Our SN area is not a substitute for expert advice. While many Mumsnetters have a specialist knowledge of special needs, if they post here they are posting as members, not experts. There are, however, lots of organisations that can help - some suggestions are listed here. If you've come across an organisation that you've found helpful, please tell us. Go to Special needs chat, Parents with disabilities, SN teens, SN legal, SN education, SN recommendations.

Has anybody experienced this (statutory assessment)?

(44 Posts)
JJXM Mon 14-Oct-13 11:12:02

Our son has ASD and starts school next September. We had made a request for SA which was turned down. When I inquired as to the reasons - we were told that the panel want us to re-submit in the new year as they want to see how DS responds to nursery.

Has anyone been asked to do this?

HoleySocksBatman Tue 12-Nov-13 17:37:57

And yes we were refused for the same reason. I requested while DD2 was still 2 and they refused. I just waited the required time and requested again rather than appeal, and it was granted once she was in nursery.

HoleySocksBatman Tue 12-Nov-13 17:37:04

in our LA, they are actively and deliberately refusing parental requests because they havent got enough resources right now after having a backlog of over 300 unfinished and out of timeframe statements at the end of the year in July...

sazale Tue 12-Nov-13 16:39:57

This is the response I got from my LA for DS6

“It was felt that the school, with advice from support services, needs a sustained period of time where interventions can be continued, assessed and evaluated. Consequently, members of the Panel noted that the expected graduated process leading to the collection of appropriate evidence was not yet complete.

JJXM Tue 12-Nov-13 15:02:43

We've just had our FOI request back about statutory assessment in our are. It seems that only 1 out of every 4 parental requests for statutory assessment are granted compared to over 80% for school requests. It seems my LEA are routinely turning down requests from parents.

TOWIELA Thu 24-Oct-13 08:46:36

It's just LAs' standard way of illegally weeding out requests for SA. Include the LAs letter with your appeal.

JJXM Thu 24-Oct-13 08:35:42

Bump?

JJXM Wed 23-Oct-13 13:41:12

We received a letter from the head of children's services and it states this:

I confirm that we are aware of DS's diagnosis and acknowledge that DS will require additional support in his educational setting.

They then go on to say they want to wait til he is older. I thought that they have to assess if they think he will probably need a statement?

JJXM Mon 21-Oct-13 17:50:19

Thanks TOWIELA - that is one of the core components of our argument.

And thanks to everyone else too - appeal went in the post today smile

TOWIELA Mon 21-Oct-13 10:38:11

I was just browsing IPSEA's website, and found this useful PDF about pre-school assessments. It's a PDF so will download if you click the link below

The Local Authority say they won't assess our child until he starts school

Use the code of practice and write key phrases under the relevant sections.

Words like 'complex needs' and a requirement for an 'adequate' and 'appropriate' education are excellent words to litter it throughout, but honestly, I think your case is so strong that you don't need to go to town.

If you can get that in writing (evidence that THEY believe a statement is needed) then that really should be all you need for a successful appeal.

You might want to list the reports you have including the one you mention is key, but I think it is highly unlikely they won't back down pretty quickly. I cannot imagine for a minute your case actually going to tribunal.

JJXM Thu 17-Oct-13 16:57:27

To those who have gone to tribunal - how much did you write under the grounds for appeal under section 6 of the SENDIST form?

JJXM Thu 17-Oct-13 15:44:59

We had someone from the council come and do an assessment at home - two years behind on everything. They have decided to disregard this evidence as only evidence from nursery will do.

DS is severely affected and he can't get a SA - this makes me dread how it is going to affect other children who still need a statement but are not as severely affected. I'm not going to give up - not just for DS but for every child.

Yes it is common.

Their reasons for delay are not legal reasons.

There is plenty of time before the end of the assessment to gather any additional evidence. Many many children get statements before starting school. Mine did without half the list of professionals involved your did.

