Following the completion of an independent external review commissioned by the WLGA of the Sensory and Communication Support Service (SenCom) on behalf of the South East Wales Consortium, the five partner local authorities involved welcome the publication of the review. All have recognised the positive comments within the review and are committed to working together in the near future.

Statutory assessment

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. 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.
  • The ALN 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 usually include an ALNCo or 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 ALN 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.

Contact Information

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 0808 801 0608. More information can be found at www.snapcymru.org

Annual reviews

What is an annual review?

  • The Local Authority must review your child’s Statement of Special Educational Needs at least every year (every six months for children under five). Early or interim reviews can be called if necessary.
  • It is the responsibility of the school to organise the annual review and it is usually held at the school. Everyone who is involved with your child is invited to attend or send written comments.
  • The Annual Review is an opportunity for you and your child to share your views with the school or early years setting and the Local Authority.

What happens after the annual review?

A report of the meeting, summing up what was said and including any recommendations made will be sent to the Local Authority, along with all the reports submitted for the review. Everyone who went to the meeting will be sent a copy. If there are any changes to the Statement to be made, the Local Authority will make these changes and send you an Amended Statement.

Note in Lieu

  • A Note In Lieu is a document written in place of a Statement of Special Educational Needs. If the Local Authority decides that your child’s needs can be met with the support being provided by the school at School Action Plus, a Note In Lieu will be issued. It is not a legal document.
  • A Note In Lieu will describe your child’s educational needs; give the reasons why a Statement has not been written; provide suggestions for the school about how to meet your child’s needs; describe your child’s other needs
  • Copies of all the advice and reports received as part of the statutory assessment will be sent to you with the Note In Lieu.