What is an Annual Review?
The Local Authority (LA) must review your child’s Statement of Special Educational Needs at least every year (every six months for children under five). Early or interim reviews can be called if necessary.
The Annual Review is a meeting, normally held in your child’s school or early years setting. Everyone who is involved with your child is invited to attend or send written comments. The meeting will:
- Record any changes in your child’s circumstances
- Consider your child’s progress and whether the statement is still appropriate for your child’s needs
- Set new targets for the next year to be used to update the Individual Education Plan (IEP)
It is an important opportunity for you and your child to share your views with the school/setting and the LA.
Who will attend the Annual Review meeting?
The Head Teacher will invite you, your child whenever possible, people who have worked with your child, professionals who have been involved, a representative of the LA and anyone else you, or the Head Teacher, feels would be able to give helpful information or advice. Some people who are invited may not attend.
Will there be any paperwork for an Annual Review?
All the people invited to the meeting will be asked to submit a report. Copies of reports should be sent out 2 weeks before the meeting. It will be helpful if you could complete the form which asks for your views and return it to school/setting. If
possible, your child’s views should also be represented.
What will happen at the Annual Review meeting?
Your child’s progress will be discussed and information shared. You can ask questions or ask for an explanation if you are unclear about anything that is said. You will be asked for your views, which will be taken into account and recorded.
When should Secondary Transfer be discussed?
In Year 5/6. At the Y5 Annual Review your child’s transfer to Secondary School should be discussed. The SENCO of the secondary school may be invited to attend the Y5 and Y6 Reviews.
What is a Transition Review?
A Transition Review is held in Year 9 to make recommendations and plans for your child’s move into adult life. In Devon this will involve Careers South West.
What will happen following the Annual Review?
A report of the meeting, summing up what was said and making recommendations, is sent to the LA, along with all the reports that were submitted. Everyone who went to the meeting, or sent a report will be sent a copy. The LA will contact you to tell you if they agree with the recommendations. If there are changes in provision or placement requested, the LA will consult you about amending the Statement. If the LA refuses to make the amendments, you can appeal to the Tribunal.
What is a Statutory Assessment?
Statutory Assessment is a thorough and careful process, where all the people who are involved with your child will be asked to write a detailed report about your child’s special educational needs and the help that they may need.
Who might need a Statutory Assessment?
For most children with special educational needs, extra help is available in school. However, for a few children with the most severe, complex and long term needs, who are not making adequate progress, a request may be made to the Local Authority (LA) for a Statutory Assessment.
Who can ask for a Statutory Assessment?
A request for a Statutory Assessment can be made to the LA in writing by: parents/carers, school/early years setting or some other professionals. Schools, settings and parents should work closely together when putting forward a request.
What happens when a request is made?
The LA will ask the school/setting for information about your child’s needs and the extra help they are providing. You will also be consulted and can provide information and you will be given the name of a casework manager at the LA.
The Inclusive education panel (IEP) at the LA will decide, within 6 weeks of receiving the request, whether a Statutory Assessment is appropriate. They will inform you of their decision
What are the possible outcomes of a request?
The LA may decide:
- your child’s needs can be met by the school/setting, with their existing budget, so the request will be refused. You have the right to appeal against this decision.
- a Statutory Assessment is needed and the LA will go ahead with collecting information and reports
Who will be asked for a report during the assessment?
- School or setting
- Educational Psychologist
- Health professional
- Social care
- Anyone else who is working with your child
What should go in my report?
The LA will send you a form to complete – though you can write a letter to accompany it if you prefer. You know your child better than anyone else and it is very important that you pass on the information you have. You can ask Devon Parent Partnership Service to help you with this and you can include reports from anyone you feel has relevant information, plus contact details of anyone else you would like them to contact about your child.
How long will the assessment take?
The LA have 10 weeks to gather information and decide whether or not to issue a Statement.
What happens next?
The LA will either issue a Proposed Statement or a Note in Lieu. You will be told about their decision and what this means for your child.
Who can I contact if I need further help or support?
- The SENCo or the head teacher at your child’s school/ setting
- The casework manager at the Local Authority
- Devon Parent Partnership Service
What is a Statement?
A Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) is a six part legal document that sets out your child’s needs and all the special help he or she should have.
What happens once a Statement has been prepared for my child?
Before the Local Authority (LA) sends you a final statement for your child, they will send you a proposed statement. The LA will also send you a letter telling you how you can give your views on the proposed statement before it is finalised.
Can I choose my child’s school?
A school is not named in part 4 of the proposed statement. This gives you the opportunity to say which school you prefer. The LA must agree as long as they are satisfied that your preferred school is suitable for your child’s age, ability and special educational needs and that the education of the other children in the school will not be affected. The school named will appear on the final statement.
When will the LA make the final statement?
Usually the LA must make the final statement within 8 weeks of the proposed statement. If you have agreed with the proposed statement you will be sent a signed and final copy to keep. Your child’s school and those involved in the assessment process will also receive a copy.
What if I disagree with the final statement?
If you disagree with what is in the final statement you should first ask your casework manager at the LA for an explanation. Devon Parent Partnership Service may also be able to help you to request amendments. If you are still not happy, you have the right to appeal to the SEND Tribunal against
the contents of :
- PART 2 – Details of all your child’s special educational needs
- PART 3 – The help which the LA considers will meet your child’s needs
- PART 4 – Where your child should go to school.
