A number of children will have special educational needs at some time during their school life. These can range from temporary to more complex or long-term. If you have concerns or worries, at any time, that your child may have special needs you should contact the class teacher, special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) or headteacher of the school, or setting, that your child attends, or any other professional working with them. For a very few children and young people with the most severe and complex needs, it may be appropriate for the LA to undertake a statutory assessment which could lead to the issuing of a Statement of SEN.
A statutory assessment will be conducted in accordance with procedures set out in the 1996 Education Act and the SEN Code of Practice (2001). This will entail asking for information from the people involved with your child, including yourselves as parents, teachers, educational psychologist, health professionals, etc.
Local Authorities are under a statutory duty to provide a Parent Partnership Service (PPS). Wigan PPS is funded by Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council and managed by Children & Young People's Services. The PPS provides help and support to parents and carers of children with SEN. A series of guidance leaflets covering a range of topics is available.
The Access and Inclusion Team also provides advice to parents and carers. An officer from the team will be allocated to act as a named person to liaise with parents over all the arrangements relating to statutory assessment and the making of a Statement.
The Access and Inclusion Team promotes early intervention and prevention and ensures statutory obligations are met by:
- advising schools and settings on SEN procedures
- undertaking statutory assessments within timescales
- drawing up detailed Statements of SEN and advising schools on implementing the provision
- ensuring annual reviews take place for all pupils with Statements
- ensuring that all pupils in Y9 have a Transition Plan
There is a quick-reference resource (External link) for schools and parents to use alongside the SEN Code of Practice brings together information on a range of topics from the Code of Practice, but also includes locally- based information. This includes the Local Authority’s criteria for statutory assessment, exit criteria, guidance and standard forms.