The 'educational setting' is anywhere your child receives the majority of the birth-five education, even if that is your home.

They have already said he will need a statement. If you get that in writing you have already won any appeal.

TOWIELA Thu 17-Oct-13 13:34:41

This is from the Government's own website (bold is my addition) "A statutory assessment is only necessary if the school or early education setting cannot provide all the help that your child needs."

The test is if the child probably has Special Educational Needs. The test isn't that they need evidence first.

Ignore their quoting of the SEN Code of Practice. In one of my appeals, the LA's lawyer reeled off a whole barrage of them conforming to clauses in the SEN Code, but conveniently left out all the clauses that they had actually directly and illegally ignored.

Appeal their refusal to assess. You will have long enough during the appeal timelines to collect your own evidence.

JJXM Thu 17-Oct-13 13:22:18

They have said he needs a statement as his needs are so complex. But they won't request SA because they have no evidence of how he copes in an education setting.

wetaugust Thu 17-Oct-13 13:17:18

Even more reason to appeal then.

Also, being pedantic, if they are inviting you to reapply then they must at least suspect he has SENs and if so they should assess.

JJXM Thu 17-Oct-13 13:11:27

I've spoken to the LA and they say the reason for delay is they have no evidence of DS in his pre-school setting - because the nursery did not send back the paperwork. Nursery say no letter was sent. Somebody is lying.

2boysnamedR Thu 17-Oct-13 12:56:26

Yes appeal - they have to call in a EP for sa so their reason seem nonsense to me

TOWIELA Thu 17-Oct-13 12:15:18

LAs will try any method they can find to not SA. It feels very personal when it happens to you and your DC but it is the LAs not fulfiling their statutory duties.

This is rubbish The request should be re-submitted in January 2014. This will then enable the assessments to take place in time for DS to start School in September 2014

If you have to appeal anything then this is cutting it very fine for a September 2014 start. As they are saying that you should resubmit in January, then your timeline/clock starts ticking from the very beginning. So, when you resubmit in January 2014, the LA has another 6 weeks in which to make a decision whether to assess or not.

IF (and it's a big IF) they decide to assess, they have to

- Undertake and complete the SA within 10 weeks
- Within 2 weeks notify the parent if they are going to issue a Statement or a Notice in Lieu. If they are going to issue a Statement, then they have to send the Proposed Statement
- Within 8 weeks of the Proposed Statement, they have to Finalise it.

So, for argument's sake, lets say you send in your new request on Wednesday 1st January.

- 12 February - deadline for LA to decide if they are going to assess.
- 23 April - SA finishes
- 7 May - Proposed Statement issued
- 2 July - Final Statement issued.

If you then appeal it, the Tribunal won't be until late 2014/early 2015, and of course no provision will be in place whilst you appeal - and that's if you're even allowed to appeal it because during your appeal process you will be under the new Children's and Families Act.

Of course, if in January 2014, they again turn down your request, then you'll be back on the old SEN Merry Go Round ago and start all over again.

I requested SA in January 2012. My son finally had his Statement in place in September 2013. Nearly 2 years.

Appeal their refusal to assess.

babiki Thu 17-Oct-13 12:09:25

Yes, they use it quite often. It's bullshit.

JJXM Thu 17-Oct-13 12:06:58

We are aware that they are trying it on - I'm really trying to find out if it is a common practice.

Yes. I have heard it before and I was told to expect that outcome myself.

They are trying it on. With the amount of evidence you have no tribunal panel coukd ever agree that waiting was in the best interests of the child.

JJXM Thu 17-Oct-13 11:44:14

Yes, the Case Officer has decided to refuse statutory assessment - but has anyone else been told that it is too early to submit?

wetaugust Thu 17-Oct-13 11:42:28

View of so-called 'Panel' is totally irrelevant as it's the Case ~Officer (not this 'Panel') who has legal duty to decide whether or not to Statement.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now