Statutory assessment: getting started

If your child has had support at Early Years Action, Early Years Action Plus, School Action or School Action Plus for several months, and you do not think they have made progress, you may want to talk to your school or nursery special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) about a statutory assessment. This is an assessment of how your child is doing in a number of areas, and may lead to a ‘statement’. A statement will say what the school or nursery can do to help your child and will usually provide some extra hours of support.

  • First of all, talk to your child’s teacher or to the SENCo at your school.
  • It is better if the school asks us (the local education authority) for a statutory assessment because we can send all the reports together. You can ask us yourself, but we will have to ask the school and the educational psychology service for information before we can consider your request.
  • If you want to ask for a statutory assessment yourself, write to: Special Educational Needs, Education, Children's and Cultural Services, 42 York Street Twickenham TW1 3BW
  • Tell them your child’s name, date of birth and the school or nursery they go to.
  • You should also give the names and contact details of any professionals working with your child.
  • When we receive a request for a statutory assessment, we have six weeks to decide whether or not to agree. If we decide not to agree, we will write to you to explain why.

We have guidance on the type of needs that might need a statement. Statutory assessment - the final statement.

It is important to understand that you are asking us to assess your child. This assessment will identify any difficulties and suggest strategies and programmes of work that might help. The assessment may, and usually does, result in a statement. However, we may decide that the assessment identifies needs that can be effectively supported by the school or nursery. In this case, we will issue a ‘note-in-lieu’ of (a note instead of) a statement to help your child’s teachers support them.

The statutory assessment period is six months from the date we receive your request to the time when we issue the final statement, if we decide to do this. During this time, our Educational Psychology Service and the Richmond and Twickenham Primary Care Trust will arrange appointments to assess your child. It is very important that your child goes to these appointments. If they miss any, this will delay the process and will delay help for your child.

The statutory assessment decision schedule
Weeks  
1 to 6 We decide whether or not to make the assessment.
7 to 16 We collect advice and decide whether to issue a statement or a note-in-lieu.
17 to 18 We send you a proposed statement or note-in-lieu.
19 to 26 We issue the final statement.

Updated: 9 July 2010