Parent Partnership Questions
If your child:
- has not yet started school, discuss your concerns with your health visitor, GP or other professionals;
- attends playgroup, discuss your concerns with your playgroup leader;
- is already at school, discuss your concerns with the class teacher in the first instance, who will want to talk to you about ways of helping your child.
Every school also has an Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCo) who can provide advice and support to school staff, parents and children. Each school also has a policy for meeting Additional Learning Needs (ALN), which you are able to request a copy of.
If your child has ALN there are many ways a school can help and, if necessary can access specialist help to support your child.
If you are confused about the ALN system, you can seek advice from the following:
- The ALNCo at your child’s school
- The LA Pupil Parent Partnership service
- SNAP Cymru.
If you are unhappy with the provision in place to support your child’s ALN, the first step is to speak to the class teacher, school ALNCo and/or Head Teacher.
If this is not possible, or after speaking to them you require further advice and support, then the LA Pupil Parent Partnership service or SNAP Cymru can be contacted.
The Local Authority (LA) Pupil Parent Partnership service or SNAP Cymru can help you to resolve disagreements that may occur.
If, despite having help and support at school over a period of time, your child is not making progress, the school will consider asking the Local Authority (LA) to carry out a statutory assessment. This is a multi-disciplinary assessment, which is a detailed investigation to establish your child’s possible Additional Learning Needs (ALN). To help decide whether or not a statutory assessment is necessary, we will gather information about your child and his/her progress at school, consider your views and those of your child, and will seek advice from relevant professionals.
Within six weeks of receiving a request for a statutory assessment, we will inform you and the school in writing, as to whether we consider that a statutory assessment is necessary.
If we decide a statutory assessment is not necessary we will explain why we have reached this decision and explain what you can do next.
If we decide that your child needs a statutory assessment we will work in partnership with you, the school and other relevant professionals, that may or may not already be working with you and your child.
Step 1 – Making contact
If the Authority decides that your child needs a statutory assessment, a Liaison Officer from the Additional Learning Needs Support Service will contact you to offer to make an appointment to meet with you.
Step 2 – Meeting with your Liaison Officer
At this meeting, your Liaison Officer will explain the procedures for statutory assessment and answer any questions you have. You will also be asked to complete a form giving your consent to your child being assessed.
We then ask everyone who has been working with your child to write reports. These may include Community Paediatricians, an Educational Psychologist, Health Visitors, Teaching Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, The Portage Service, Social Workers, Specialist Teachers and Speech and Language Therapists. These reports are called Advices.
You will also be asked to provide your views in the Parental Advice. Our Family Liaison Officers can support you in completing this.
Step 3 – Correspondence
You will receive at least 3 letters:
- confirming that the statutory assessment is starting
- giving a date and time for the medical appointment
- giving a date and time for an appointment with the Educational Psychologist. (This may not be necessary if the Educational Psychologist has seen your child very recently).
Step 4 – The Special Educational Needs Panel
This is a group of usually 6 people, which include education officers, an Educational Psychologist, a specialist teacher, Head Teachers from local schools and nominees form local voluntary organisations. The Panel meets at least once every week during term time; the group members will vary from meeting to meeting.
When all the Advices have been received, the Special Educational Needs Panel will discuss your child and consider all the written advices very carefully. They will then make recommendations regarding the support that your child needs and decide whether your child needs a Statement of Special Educational Needs.
A Statement of Special Educational Needs will only be necessary if the support that your child needs cannot reasonably be provided from the resources normally available to mainstream schools.
Step 5 – Special Education Needs Panel Decision
Your Liaison Officer will contact you following Special Educational Needs Panel to let you know the decision that was made.
Shortly after this, we will send you either the Statement that we are proposing to issue for your child, or a Note in Lieu. In either case, we will also send you all the Advices that we have received, as part of the Statutory Assessment process. A copy of the Proposed Statement, but not the Advices, will also be sent to everyone who wrote reports about your child. At this stage, you, as a parent, have the right to name any mainstream school within Neath Port Talbot. You should be aware that if you wish for your child to attend a school other than their designated mainstream school, your child may not be eligible for school transport.
If you wish to visit any school that has been mentioned in the recommendations, your Family Liaison Officer can help you to make an appointment.
Step 6 – Final statement or note in lieu issued
If your child is to have a Statement of Special Educational Needs, a Final Statement will be posted to you about 15 days after the Proposed Statement. The Final Statement will describe your child’s Additional Learning Needs as identified during the assessment and the provision to meet those needs, including placement.
If your child is issued with a Note in Lieu, a meeting will be arranged between yourselves, school and other relevant professionals, to discuss how the school will be able to support your child with the recommendations provided in the Note in Lieu.
Person-Centred Reviews (PCR) are meetings that aim to ensure that the child / young person's Statement of Special Education Needs or Individual Development Plan (IDP) is appropriate.
The meetings make sure a child or young person with Additional Learning Needs has the right support in place to help them achieve their future aspirations. It places the child / young person's needs, views and wishes at the heart of the review. Further information can be found by following the following links PCR leaflet for families and PCR leaflet for children and young people.
There are also documents which can help you and your child prepare for this review. These can be found by clicking on the following links PCR preparation sheet for families and PCR preparation sheet for children and young people.
If you are unhappy with a practice or provision provided by Health, in the first instance you should raise your concerns with the staff involved with your care or treatment. They will try to resolve your concerns immediately.
If this does not help, details of how to raise a concern can be found in the NHS Putting Things Right leaflet.
A range of support is available to support children and young people with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) at key points of transition.
Further information can be found by contacting the transition workers within the Local Authority’s Pupil Parent Partnership service.