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Statutory Assessment Stage
The Local authority should complete the assessment within 10 weeks after serving the notice confirming that as assessment is to be started. A Statutory Assessment is a formal process governed by legally enforceable regulations. The Education (Special Educational Needs) (England) (Consolidation) Regulations 2001 govern assessments in England and the The Education (Special Educational Needs) (Wales) Regulations 2002 govern the assessment process in Wales. Both Regulations however make it plain what advice is needed for a statutory assessment:
Advice to be sought:
7. - (1) For the purpose of making an assessment an authority shall seek –
- advice from the child's parent
- educational advice as provided for in regulation 8;
- medical advice from the health authority as provided for in regulation 9;
- psychological advice as provided for in regulation 10;
- advice from the social services authority; and
- any other advice which the authority consider appropriate for the purpose of arriving at a satisfactory assessment.
Any other advice includes a speech and language therapy assessment for a child with a language difficulty or an occupational therapy assessment for a child with fine or gross motor skill difficulties. Advice from a visual or hearing experts must also be obtained for children who have a sensory impairment.
Once the assessment has been completed the Local Authority should either serve a copy of a proposed statement of SEN upon a parent or within 2 weeks give notice of it’s decision not to make a Statement of SEN (in which case a ‘note in lieu’ of a statement might be given.) If the local authority decides not to issue a statement of SEN then parents have a right of appeal to the SEN Tribunal.
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