Information on the Statutory Assessment and Review Service

Information for schools on the Statutory Assessment and Review Service.

Referral for consideration of a statutory assessment

Schools are reminded of the graduated approach to supporting their children and young people with SEN under the SEN Framework and SEN Code of Practice: Identification, Assessment and Provision by Schools. 

The decision to make a referral for consideration of statutory assessment and possible Stage 3 provision should be made following the review of a child’s progress at Stages 1 and 2 of the Code of Practice. NB For recording purposes, school are recording children on the 3 stages of the Code of Practice but adhering to the guidance set out in the 1998 Code of Practice. This should be evaluated through outcomes of their Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Personal Learning Plan (PLP) and consideration that all appropriate school-based provision (as detailed in the school’s SEN Provision Map) and EA SEND Services provision has been exhausted. 

Discussions should take place between the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo), the principal, teachers, any applicable EA SEND services, an EA Educational Psychologist and parents or carers that statutory assessment may be necessary.

A referral for consideration of a statutory assessment does not automatically lead to a statutory assessment being initiated or to a statement of special educational needs being written.

While the Education Authority is considering carrying out statutory assessment, the child will continue at Stage 2 of the SEN Code of Practice and continue to receive SEN provision from their school, alongside EA SEND Services and medical professionals (if applicable). 

Annual Reviews

Schools carry out Annual Reviews on behalf of the EA for all children and young people in their care who are subject to a Statement of SEN. 

If a child is not attending a grant aided school the Statutory Assessment & Review Service will arrange the review.

At the beginning of each academic year the Statutory Assessment & Review Service issue a letter detailing recommended submission dates for relevant Annual Review documentation to be returned, along with a list of the pupils in their school who require an Annual Review. Notes of Guidance are available on the EA website.

The Annual Review documentation can be completed in paper format or online via the EA Connect portal. Email [email protected] for more information.

The school may wish to invite an officer from the Statutory Assessment & Review Service to attend the review meeting, particularly in circumstances where pupils needs have changed or where the school considers special educational provision as arranged by the Education Authority is no longer appropriate.  Where this applies schools should contact the relevant officer for their school as soon as possible to arrange a suitable date for the meeting.  For Children Looked After, who have statements of special educational needs, all relevant professionals should be invited to the annual review to enable effective collaboration in meeting their specific needs.

Transitions Service 14 +

EA Transitions Coordinators provide schools with advice and information on possible pathways into training, supported employment, Further Education and employment for their young people with a Statement of SEN.  Each Transition Coordinator works in partnership with schools and voluntary agencies for the effective inclusion and assistance of young people with a Statement of SEN as they move into adult life.

Transition meetings are part of the Annual Review process for every young person with a Statement of SEN from the age of 14 until they leave school or EA provision. A Transitions Plan is created, discussed, and amended at appropriate intervals in preparation for the young person moving into adulthood. The final Transition Plan is shared with outside agencies as appropriate, to ensure the young person is supported when they move into their chosen pathway.

Parents or carers can contact their child’s school Transitions Coordinator for advice, guidance or clarification at any stage in the process.

SEND Implementation and Development

The SEND Implementation & Development team trains and supports Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) in nursery, primary, post-primary and special schools. We advise SENCo’s in all aspects of their operational (day-to-day) and strategic role in managing SEN provision in their school or educational setting. We provide bespoke guidance and support as the new SEN Framework is being implemented and developed in phases throughout all schools and statutory settings in NI.

We also work alongside educational colleagues in DE, EA Services, non-statutory settings and outside agencies to provide information and advice on the new SEN Regulations and new SEN Code of Practice which emanate from the SEND Act (NI) 2016.

School SENCo’s and Principals can contact us via email at [email protected] 

Details of our training programme are available via the Children's and Young PersonsTraining Programme. We also issue face-to-face training invites via C2k email to the named SENCo of each school setting based on our database informed by school Principals. 

We deliver information sessions for school Governors, available to book via the EA SDS online portal.

All SEND Implementation training resources, useful SEND documents, links and a Blog for SENCo's are hosted on the SEND Team website accessible for the main SENCo of each school via C2k credentials.

SEN Advice and Information Service

The SEN Advice and Information Service is a regional team which provides advice and information for parents, schools, EA Services and the general public on SEND-related issues including the new SEN Framework, the statutory and statementing process. We also signpost to appropriate EA Services and produce information which is accessible for parents and young people with SEN.

Contact us at the SEN Helpdesk, Option 2 on 028 9598 5960, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

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