Statutory Assessment Timeline

Information on the Statutory Assessment timeline.

The timeline for the statutory assessment process is a 26 week period from beginning to end, unless exceptions are applied, as detailed in the SEN Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005. 

  • A school, EP, medical professional, or parent makes a referral or request for consideration of statutory assessment. During this time, the child or young person continues to avail of SEN provision at Stage 2 of the SEN Code of Practice if in place. Parents are contacted and informed of the request. 
  • The Statutory Assessment & Review Service considers the information provided from parents or carers, the child or young person (if appropriate), teachers and the SENCO/LSC of the school, the EA Educational Psychologist, and if applicable medical professionals, specialist teachers from EA SEND Services, social services and anyone else working with the child who may have relevant information.
  • Within 6 weeks parents and carers are informed of the decision:
    • If a decision is made to not proceed with statutory assessment, details of how to appeal are provided.
    • If a statutory assessment is initiated, advice will be sought from parents and professionals which need to be submitted within 6 weeks unless there is an exception to be applied.
  • Once all of the advice has been received, the SEN Link Officer informs parents or carers of its decision to either issue a Proposed Statement of SEN or to issue a Note in Lieu of a statement. If the decision is NOT to issue a statement or to issue a NIL, details of the appeals process will be provided. 
  • Once parents have received the proposed statement they can agree the draft is accurate, ask for changes, ask for a meeting and state a preference for a school for their child. The SEN Link Officer is available to liaise with parents and update the school on how matters are progressing. Parents can also ask for more time to consider the Proposed Statement.
  • Once the parents have nominated their preferred school, the Statutory Assessment & Review Service will consult with the school if appropriate. The school should consider all of the information to ascertain if they can meet the child’s special educational needs as detailed in the Proposed Statement and reply to the Statutory Assessment & Review Service.
  • A final statement will then be issued to parents and a copy is forwarded to the school the child is attending or will attend as well as all of the professionals who contributed advice.
Decision Point  Stage  Timeline
Decision Point 1 

EA decision whether to make an assessment

The EA receives a request for a Statutory Assessment.  The EA must tell parents about this request. The EA decides whether a Statutory Assessment is needed and must tell parents about its decision.  If the EA is not proceeding, we must tell parents how to appeal.

6 weeks 
Decision Point 2 

EA completes an assessment or further assessment

Advice sought from parents and professionals.

10 weeks
Decision Point 3

EA issues a decision

The EA informs parents of its decision to either issue a Proposed Statement or, to issue a Note in Lieu and details of the appeal process.

2 weeks 
Decision Point 4 

Parents must respond to the Proposed Statement to:

  • Agree that the draft is accurate or;
  • Ask for changes or;
  • Ask for a meeting.

Parents should also state a preference for a school for their child.

EA consults with the school.

EA issues a final statement

8 weeks 
    Total 26 weeks


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