What is a Statutory Assessment?
If your child does not seem to be making progress at School Action Plus, the Local Authority may decide to carry out a statutory assessment. A statutory assessment is a full and detailed investigation to find out what your child's special educational needs are and what special help your child requires.
The process normally takes 26 weeks to complete. During that time you will receive a number of letters from the Local Authority and you will be asked to fill in and return a number of forms. Details of who to contact for help or support at any point would be included in the letters.
Who can ask for a Statutory Assessment?
You can ask for a statutory assessment of your child and so can your child's school. The request has to be in writing. If the school wants to ask for a statutory assessment they should always talk to you first. The local health authority is also able to request one but again they will speak to you before doing this.
If you would like to request a statutory assessment it would be a good idea to speak to your child's class teacher or the school's Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCo) first.
The Local Authority will consider the request carefully, and you will be told within six weeks if an assessment is to be carried out.
What happens after the request for Statutory Assessment?
The Local Authority has six weeks to decide whether to carry out a statutory assessment or not. This decision will be based on all the information sent in. Information will come from you and from the school and it is important that the information provided is accurate. You can also provide evidence from other professionals involved with your child.
The Local Authority's Additional Learning Needs Panel will consider all the information provided and will either agree to proceed with a statutory assessment, ask for more detailed information, or decide that your child's needs can continue to be met at School Action Plus. You will be informed of this decision in writing within seven working days.
The Additional Needs Panel is a panel of professionals who consider the evidence for all referrals for statutory assessment. The panel ensures that the Local Authority has the support and advice of a multi professional team in making decisions as to whether to carry out assessments. The panel will include an ALNCo, Head Teacher and Educational Psychologist.
What happens during a Statutory Assessment
The Local Authority will ask people to give their views on your child. As a parent, your views are very important. Also any views your child may have will be important.
The Local Authority will ask for advice from you, the school, an educational psychologist, a doctor, social services (although they will only give advice if they know your child), and anyone else the Local Authority thinks can help to give a clear picture of your child's needs.
You will be able to go with your child to any meeting or medical appointment organised as part of the statutory assessment. It is really important that all appointments are kept as failure to attend will delay the assessment.
What happens after a Statutory Assessment
The Local Authority has ten weeks to gather all the information and decide on whether to issue a Statement of Special Educational Needs. When all the evidence has been received, the Additional Needs Panel will discuss your child and consider the evidence very carefully before making a decision.
If it is decided that a Statement should be written then you will be sent a copy of the Proposed Statement as well as a copy of the evidence gathered during the assessment. The Local Authority has two weeks to send out the Proposed Statement.
Further information is available from the school Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator or from SNAP Cymru which provides independent parental support and can be contacted on 0845 1203730 (calls cost 5p per minute plus your telephone company’s network access charge) or from a mobile 0345 1203730.