Referral for Statutory Assessment: Guidelines for Schools

The revised Statutory Assessment Referral Form was discussed at SENCo meetings in 2008 and it has been requested that guidelines on completing the form be produced.

NB A referral for Statutory Assessment will normally only made as part of the Graduated Response process and prior to completing this form the school will have followed that process and will have detailed documented records of the work to date.

This guidance will take you through the form section by section

Page 1: Child’s details

LAC. It is important the LEA is made aware of whether a pupil is a Looked After Child in order that appropriate links can be made with Social Services colleagues.

Asylum Seeker. Similarly, though more rare, it is important that the LEA is made aware of whether a pupil and their family have asylum seeker status.

Parent /Carer Name. It is important that the details of the parent or carer are made very clear in terms of the person who has parental responsibility and their address, particularly if it is different to the address at which the pupil is normally resident.

Disability/Area of difficulty. The 4 descriptors here are taken from the SEN Code of Practice and helps the LEA make an initial identification of the area of need. Generally the LEA will only record one primary disability. For the referral schools should seek if possible to highlight what they feel is the key area of difficulty.

Parent and carer awareness. The school should not make a referral for Statutory Assessment without the parent or carer’s knowledge. There may be cases where the parent is reluctant to agree to the referral, but they must be consulted on the fact that a referral is to be made.

Parental Responsibility. The LEA must know who has the responsibility for making decisions about the child, and who can be contacted in order to secure a signed parental consent to the assessment. Under the Children’s Act we must consult with the parents of any child who is being assessed, even if the child is Looked After. However, there are some cases for example where, whilst we must consult with the parent, we are not permitted to reveal the name of the school or the residency address to the parent. Consequently it is important that the school provide as much accurate detail as they can.

Page 2

Parent, child or young person’s views.

It is very important that the views of the parent and, wherever possible, the child or young person, are sought as part of the process.
Great emphasis has been placed by the SEN Code of Practice, WAG and Estyn on seeking the views of the child or young person in many areas of education, and SEN is no exception. It is important to seek these views as part of the graduated response, the referral and if there is a subsequent Statutory Assessment then children and young people should be helped to provide their advice for the Statement and also their views should be secured at subsequent reviews of the Statement. Page 2 provides the opportunity for this. Of course, a pupil’s views can be recorded in various ways depending on their age and communication skills etc., and where other means are used these should be attached to the referral as an appendix.

Page 3

Key Issues

This section of the form has been introduced in order to assist schools in focussing on key areas. In the past it has been our experience that the person making the referral has not always been confident that they have captured the key issues when constructing the background or covering letter to the LEA.
The headings on this and the following page are intended to assist colleagues in describing key areas of concern.

Page 5

Involvement of School Staff and outside agencies at School Action Plus and IEPs.

This page is intended to assist the school in collecting and collating the evidence of all the work they have carried out to date to support the child. It should be noted that this information has always been required by the LEA as part of the process of deciding whether to carry out a Statutory Assessment, and was requested on the previous forms. However, it is felt that the new form helps schools to construct the evidence pack in a more structured way.

Page 6

Additional Support and it’s Deployment

Schools often deploy resources of their own or secure support from other sources as part of providing for a child prior to referral. This page is an opportunity for the school to describe this.

For example; Has the school deployed support such as a teacher or Teaching Assistant from within it’s own budget?

Grants:  Has the school secured or deployed support from any external sources such as BSF

SEN Survey. Has the pupil been entered in the SEN Survey, have resources been allocated and if so, how are these resources being deployed? E.g. small group support daily/weekly, or individual sessions with a teacher.

Page 7

Information re Child’s Progress

This page is intended to capture information in relation to the child’s progress so that the LEA when considering the referral can get a picture of the child’s level of attainment and function. This may include standardised tests and teacher assessments. In the majority of cases this information would be readily available in the child’s records. It is very important that that LEA has access to this information as part of the decision making process.

 

In Summary

It is appreciated that the revised form is considerably longer than the original referral form. However, it is not asking for significantly more information. What the form does is provide structure for the collection and presentation of evidence for the referral. Hopefully it should reduce the number of referrals which do not proceed because of insufficient evidence.
The referral should always be accompanied by a covering letter from the Headteacher or SENCo introducing the case, but the level of detail required may be less if the referral form and supporting background evidence are clear and comprehensive.

If you have any further queries in relation to the completion of the form or background evidence please don’t hesitate to contact the Statutory Assessment Team at the Civic Centre on 01792 636162.