the statement, when further targets can be set. This section should also identify any special arrangements for the annual review and recognise the schools need to monitor and evaluate the child's progress during the year.

All information in this section should be written clearly so that it is understood by all those involved in the child's education, including the parents.

PART 4 - Placement : In the final statement this part will set out the type of school and any particular school the LEA considers appropriate, or the arrangements for the provision for education other than at school which the LEA consider appropriate. However this part must be left blank when the proposed statement is issued, so the LEA do not pre-empt any preferences the parents may have.

PART 5 - Non-Educational Needs: All relevant non-educational needs of the chills as agreed between the Health Services, Social Services or other agencies and the LEA.

PART 6 - Non-educational Provision: Details of relevant non-educational provision required to meet the needs of the child, as agreed by those in Part 5, and the agreed arrangements for its provision.

It should then be signed and dated

Speech and Language Therapy

Case law has established that speech and language therapy can be regarded as either educational or non-educational provision, or both depending on the health development history of the child. So it could appear in either or both of Parts 3 and 6. However as a communication is fundamental to learning and progression, speech and language impairment should normally be recorded as educational, unless there are exceptional reason's for not doing so.

Prime responsibility for provision of speech and language therapy for children lies with the NHS. This applies generally to such services in a statement whether it's in Part 3 or 6. Health Authorities are responsible for purchasing therapy services through the NHS Trusts. Where NHS does not provide therapy for a child whose statement specifies it as en educational provision, ultimate responsibility for ensuring the provision is met lies with the LEA, unless parents have made appropriate alternative arrangements.

The Proposed Statement

The LEA must draw up a proposed statement, completing all parts except Part 4. It must not contain any details relating to where the proposed special education provision should be made. They must send the proposed statement and copies of the advice that has been submitted during the assessment to the parents, with copies to all those who submitted advice.

At the same time the LEA must send the parents a Notice which sets out the procedures to be followed, including setting out arrangements for the choice of school, the parents rights to make representations about the contents of the statement, their right to appeal to the SEN Tribunal against the contents of the final statement and the time limits for appeal.

When making a statement the LEA should remember the needs of the parents and child who's first language is not English and seek advice from bi-lingual support staff, teachers of English as an additional language, interpreters, translators and other local sources of help as appropriate, to ensure such parents and children are involved in all aspects of the process.

Time Limits

On receipt of the proposed statement, parents have a right to state a preference for the maintained school their child should attend and to make representations to, and hold meetings with the LEA. It must be explained to parents that they have the right to raise any other issues relating to the statement. The LEA must normally issue the final statement within 8 weeks of the issue of the proposed statement. There is however exceptions to this set out in the Education (Special Educational Needs) Regulations 2001.

For Further Information regarding the Statement process please check out our Fact Sheet called Statement of Special Educational needs Part 2

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