What is a Note in Lieu
A Note in Lieu may be written in place of a statement for your child. It is not a legal document. It will describe your child’s educational needs, the reasons a statement has not been written and suggestions about meeting your child’s needs. It will also describe your child’s other needs and how they will be supported. Copies of all the reports received will be sent to you with the Note in Lieu. Your permission will be sought for this to be distributed to your child’s school/setting.
If you think that the decision to issue a Note in Lieu is wrong, speak to your LA casework manager who will advise you of the most appropriate action. Parent Partnership may also be able to help you. You also have the right to appeal to the SEND Tribunal.
What is an exclusion?
Exclusions can take the form of:
- Fixed term (an exclusion for a set number of days)
- Permanent (your child is asked not to return to school)
- Unofficial (an illegal exclusion without an exclusion letter)
- Lunchtime (an exclusion for a set number of lunchtimes – these should each be recorded as a half-day exclusion)
Your child may also be at risk of exclusion from school and this can be a very confusing, stressful and worrying time for parents/ carers. Devon Parent Partnership Service can offer support to parents/carers and the Local Authority Inclusion and Reintegration Officer can also explain the process.
How can Devon Parent Partnership Service help you?
We can offer information and support over the phone.
We may be able to meet with you.
We will listen to your concerns and difficulties.
We can attend/set up meetings with school and support you by making sure your views are heard.
In the case of permanent exclusion we can help you prepare a report and may be able to attend the governors’ disciplinary committee meeting with you. We can also put you in touch with other support agencies and explain how you can appeal against an exclusion
Why do we have a National Curriculum?
The National Curriculum is in place to make sure that all children receive the same education and standard of teaching in all Local Authority schools.
What is the National Curriculum?
The National Curriculum must be taught to all children aged 5-16 in all Local Authority schools. It sets out the knowledge, skills and understanding needed in each subject. It provides standards to measure how well children are doing, to help teachers plan future learning.
The National Curriculum is broken down into four key stages and the Foundation Stage for younger children. To help teachers know exactly how a child is progressing, levels can be broken down into:
A – fully achieved
B – almost there
C – working on
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is designed specifically for children up to to 5 years, setting the standard for their learning, development and care. There are six areas of learning which cover children’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. A child’s progress is assessed throughout the Foundation Stage and a record of development across all of these areas provides a whole picture of the child.
What is Key Stage 1?
Key Stage 1 (KS1) is the level of the National Curriculum taught to children in Reception to Year 2 (Age 4-7). Teacher assessments (SATs) are made at the end of Year 2. Children are usually expected to attain Level 2.
What is Key Stage 2?
Key Stage 2 (KS2) is the level of the National Curriculum taught to children in Year 3 to Year 6 (Age 7-11). National tests (SATs) are taken at the end of Year 6. Children are expected to attain Level 4.
What is Key Stage 3?
Key Stage 3 (KS3) is the level of the National Curriculum taught to children in Year 7 to Year 9 (Age 11-14). At this stage, children are expected to attain Level 5 or 6 under teacher assessment.
What is Key Stage 4?
Key Stage 4 (KS4) is the level of the National Curriculum taught to children in Year 10 and Year 11 (Age 14-16). National tests (GCSEs) are taken at the end of Year 11.
What is the Equality Act?
The Equality Act 2010 is the law which bans unfair treatment and helps achieve equal opportunities in the workplace and in wider society – this includes education settings. The Act gives protection to people with certain characteristics, including disability.
What is meant by Disability?
The Equality Act describes disability as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities. A disability is not always the same as a Special Educational Need.
What do schools have to do for disabled pupils?
The Law says that schools must make reasonable adjustments so that disabled children are not treated less favourably than others. This happens when a school treats a child differently because of their disability, and it can not justify the treatment.
Schools must make reasonable adjustments to fit a pupil’s needs and to ensure disabled pupils are not at a disadvantage.
Should I tell the school that my child is disabled?
If you know, or think your child is disabled it is a good idea to tell the school. It is a particularly good idea if your child has a disability that is not obvious. If the school does not know that your child is disabled, it may not be able to help.
Who is responsible for disability in schools and settings?
The Government defines the responsibility as being held by ‘the responsible body’. Such responsibility is held by the Governors in most schools and the owners in private schools.
What is a ‘reasonable adjustment’?
This will be different in every case and may not cost a lot of money. It can often mean a change in attitude could also mean changing systems or policies or using a new piece of equipment.
What is meant by accessibility?
- Getting into and around a building
- Being able to take part in all school activities
- Giving all children the same opportunity
What can you do if your child’s needs are not being met?
- Ask your school or setting for its Accessibility Plan or Disability Equality Scheme
- Talk to/meet with the head teacher
- Write to a governor
- Consider mediation
- Contact the Parent Partnership Service to talk through your options
- Appeal to the Special Educational Needs & Disability Tribunal (SEND) if you feel discrimination has taken place
What are the P scales?
The P scales break down, into small achievable steps, the important skills, knowledge and understanding which a child needs before moving on to work at the National Curriculum levels. There are P scales for:
- PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)
- ICT (Information and Communication Technology)
The P scales use eight levels, P1-P8. They can be used in Primary, Secondary and Special Schools for children who may or may not have a Statement of Special Educational Needs.
Why do we have the P scales?
The P scales were designed to provide a way of assessing children aged 5-16 who are working below level 1 of the National Curriculum. They help teachers to plan future targets and help them to review the progress of these children.
They will also give parents and carers a clear idea of their child’s progress.
Who will use the P scales?
Class Teachers, Teaching Assistants, Support Service Teachers and SENCos will use the P scales.
How will the P scales be used?
The P scales will be used as guidance and support when planning a programme of work for individual children and to identify progress and achievement.