4. Statements

Statements of special educational needs say what your child’s needs are. They are reviewed every year.

You must be consulted before a statement can be changed by the council.

You can appeal to the special educational needs and disability tribunal if you disagree with a change.

Your local council should tell you if you’re going to get a statement within 12 weeks of starting the assessment.

If the council decides not to write a statement, it will explain why and tell you how your child’s needs will be met inside or outside school.

You can appeal to the tribunal if you disagree with a statement of special educational needs.

Choosing a school

The statement initially has a blank section for you to say what school you want your child to go to (either mainstream or special), or how you want them to be educated out of school.

You have 15 days to say what school (including private schools) you want your child to go to.

Your local council must agree to send your child to the school you want as long as:

  • the school you choose is suitable for your child’s age, ability, skills and needs
  • your child meets any academic selection criteria the school has (although most state schools do not select pupils by academic ability)
  • your child’s presence will not have a negative impact on the education of other children already at the school
  • putting your child in the school will be an efficient use of the local authority’s resources

If there’s a suitable state school, the local council doesn’t have to send your child to a private school.

Changing schools

You can also ask the local council to change the school named in your child’s statement, if it’s at least 12 months since you asked for a change or since the statement was made or changed. This can only be the same type of school, eg mainstream school or special school.

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