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Statement Q

(17 Posts)
2Siobhan Thu 03-Sep-09 15:03:36

I was just wondering, does a child with a speech and language delay need a statement to get extra support in school.

Thanks x

AngryWasp Thu 03-Sep-09 15:20:36

That's a million dollar question.

But broadly speaking, - if you feel he/she isn't getting enough, then talk to the school. If they can't provide what either they or you think is adequate, then you or they will have to ask for a statutory assessment. If they agree to do one, then they will ask for reports from lots of people including you and decide whether to issue a statement.

Sometimes they do not issue one, but the process forces the school to give further help.

If you get a statement it will say what additional support your dc will receive to the support he is already getting from the school.

An advantage of a statement is that if they say that something has got to happen, - it has GOT to, - no excuses. Staffing issues, funding etc are not your or your child's problem i.e. if the SALT goes on long term sick they have to fund it privately or take hours away from a child who doesn't have a statement to enforce it iyswim.

flyingmum Thu 03-Sep-09 16:55:05

Should do. LEAs are now avoiding statementing like the plague and are doing EVERYTHING to avoid statementing a child. Their comment is that they put the resources into schools for the schools to use. However, S&L is not really very well covered in schools. Teachers have got their heads mostly around dyslexia and partly round dyspraxia, adhd, tourettes and ASC but S&L - its very much a hidden difficulty, ie I work with complex S&L kids but they all talk fluently enough so on the surface seem OK the fact that they don't understand half of what is said or cannot retain vocab or forget things the instant they've heard it is another matter. LEAs try to fob S&L onto NHS as a non-educational need which is bollocks. They do tend to put resources into schools/units at early years and primary level. There is virtually nothing at secondary level (where I am at). We have a unit full of complex S&L students with no therapist and we are visited once a year. I've been on a two day course but that's hardly S&L training is it!

A statement is ONLY AS GOOD AS ITS WORDING and the wording needs to be precise and quantified. If your child needs one hour of individual speech therapy a fortnight then it needs to be stated and quantified. The LEA Will NOT do this just like that. You will probablly have to take them to tribunal and also pay for indpendent S&L reports to verify your findings.

Sorry to sound a bit bleak but unless your child is really really weak and has other problems like very very weak literacy (and its got to be weak - I'm talking about four years behind the chronological age) then you are not going to get a yes to a statutary review from the LEA. In our new year 7 intake of 300 there are only 3 statemented children. At School Action plus there are a good 15 others who should be statemented but aren't. Many of these have had indivdiual 1 to 1 support all the way through primary. We have to continue this. Interestingly of the ones not statemented several are more complex and weaker than the ones who are. It should all be so simple but as always its down to money. Interestingly, thinking back to the statemened children I taught at the start of my career - they'd only be on School Action now.

daisy5678 Thu 03-Sep-09 17:25:25

Flyingmum, I'm a secondary teacher too and agree that Statementing is getting harder but I disagree with you putting this here: "Sorry to sound a bit bleak but unless your child is really really weak and has other problems like very very weak literacy (and its got to be weak - I'm talking about four years behind the chronological age) then you are not going to get a yes to a statutary review from the LEA."

Some LEAs bandy this garbage around about a child having to be on a certain centile or a certain number of years behind, but it's illegal for LEAs to do this and I know of a good many children who were statemented despite being fine academically - take my J (who is 7 with autism and ADHD)who has full time support and then some extra and his academic scores are generally excellent.

I don't want you to think the future's bleak and help's only possible if your child is many years behind - it's simply not true. Yes, you will have to fight and push harder if the problems are less obvious, but it's certainly not exceptional for a child with OK levels/ scores to get a Statement.

Good luck!

flyingmum Thu 03-Sep-09 17:49:50

Sorry Givememoresleep and original OP what I was trying to get across that it is perfectly possible to get your child statemented but it is unlikely that the LEA will just do it unless there is a high level of difficulty. Most of us have had to fight for statements or proper placing particularly with children who are cognitively within the 'average' or above range. I can only think of one child I know where the LEA have automatically (ie without a fight - sorry can't think of a better word - brain's fried!) statemented the child. All the others have taken a lot of input over several months or even years from schools and parents to happen.

