How long does a Statutory Assessment take?
If the Education Authority agree that your child needs a statutory assessment, it aims to complete the assessment within 26 weeks. The Education Authority will provide parents with details of a named officer with whom you will be able to discuss any questions or concerns regarding the assessment.
Does a Statutory Assessment always lead to a Statement being issued?
The information gathered during the assessment may indicate ways in your child’s needs may be met without the need for a Statement. If this is the case, the Education Authority may issue a ‘Note in Lieu’. The decision to issue a Note in Lieu can be reassuring to parents or carers. When issuing a Note in Lieu the Authority provides parents with a full explanation of its decision and how their child’s Special Educational Needs can be met by school and, if required, Stage 3 Support Services. Parents will be given a right of appeal if the Education Authority decides to issue a Note in lieu to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
A flowchart is available which provides information on the Statutory Assessment process, including timescales.
What is a Proposed Statement?
If the Education Authority decides that a Statement is needed for your child, it will write a first version called a “Proposed Statement.” This will describe your child’s special educational needs and the support proposed for your child. The Education Authority support will be over and above what is ordinarily available in a mainstream school. A copy of the Proposed Statement will be sent to you along with copies of the advice received.
You can contact the Education Authority if you think it needs to make changes to the Proposed Statement. You have 15 days to make comments, to ask for a meeting or to accept the Proposed Statement.
At this time, the Education Authority will ask you which school you would prefer your child to go to that can meet his or her Special Educational Needs. This may be the same school that they are already attending, a different mainstream school or specialist provision.
If you have agreed, the Authority will consult with your preferred school, if appropriate, by sending the Proposed Statement to the school and ask the school if it can meet your child’s special educational needs as written on the Proposed Statement.
Once the school replies you will be notified and the Education Authority will send you a final Statement. However, if it has not been possible to place your child in the school of your preference, your named officer will contact you to discuss further options. You are welcome at all stages to contact your named officer for help, advice or guidance.