Bolton Children's Services recognises that, at any one time, approximately 20% of pupils may have special educational needs that require extra help at school. For the majority of these pupils their special educational needs will be met by their mainstream school, in line with the SEN Code of Practice. All schools have a designated member of staff, the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator), who has responsibility for special educational needs. Schools also have a special educational needs governor who has particular responsibility for the SEN Policy and ensuring its delivery.
There are a small proportion of pupils whose needs are so severe that they cannot be met by the resources available to mainstream schools and the support services available to them. These pupils will require a statement of special educational needs and may be placed in either a mainstream or a special school.
Inclusion and Statutory Assessment Service
The main functions of the service are concerned with the statutory assessment of children with special educational needs including:
- completing statutory assessments
- issuing statements of special educational needs
- issuing notes-in-lieu
- SEN tribunals and disagreement resolution
- annual reviews
- amendments to statements
- re-assessment of special educational needs
- allocation of resources to schools for children with special educational needs
- admissions to special schools for statemented children
- arrangements for primary to secondary phase transfers for statemented children
- provision of transport for children with special educational needs
Statutory assessment for special educational needs
If the school feels that your child's needs cannot be met by their resources and the resources available to them from the support services, the school will talk to you about making a request to the Local Authority to carry out a statutory assessment. If you feel that your child's school or early education setting cannot provide all the extra help that your child needs, or your child is not making enough progress and so if falling further behind other children of the same age, you may as a parent also request a statutory assessment of your child's special educational needs. You should always talk to your child's teacher or the SENCO before asking the Local Authority.
What is a statutory assessment?
This is a detailed investigation to find out exactly what your child's special educational needs are and what special help your child needs. The Local Authority will ask a number of professionals to give their views on your child. This could include asking advice from:
- your child's school or setting
- an educational psychologist
- medical professionals
- social care (who will only give advice if they know your child)
- anyone else whose advice the Local Authority consider appropriate (e.g. Behaviour Support Service, Sensory Support Service, SEN Advisory Teacher, CAMHS)
You have the right to be present at any interview, medical or other test during the statutory assessment. The Local Authority will also ask you for your views and you should feel free to suggest any other people or organisations you know whose views may be helpful in the assessment of your child.
What will I need to do?
If you wish to request a statutory assessment of your child's special educational needs you can complete and return a parental request form, see downloads tab. If the school wishes to request a statutory assessment for your child you will be asked to give your written permission for the school to do so. If the local authority agrees to carry out a statutory assessment they will inform you in writing and you will be involved in the process and decision making. The Appendix A - Parental Advice form is only to be completed once the local authority initiates statutory assessment (a copy of this will be sent to you in the post).
Statement of special educational needs
What is a statement of special educational needs?
Only a small percentage of children with special needs require a statutory assessment and a statement. A statement will describe all your child's special educational needs and the special help your child should receive. The local authority will usually make a statement if they decide that all the special help your child needs cannot be provided from within the resources of the school/setting. These resources could include additional money for the school to use to help your child, staff time and special equipment.
A statement includes information about:
- details of all your child's special educational needs as identified in the statutory assessment advice
- all the special help that the local authority thinks your child should get to help meet these needs
- the long-term aims and the arrangements for setting short-term goals, regularly reviewing your child's progress towards those goals and how your child's progress is to be monitored
- the school/setting your child will go to to get the special help they need
- any non-educational needs your child has, as agreed between the Local Authority and the health services, social care and other agencies
- how your child will get help to meet the non-educational needs
Once the assessment is complete, and if the local authority decides to issue a Statement, you will receive a Proposed Statement of Special Educational Needs along with a copy of all the advice collected as part of the assessment. The Statement sets out your child's needs and the provision to meet those needs. The school/setting placement is not written in the Proposed Statement but this does not necessarily mean that your child will not continue at their current school or setting.
If the local authority decides not to issue a statement of special educational needs after carrying out an assessment, a Note-in-Lieu will be written along with the reasons why a statement is not being issued.
You can make any representation to the local authority regarding the Proposed Statement, following which the local authority will confirm or amend the Proposed Statement and then issue the Final Statement. You should receive the Final Statement within eight weeks of receiving the Proposed Statement. A copy will also be sent to the Head Teacher of the school/setting your child is attending or about to attend.
Following discussions with the Inclusion and Statutory Assessment Service, if you are not happy with the Final Statement or the decision not to issue a Statement, you have the right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (SENDIST). Information relating to your right of appeal will be included in the information sent with the Local Authority's decision letter.
Parent Partnership Service
What is the Parent Partnership Service?
The Parent Partnership Service is a community-based, confidential and independent information and advisory service for parents/carers of children and young people with special educational needs.
The main aims of the service are:
- to ensure parents/carers of children with additional needs are provided with accurate, neutral information on their rights, roles and responsibilities within the SEN process
- to provide information and support to the parents/carers of all children with special educational needs, not only those with statements
- to ensure parents/carers are informed about other agencies e.g. health services and voluntary organisations that can offer information and advice about their child's particular special educational needs.
This is only a small part of what the service offers, for more information contact:
Bolton Parent Partnership Service
Children's Opportunity Group
Telephone 01204 848722
Times are displayed in a 24 hour format.