What is a statement of special educational needs?

A statement of special educational needs is a legal document. It sets out a description of your child's needs (what he or she can and cannot do) and what needs to be done to meet those needs.

Generally, only a very small number of children are issued with a statement. They usually have complex and severe needs, which require very high levels of support.

A statement of special educational needs will contain:

  • a cover sheet with your child's name, address, date of birth, home language, religion and your name and address (part 1)
  • a description of your child's special educational needs (part 2)
  • the aims of the provision - and a description of the provision with the arrangements for monitoring and reviewing progress (part 3)
  • the type and name of the school where the provision is to be made (part 4)
  • a description of your child's non-educational needs, if any (part 5)
  • further details of the provision described in part 5 (part 6)
  • copies of the advice submitted during the assessment

The process

If the local authority decides to issue a statement, you will get a proposed statement. We will ask you to give your views on this before they issue a final statement. You can give your views about the content of the proposed statement and ask for meetings with us to discuss the proposals.

You have 15 days to respond to the proposed statement.

The name of the school will be left blank on the proposed statement. This is because you have the right to state your preference for the local authority maintained school you want your child to go to.

You will also be sent a list of schools to help you make an informed choice.

The law says that a child who has a statement of special educational needs must be educated in a mainstream school, unless it's against your wishes or ‘incompatible with the provision of the efficient education of other children'.

A copy of the proposed statement will also be sent to other agencies who were involved in the assessment of your child's needs. They should also respond within 15 days.

You can still talk to us before and during the appeal process to try to sort things out - even if you have lodged an appeal to the tribunal.

There is also an independent conciliation service in the North West which can help to resolve your problem before you take it to the SEN tribunal (for more details contact our special educational needs team for a leaflet on this service). You can discuss your choices and feelings with the council's case officer that is responsible for your child. You can also contact the parent partnership officer who can also help you. The parent partnership officer can be contacted on 0161 742 3914.

Throughout the whole process, we'll make every effort to make sure you are happy with the proposed statement and that we have given sensitive and full consideration to your wishes and feelings.

The final statement

Usually the final statement will be sent to you up to eight weeks after the proposed statement has been issued.

You will also be sent information about your right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA) tribunal if you do not agree with the final statement.

This information also contains details of the timescale for you to appeal. You will have 15 days to respond in writing or to request a meeting if you disagree with the final statement. After the meeting you have a further 15 days to respond. You can request further meetings to discuss your child if you wish.

Who to contact

The Special Educational Needs team
Second Floor
Unity House
Salford Civic Centre
Chorley Road
M27 5AW
Map to this location
0161 778 0410

This page was last updated on 15 March 2016

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