School and Special Needs

How a statutory assessment is made? 

In law, a child with Special Educational Needs (SEN) is the one who finds it much harder to learn than most other children of her or his age or has a disability such as a hearing, visual, speech or language impairment that hinders normal schooling.

There are three level of it: school action, school action plus, and statutory assessment. Let us know a bit about all three to begin with. In level one: school action, teachers give the child appropriate extra help as part of their normal classroom role. In level two: school action plus, the school has to call in specialist help from outside agencies to help children make better progress in normal classes at school.

However, if a child is still not making satisfactory progress, the school and parents may apply to the Local Education Authority (LEA) for a ‘statutory assessment” (level three). This is an investigation by an educational psychologist and other professionals into the child’s need for support.

To apply for a statutory assessment, you write to the LEA or submit a request through the school’s SEN coordinator. You should be given the name of an officer at the LEA, who would advise you to keep you informed of what is happening. The LEA will first of all ask for evidence that, despite everything the school has done, difficulties remain. These evidence can include an assessment by the school of the child’s needs, a statement of measures that school has already taken to try to meet those needs, reports of the child’s levels of academic achievements and rate of progress at school, an assessment of the child’s behavioural, emotional and social development, and finally the reports from professionals such as educational psychologists and specialist support teachers. The whole process of getting a statutory assessment may take up to six months.

The Evidence

The LEA studies the evidence and then makes a decision. The decision could be that a statutory assessment is appropriate for the child, or the child’s needs are being adequately met under existing arrangements, so a statutory assessment is not necessary.  

The Assessment

The experts make the assessment and then make a decision. The decision could be that a ‘statement of special education needs’ is necessary for the child or no extra measures are needed. 

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For more information on:

  • The Statement
  • Transition Period
  • Example
  • Poor Co-ordination and Attention Deficit Disorder