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Statutory assessment requests

Requests for Statutory Assessment by schools, must be discussed at LIFT prior to application - Local Inclusion Forum Team (LIFT).

Important Notice:
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Following extensive collaboration with parents, settings, schools and colleges, the EHC documentation has been revised. From 1 August 2015, please use this documentation for all purposes; Application for Statutory Assessment, Annual Review of EHC Plans, Transfer of Statements to EHC Plans. Please delete any earlier versions of the EHC Plan and associated documentation from your files.

SEN officers can be contacted by email at the relevant area office:

Information Sharing
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If requesting Statutory Assessment and/or High Needs Funding, please ensure parent or carer consent has been secured thereby avoiding any unnecessary delay.

Kent approach to assessment
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The decision to undertake an assessment is the responsibility of the Local Authority.

The majority of children and young people with special educational needs will have their needs met within their local Early Years setting, school or college without the need for an assessment.

Where an assessment is being requested an SEN officer will be allocated to oversee the statutory assessment process from point of request through to final decision.

Core principles of the Children and Family Act 2014 are:

  • A co-ordinated approach to assessment ('tell us once')
  • Co-production - incorporation of views of the child, young person, parents and carers.

Decision making points for assessment
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For 0-4 year olds: The Team Around the Child, multi-agency (TAC) for a child receiving Early Support, or the pre-school setting will identify children who may require a Statutory Assessment. The Local Authority representative (including Portage) can be invited to a TAC meeting if required. If an SEN Officer is present they will be able to advice about criteria.

A referral is made to the Local SEN Area Team (trigger for referral which could be made by parent or professional). Requests for Statutory Assessment by schools, must be discussed at LIFT prior to application - Local Inclusion Forum Team (LIFT).

For 5-15 year olds: Discussion at the Local Inclusion Forum (LIFT) will advise on strategies and universal and targeted services available through the local offer. The SEN Area Manager, on behalf of the Local Authority, will then receive the the LIFT Summary of Intervention Sheet and make a decision to initial assessment.

For 16+: Referrals will be received by the Local SEN Area team. Young People Assessment and Placement Officers will liaise with the young people (with the support of their families) directly from initial request for statutory assessment through to final decision.

Process Maps and criteria
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Appendices and Guidance for education settings
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Appendices and guidance for LA and other professional bodies
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The Assessment process
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The SEN officer for Early Years, schools or young people will:

  • Seek the family's or young person's views of needs and provision.

The LA will take the decision to conduct a statutory assessment on or within 6 weeks.

If a decision is made to conduct a Statutory Assessment the first Statutory Assessment Meeting (SAM) will be convened by SEN with the young person of the child's parents or carers.

The SEN officer will also:

  • Contact statutory advice givers and others suggested by parents
  • Set out a clear timeline for the assessment
  • Liaise with professionals, clarify 6 week timescale for reports and ensure flexibility to engage in a range of ways
  • Keep parents and young people informed
  • Explain Personal Budgets.

Decision to issue a plan (or not) will be taken by the LA on or within week 16:

  • SAM 2 meeting convened where decision and next steps will be explained to CYP, parent and carers
  • LA will share draft plan with young person/parent/carers, giving them 15 days to consider the draft and discuss their preference for placement
  • The LA will consult with appropriate Schools, Further Education Colleges (FEC) and Early Years (EY) settings.

The process from assessment request to issue of the plan must take no more than 20 weeks.