This is an important part of the statementing process and your input as a parent is vital. When you receive your copy of the draft statement, read it through carefully and check all the facts are correct. Make sure that:
- part 2 fully and accurately describes your child and all their special educational needs
- part 2 matches the statutory assessment and what you know your child can and cannot do
- part 3 describes all the educational support for your child and leaves none of their needs unsupported
- your child's non-educational needs are described accurately in part 5 with a clear description of how they will be met in part 6. For example, a session of occupational therapy will take place once a week, lasting one hour. Transport will be provided by the local authority every day to and from school, and short break services will be provided once a week after school for three hours.
You may want to get professional help reviewing the draft statement, for example from your child's teacher, a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) or an independent parental supporter. At this stage you can also name the school you would like your child to go to.
You might be perfectly happy with the draft statement and all the services and support that will be provided for your child. However, if you have any concerns, you must contact your named officer within 15 days to ask for a meeting to talk about any changes you want made. The deadline date will be written in the letter that is sent with the draft statement. If you make this request, you can ‘stop the clock' on the statementing process until your meeting with the local authority.
The local authority said how useful it had been when we ‘stopped the clock' by using the 15 day rule for parental response. This gave us all the opportunity to meet face to face and discuss options in more depth.
If you do decide to ‘stop the clock' you will be given an opportunity to negotiate over any concerns you have about the level of support your child will receive once the statement is issued. After this meeting you have another 15 days in which you can request a follow up meeting. If you need more meetings after this, you should speak to the officer involved. You can take a supporter, friend or advocate along to these meetings with you.