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Refusal to Assess for Statement

KirstyO's picture

Refusal to Assess for Statement

Mon 29 Apr 2013 8:58pm

Hi all.

It's been a while since I last posted. It's been a pretty stressful few weeks.  My son has had a series of incidents at school related to inappropriate behaviour.  He has also been coerced into bad behaviour by some older children and as a consequence now has to have constant supervision at all break and lunch times.

The school are being really good with him but we are now at the limit of what help they can provide so we have recently applied to the LEA for an assessment for a statement.  This has now been refused as they say he doesn't fall under their criteria for assessment.  The issue is that he is academically average or above average and the LEA say that he does not require any more additional help.

He does struggle very much on his personal and social development which is well below that expected for his age.  Surely that can be a reason in itself for a statement.  I have been advised to appeal the decision as that is the only way I can hope to get any additional support for him.  He desperately needs that for quality of life at school.  Surely that falls within the scope of what a statement is for. Not just for help with school work but also for personal and social development.

Has anyone been through this and can offer some useful hints and tips. I have contacted IPSEA but it is a daunting task ahead.

Thanks in advance.


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  • Snowdrop's picture


    Always bear in mind that LAs set their own criterias in terms of the children that they issue Statements for, it doesn't mean they are following the law 100% which is why parents have to take their LAs to tribunal to get LAs decisions overturned.  Parent Partnerships also advise parents based on their LAs criteria too so they aren't always the most helpful organisations in these cases but I have heard of them helping in resolving disputes with schools.

    I would definitely appeal the Local Authority's decision, in fact I am doing it for my younger son at the moment, we have our tribunal date in June.  We also went to tribunal for our eldest son to appeal for speech therapy provision and a specialist placement.  I do realise how daunting it is but Ipsea is a good site to use for guidance and there are other organisations who offer help and obviously there are those of us on here that have been through or going through the system (or both in my case LOL) and we'll be happy to offer advice when we can.

    If you do decide to appeal its best to include as much information and evidence as you can with your appeal, any school or professional reports that you have to back up the reasons for your appeal.  Unfortnately we did have to pay for a private Speech & Language Therapist to get the SaLT provision we wanted for our elder son & I've done the same for my younger son together with an educational assessment for his appeal but it depends on what evidence you already have as to if you will need to look for private reports too.

    Hope thats helpful and good luck!

    Tracy - Retired Community Champion
  • Whirling Mind's picture

    They have told you completely wrong.  Academic ability does not mean you cannot apply for a statement or get one.

    See here about the reasons you can get a statement, which your son would fit the criteria for:


    My youngest child is getting a statement and she is academically very able, perhaps even gifted.


    The parent can apply for a statement themselves it does not need to be the school. I believe you can apply here:


  • Leanne's picture


    I havent been through the appeal process but I do have a 17 yr old step son with aspergers who is academically gifted but struggles hugely ŵith social and emotional issues and so completely know how debilitating it can be. It drives me mad that LEA dont take seriously how devastating it can be for a child to be left unsupported in a mainstream setting who has these issues. I would appeal and if you have applied for it yourself then you can.

  • sassylou's picture

    hi have you tried contacting your local snap group they give advice and support to parents with the statement process and fighting it if its denied

  • NickyB's picture

    Hello Kirsty

    I went through exactly the same with my son. He is very able academically but struggles socially and has many sensory problems. The school he was at in year 1 applied for a statement, and we were told he didn't meet their criteria. Once we looked through their reasons for refusal, we found several instances of them not following their own guidelines! We applied again, and were told the same, but giving different reasons.

    I started the appeals process, and got as far as having a preliminary telephone hearing, at which time the LEA backed down without even joining the telphone call and agreed to assess him. The assessment and statement followed very quicklly with no further problems, so it was obvious that he did meet their criteria.

    Have you had aletter explaining their reasons for refusal? My advice would be to go through their reasons, and check what they are saying against the criteria they use. I'm not sure if things have changed, but the SENCO at my son's school was able to give me a copy of the criteria they use.

    Appealing is a daunting process, but there have been many cases I've heard of where the LEA back down as soon as they hear you are appealing. You'll probably find it won't even get as far as a tribunal hearing.

    You could have a look at the SEN code of practice, which outlines what the LEA should be doing.

    I hope you get things sorted soon. Do ask if there's anything else I can help with.


    Nicky - Community Champion

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