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Getting a Statement (Wales and Northern Ireland): Summary

What is a statement?

A statement is a description of your child’s Special Educational Needs and the support required to meet those needs. 

How do I know if my child needs one?

If your child needs help at school - beyond that provided by their teachers– they may need a statement of special needs. For advice on whether your child needs a statement ask your child’s school/nursery or contact your local Parent Partnership Service.

How do I apply for a statement for my child?

You need to ask your Local Education Authority (LEA) for a statutory assessment. Parents, schools or health authorities can request this in writing.

The assessment will result in your child getting either a statement or a 'note in lieu'. A 'note in lieu' explains why the authority has decided not to make a statement and recommends help that your child needs.

What should be included in my child’s statement?

If your child has severe learning disabilities and challenging behaviour, it is vital that the challenging behaviour is included on the statement. This should include the exact form it takes. The LEA will then have a legal responsibility to make sure that the behaviour is addressed and regularly checked.

Below is an example of what should be included in a statement;

Special Educational Needs-This section should include as much information as possible about the child’s abilities and disabilities in a range of areas.

Under the heading “Social/Behavioural/Emotional” include the types of challenging behaviour that your child displays (e.g., self-injury, aggression, destruction, and disruption). Also include how often they happen.

Points to remember

  • The statement is a legal document. It must clearly set out your child’s special educational needs and how they will be met and monitored. It must also name the school or other support where those needs can be met.
  • Talk to other parents and organisations involved with children with special needs. Many can provide great advice and guidance.
  • Before the final statement is produced, you will be sent a draft to comment on. Read this carefully and check that it includes everything. If you feel that there are any errors, inform your LEA in writing within the timescale given.
  • Remember resources are limited and LEAs must be careful in allocating them.      

To download the full version of the Challenging Behaviour Foundation information sheet “Getting a Statement click here.

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