Sorry if I sounded bleak again with my original comment and sorry if I mislead but I do think that in theory statementing a child sounds brilliant to the uninitiated but its only when you have to do it for your own child or the children you are teaching you realise what a difficult process it is.

AngryWasp Thu 03-Sep-09 18:36:48

I agree with both flyingmum and givemesleep.

I think what you have to think about, and it is a hard question because no-one knows what the outcome will be, but whether the investment of YOUR resources in getting a statement is worth the effort. Could you use the time/money you waste chasing it, by paying privately, reading and researching and doing the therapy yourself.

I am in no way saying this is right, but statementing does not appear to be for any other than the iron-hearted, particularly if your child will possibly 'cope' without one. The LA would rather take the risk than fund iyswim.

2Siobhan Thu 03-Sep-09 18:41:30

Thanks for your replys. I did email sne at lea with this question but they haven't got back yet. Ds isn't at school yet he is due to start next september but I have heard how long these things can take so thought I should starting about this now. At the nursery he just finished he had an inclusion officer involved but he is now starting at a children's centre's language group mon-friday 9.30-3.30 he was referred to by salt. I can't believe he's going to be away all day I thought I had another year :-).

AngryWasp Thu 03-Sep-09 18:48:11

They'll say 'no' btw! - just to warn you. They lie.

2Siobhan Thu 03-Sep-09 19:17:19

I did ask the inclusion office a while ago but she said that the lea are trying to put the money it to the schools rather then statement children. I also asked staff at the new nursery at home visit about what happens next year at school not about statements and they mentioned referring him to a language unit. The thing is I feel that help just for sal isn't enough as he is falling behind elsewhere as a result :-(. He has cousins his age they are so ahead of him and all I hear from their parents and grandparents is how bright they are and I can't help wondering is it something I have/haven't done.

AngryWasp Thu 03-Sep-09 19:25:08

Thing is, - and you can tell them this, - you couldn't care less where the money comes from or how it is organised, the point is that your ds needs to get the help he needs.

Tell them what you feel he needs, and ask them how they plan to meet those needs. Ask for it written down and then put it here and we'll all pull it apart wink

daisy5678 Thu 03-Sep-09 21:07:08

Oh yes, a horribly difficult process - the worst thing I have ever been involved with, and I only get slightly less stressed when a child that I teach is turned down angry.

But LEAs seem to have somehow convinced a whole swathe of people that it's OK for them to say that a child has to be x amount behind and I'm afraid I try and smash that myth whenever I see a hint of it smile.

It's a shocking, shitty system, and I hope that the autumn Lamb report goes some way towards improving it.

moondog Thu 03-Sep-09 23:21:02

Make sure if SALT specified on statement also that it goes into Part 3 and not Part 5 (ie non educational needs).LEAs always do this so they can tell yuo that lack of SALT input is NHS respnonsibility and not theirs.

This is not only a lie but also illegal.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 04-Sep-09 07:34:38

Following on from Moondog's comments I would quote the Lancashire Agreement at them if they start to get narky re SALT provision. It must go into Parts 2 and 3.

IPSEA and or SOS;SEN could advise further; they can tell you what Parts 2 and 3 should say in the Statement.

Many LEA's are going down the devolved funding route and handing the funds to the school saying, "you sort it out". This does not benefit at all the children who still need a Statement. Their educational rights are being forfeited.

I hope the Lmab report does change things too because the whole system stinks to high heaven.

moondog Fri 04-Sep-09 09:01:55

Yes, IPSEA has a great very clear section on its website where it explains implications of Lancashire judgement and about 10 other landmark judgements.

Essentail reading.

Phoenix4725 Fri 04-Sep-09 10:18:47

we have salt in right area but are currently taking Lea to tribunal due to the amount he is getting .Mind have scared them now as have been muttering about ican schools and funding and that will hurt their pockets even more

AngryWasp Fri 04-Sep-09 15:14:59

Good luck pheonix How much ARE you getting?

2Siobhan Sat 05-Sep-09 17:19:15

Thanks for all the info. I will def take a note of them sites. Ds starts the language group on tuesday so will have a chat with them about it with them. His key worker from his last nursery is coming with us on the first day too so should be interesting to hear what she says to them. Good luck Phoenix xxx

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