Statutory Assessment Stage

Education and Health Care Plan or statement of SEN. The process begins with an assessment

Legal help in SEN cases is available from our Cardiff Penarth Twickenham London offices.
Are you seeking Education and Health Care Plan assessment or statement of SEN for your child. If so the process to be followed involves first requesting an Education and Health Care Plan assessment. This is often still referred to as a statutory assessment. It will lead to a decision as to whether to issue an EHCP if in England or if in Wales a statement of SEN?

Below we set out the views of our specialist SEN legal team in respect of securing an Education and Health Care assessment which is the first step to securing an Education and Health Care Plan or if in Wales a statement of special educational needs. If you need legal help in SEN cases, contact our specialist Education law team today for further information.

The Time Limits to securing Education and Health Care Plan assessments including statements of SEN

The Local authority should, if asked to conduct an assessment leading to an Education and Health Care Plan or a statement of SEN, 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:

Contributions to the Education and Health Care Plan assessments

Advice to be sought:
7.  – (1) For the purpose of making an assessment an authority shall seek – 

  1. advice from the child’s parent
  2. educational advice as provided for in regulation 8;
  3. medical advice from the health authority as provided for in regulation 9;
  4. psychological advice as provided for in regulation 10;
  5. advice from the social services authority; and
  6. 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 Education and Health Care plan or if in Wales a statement of SEN upon a parent or within 2 weeks give notice of it’s decision not to make a EHCP or Statement of SEN (in which case a ‘note in lieu’ of a statement might be given.) If the local authority decides not to issue an Education and Health Care Plan or in Wales a statement of SEN then parents have a right of appeal to the SEN Tribunal.

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