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anyone know what SA1 is?

(12 Posts)
meagle Wed 12-Jan-11 16:07:38

My son's school has finally agreed to apply for a tatement for him, and the very busy and uncommunicative senco has told me the 'process has been started' and they are completing the SA1. Does this mean the request is in (and the LEA has 6 weeks to respond) or is it a prior stage? How long before I start chasing again? Should there be anything else I'm doing?
And, in the meantime, what should the school be offering my son in terms of support? At the moment he gets nought, tho' in the past has had a TA working with him in Maths, and Maths booster sessions (son has mild ADHD, ASD, discalculia, DCD, and some anxiety issues - eg, gets v. nervous when kids get told off in class, sits near door, only sits near certain kids he trusts, etc).
If anyone can shed light I'd be super grateful!

pinkorkid Wed 12-Jan-11 18:42:06

I'm not completely sure but I suspect this is the initial application form stating the reasons the school feel he should be assessed for a statement of sen. If you make the application via the school they will still ask you to sign a form saying that you agree to the application for assessment. Have you been asked to do this?

Is there an individual education form in place describing difficulties and setting targets? Have outside agencies been involved meaning that he is on school action plus on the sen register? It's not necessary to have gone through all the stages before getting a statement but if the school haven't tried all the strategies they should have first, the lea may make recommendations rather than going down the statement route. Although you can appeal if they do so.

You can make your own application for statutory assessment alongside the school's by the way.

meagle Wed 12-Jan-11 19:38:15

Thanks Pinkorkid - we had a meeting with the Senco in December in which it was decided to request assessment but we haven't been asked to sign anything.
He has no IEP (Senco said teachers don't take any notice of them so he doesn't do them). CAMHS has been involved - son was treated for OCD and they thought he had ASD tendencies so referred him to ASD team. We got ASD diagnosis about November time, along with ADHD and discalculia. The school's attitude has always been that he's not that bad, and there are kids who need help more than him.
The Senco has promised some support by we're still waiting to what form this will take and when it will happen. I don't want to antagonise the Senco by chasing all the time, but what's a realistic framework for my son getting some strategic help?

Also, if I apply for statutory assessment myself, isn't that just going to complicate the process? Does it mean there will be 2 applications going through?
sorry for all the questions - I'm just trying to sort out a plan of action. Son is year 9 in secondary so I'm conscious of time ticking away and GCSEs on the horizon.

meagle Wed 12-Jan-11 19:41:18

Forgot to add he is on School Action +

moosemama Wed 12-Jan-11 20:19:45

Just did a quick google for you and form SA1 is the form used by schools to request Statutory Assessment by the LEA.

Lots of really useful information about the Statementing process on the IPSEA website here. Particularly good if you do decide to apply yourself as they provide proforma letters etc you can use.

meagle Wed 12-Jan-11 21:00:30

Thanks Moosemama - I guess that means they haven't actually applied yet, but are still form filling. I think I will put in the request myself, just so I know the ball is rolling.

pinkorkid Wed 12-Jan-11 21:50:02

"He has no IEP (Senco said teachers don't take any notice of them so he doesn't do them)"

I don't know whether to be more shocked by his nonchalence in saying this which is extremely unusual if true or by his honesty because it is sadly sometimes true that ieps are a paper exercise. However statements are legally enforceable and time is of the essence if your son is in yr 9 - the whole process takes about 6 months so yes, I would say go ahead yourself. If you and the school apply at the same time the applications are merged. Once the lea have agreed to assess they may make recommendations to the school for interim measures.

Also comments like "there are kids with worse needs" are simply not relevant to you even if true, if your childs needs are severe and complex and not being met. It's not a competition, even if the squeeze on resources makes some sen professionals approach things from what fits the resources rather than what fits the child.

I hate the fact that you have to become a pushy parent to get your child's needs met but unfortunately I think it is usually true.

ArthurPewty Wed 12-Jan-11 22:07:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

meagle Thu 13-Jan-11 10:36:13

LeonieDelt and pinkorkid - thanks for your support and advice. I just feel a dope for not realising how the system works. The Senco is never going to be a 'champion' for my kid (as I have gradually realised after 2 years of wasted meetings) - it's all a matter of fighting for resources and a statement is the only way to go. Hopefully we have enough evidence to get it thru'. Meanwhile DS's attitude to school has fallen from being quite enthused in Yr 7 to hating everyday.

pinkorkid Thu 13-Jan-11 17:00:29

Hi Meagle,
You aren't a dope at all to expect other people to do their best for your child - it's a perfectly reasonable expectation but frustratingly there seem to be a lot of barriers to overcome to get what your dc is entitled to. It's actually a good sign that the school are prepared even to apply for the statutory assessment - because as my dc's senco said candidly to me why would I put that time and effort in if I thought it was going to be turned down. Many people here have been fobbed off by their school's senco only to go on to get a statement for their dcs. It shouldn't really matter to the school if you apply at the same time as I expect they will fill out the same forms their end whether they instigate the application form or not but at least you control when the process starts.

meagle Thu 13-Jan-11 18:12:50

Thanks Pinkorkid. The only thing that worries me is the fact that the school hasn't been great - DS has no IEP, so school hasn't put in place any planned provision and monitoring, other than the yearly subject tests that all the kids have. They've really only taken notice since DS was dx by CAMHS. My fear is that LEA will see the lack of provision at school and say they should be doing x and x, therefore we don't need to assess.

The school's view (or what the Senco told us) is that they don't have enough resources to support my son - tho' I don't know if this is something I should mention in my request for statutory assessment? Anyway, I will crack on with my request - presumably I don't have to write too much as parental input comes at the next stage (SA2)?

pinkorkid Thu 13-Jan-11 20:52:23

I don't think they will see the lack of provision as a reason not to assess - sencop says child should be assessed if their needs are severe and complex and likely to need greater intervention than can be provided at sa plus level. There is the risk that they will try and offer a note in lieu - basically a list of recommendations for the school which carries no legal weight - but you can and should challenge this if they do.

It is pretty rubbish that the school's failure to do all they can at this level should potentially hold the process up but I think it won't automatically happen. I do know of at least one case where a child went straight from no iep to stat assessment leading to statement and special school, her needs had not been picked up until she hit secondary school.

You are right that you don't need much detail at this stage just bare bones but always keep the severe and complex needs mantra in mind. Worth checking out what the sen code of practice says the criteria for assessment should be and matching your ds' needs/difficulties to that as much as possible. If you haven't already got a copy - there is a phone number you can ring up to get free copy sent. I think it's on the direct gov website.

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