Statements of Special Educational Needs say what your child’s needs are. They are reviewed every year. A Statement of Special Educational Needs is a legally binding document drawn up by a Local Authority that sets out in detail a child's Special Educational Needs and the required educational provision relating to those needs.
The purpose of a SEN is to ensure that the child receives an adequate level of educational provision in support of his or her needs. If an effective assessment is conducted and the SEN built around the recommendations, the statement ring fences a child's provision.
A statement is divided into six parts
Part 1 - Introduction
Personal details such as your child's name and date of birth.
Part 2 - Special educational needs
This should clearly describe your child's educational needs: what they can and cannot do and should include any diagnosis they have. It should draw on and refer to all the advice in the professional reports. For each need identified, there should be matching help in part three.
Part 3 - Special educational provision
This sets out the help which will be given for each of your child's difficulties listed in part two: for example, a number of hours one to one support from a learning support assistant, help from a speech and language therapist or specialist teachers. It is important that all the help, including staff, equipment and changes to the curriculum, is clearly specified so that everyone understands what your child is entitled to. All of the help listed in part three should match a need identified in part two.
Part 4 - Placement
This would normally state the type and name of school, or other education provision your child will attend. It is left blank in the proposed statement so that you can consider different options before the final statement is issued.
Part 5 - Non educational needs
These could be health needs, for example a medical condition such as asthma or epilepsy.
Part 6 - Non educational provision
This sets out the help that will be given to meet the needs in part five, for example, monitoring by the health service.
When you receive the proposed statement, it is very important that you check it thoroughly and make sure you are happy with all parts, especially the description of your child's needs in parts two and the provision in part three. It's helpful to make a copy of the proposed statement and the advice reports so that you can write on them or highlight parts.
When you go through the statement:
Make a note of any differences between the professionals' reports and the proposed statement. If professionals have recommended a particular kind of help, is this included in the statement in part three?
Highlight any words or phrases that you don't understand.
Make a note of anything you disagree with, or anything you think needs to be included. You can suggest the amended wording you would like to see in the statement.
When reading the proposed statement, ask yourself if part two describes your child clearly and accurately. If a new teacher read the statement, would they understand exactly what your child can and cannot do? Check that the help is described in detail in part three. This part should state who will provide this help, exactly how often and for how long.
Beware of vague phrases which do not specify exactly what help your child is going to receive.
If you wish to read more about the SEN you can do so by following this link to Contact a Family website. If you wish to discuss any concerns you may have about our child, please contact us by following Contact on the menu above.