About the Special Educational Needs service
The Special Needs Assessment section is responsible for legal assessments, placements and reviews of pupils with statements. The section comprises of
- a head of section
- two senior case managers
- four case managers
- a part-time senior Special Education Needs (SEN) assessment officer
- an annual review and disagreement resolution officer
- an annual review assistant
- two other officers providing administrative support.
Case managers are responsible for supervising the legal assessment, which is a very detailed examination of a child's special educational needs, and are the first point of contact for parents.
Their role includes:
- liaison with and advice to parents and schools
- seeking and collating professional advice
- arranging placements
- and the distribution of proposed and final statements.
Case managers are also responsible for:
- the on-going placement of statemented pupils
- for making sure that annual review meetings are held
- and that follow-up action is taken.
Each case manager has an allocated group of schools and units so that there is a continuity of relationship for schools and parents.
Case managers are available to meet parents at least once during the legal assessment process. Additional meetings are arranged as necessary to resolve any differences of view.
If necessary, conciliation or mediation is arranged and access to formal disagreement.
Annual review statements
Children who have a statement must have their statement reviewed annually. This is to make sure that the statement still meets their individual needs.
The Local Authority (LA) has an Annual Review Manager and Annual Review Assistant who attend many annual review meetings at schools.
These officers try to attend all reviews where a child is transferring schools (to secondary school, for example), and may also attend reviews where there are complex issues or difficulties for individual children. They can advise schools and parents on procedures and also tell parents about the options for their children.