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02 Jun
20 Dec

Assessment of special educational needs

The Assessment Of Special Educational Needs Code of Practise and where to start:

The Goverment revised their SEN Special educational needs codes of practise in 2009. The Code of Practice replaced the 1994 Code in England. It was previously formed following consultation with LEAs, schools, SEN voluntary bodies, the health and social services, and others between July and October 2000. The draft was then approved by Parliament.

The latest version for parents and teachers can be downloaded here:

https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/DfES%200581%202001#downloadableparts

A guide for parents and carers has also been devloped and is downloadable from here:

https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/DCSF-00639-2008#downloadableparts

School Plans

If a teacher can define a child progress as in adequate, they may decide to work initiate their SENCO or special need cooardinator inorder to assess whether an Individual Education Plan is required. According to the Code of Practise "When a class teacher or the SENCO identifies a child with SEN the class teacher should mprovide interventions that are additional to or different from those provided as part of the school’s usual differentiated curriculum offer and strategies (School Action)". The Triggers for these plans vary based on the age of the child. The Intervention is normally via an IEP or if severe the SENCO may decide to consult an expert consultant like our selves. To address the issues at hand. State schools would do this via the school action plus scheme. Unfortunetly this is tied into school budgets and waiting times for further assessment if Dyslexia, Autism, Discaculia. The local LEA can take upto 26 weeks to respond to an assessment request. This can only be requested by the school one the aformentioned TRIGGERS have been monitored and assessed which can take 6-12 months.

Statutory Assessment of special educational needs timetable

Fig1. From the Parent and Carer Guide.

Assessment of special educational needs Statutory vs non Statutory 

The statatory assessments are available via two routes, parents can kick start the above process by getting in contact with their schools SEN co-ordinator or may save a little time by contacting their local LEA directly but they will still need to work with your school to evaluate whether the child meets the stated triggers. 

Here is a list of Local Authorites by region: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_education_authority#List_of_local_authorities_responsible_for_education_by_region

Independent schools and non-mantained schools have for many years used independent psychologista and qualified assessors to obtain their own versions of the educational assessment inorder to create IEP's or non-statutory statements.

Parents actually (as long as their SENCO is supporting them) have a third option; and that is to get a private educational assessment by a qualified practisioner. This is often a good route for those that case afford it as it will allow often avoid alot of the delay and inable the SEN co-ordinator to create an IEP or the LEA to put togewther a State a lot quicker.

The average private funded assessment of special educational needs will take 3-4 weeks from start to finish, and will cost £450-650 (price of an iPad!). This cost might sound daunting but for some families the time saved means money well spent.

If you would like more information on the assessments we provide please see our educational assessments page or contact us on 01562 610011.