If your child attends a mainstream school and doesn't have a statement it is a good idea to speak to their SENCO and head teacher if you feel they are not receiving enough support.
As a parent you can also request a statutory assessment for your son or daughter yourself, and the local authority must comply with your request unless your child has been assessed within the last 6 months, or they have a good reason for believing that a statement is not necessary.
It is a good idea to make your request in writing to your local authority, as this way it will be clear exactly when you started the process, and will help to put you in the driving seat. Making the request yourself can also prevent delays in getting started and can give you much greater control, as well as ensuring you are notified of decisions as they are made.
He's in a class of 11 now so they know his personality inside out.
You may have to work hard to build your case if you are applying for your child to change schools, so it is vital that you gather as much evidence as possible from the professionals who know your child well, and you may also want to invest in an independent assessment. One parent told Mencap that she was so concerned about her child's development that she got a referral from her GP to a behavioural specialist, and managed to get her son a place at a nurture unit in a local school. When he didn't make significant progress, she was able to get a statement for him and a place in a special school, where he is now in a smaller class and getting on well.
- Contact the British Psychological Society for more information about independent assessments by calling their help desk on 0116 254 9568.
If your child does have a statement but you are unhappy with the support they are receiving, you should start by speaking to the SENCO and the head teacher at your child's school about your concerns. You can also get support from your local parent partnership service, or SNAP in Wales, and get in contact with the local authority's special educational needs (SEN) adviser.
If this doesn't resolve the problem you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal. You should also write to your named officer at the local authority, telling them that you wish to go to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal. At the same time, you can also contact the Disagreement Resolution Service, which is sometimes known as a mediation service – your local authority should give you their details.
Using the mediation service does not mean that you cannot appeal to the tribunal. However, if meeting with your local authority and using the mediation service is enough to resolve the disagreement you can withdraw from the tribunal process.
- Read the Mencap guide ‘Understanding statements and statutory assessments'