I was advised by my health visitor to make a Parental Request for Statement (see my post on Pinkoddy), that it would speed the process up. At this point my son had only had 1 maybe 2 Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and was showing a Global Developmental Delay (as backed up by the Health Visitor). There is normally a procedure of doing X amount of IEPs, moving onto School Action, and School Action Plus – before Ed Psychs etc come out before the child is suggested for a Statement. I think that if an educational setting suggest a Statement and at the first assessment it is decided that they do not need assessing, then 6 months have to pass before another request can be made, this is apparently also true with a Parental Request for Statement. Please anyone correct me if any of this is wrong I have never taken this route.
Edit: I have been told that if you request a Statement and are turned down then you still need to wait 6 months before another can be requested (but you can appeal immediately).
I was very lucky in that when I made my request for a Statement the Playgroup were very proactive in helping me, and they arranged for the Educational Psychologist to come out and see my son. However, he hadn’t seen the Communication and Interaction Team and I do feel that may be he ended up with the wrong Category of Statement due to this. As he was still at Playgroup he was awarded the full 15 hours to cover 1:1 support for the full time he was there. There was then another meeting to adjust the statement to fit in with moving up to school. He has 20 hours put in place to start school, covering lunch times, and an early review to be called in October, when the school have more of an idea of his needs (evidence of how it is a health and safety issues for himself and others, for him not to be left alone).
Please note that my son does not have any form of diagnosis at all, we are still waiting (only been going on for 2 1/2 years). You do not to have your child diagnosed before you can receive a Statement, and a child does not have to have a disability to receive a Statement of Special Educational Needs, there are lots of circumstances under which a child can receive one.
I found the address of my local Special Needs Department within my Local Education Authority. Below is a template of the letter I used to request a formal assessment for a Statement of Special Educational Needs.
Request for formal assessment
I am writing as the parent of CHILDS NAME (DOB) to request an assessment of his special educational needs under the 1996 Education Act.
I would like a statutory assessment for Child X as he is under school age, and I believe that he will also need extra help when he starts school, he currently attends:
I believe that Child X has special educational needs for the following reasons:
My reasons for believing that his pre-school cannot on their own make the provision required to meet my child’s needs are:
It is my understanding that you are legally obliged by law to reply to this request within six weeks and that if you refuse or fail to do so I will be able to appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal.
This is not a sponsored post.