Here we feature a query recently submitted to the Helpline. A new query will be published on a regular basis with previous queries stored in the archive.
Q. Is it true that if your child goes to a school with a specialist base or resource, the provision on his statement does not have to be specified and quantified?
A. The short answer is ‘no’. The SEN Code of Practice is quite clear on this point, saying that:
- A statement should specify clearly the provision to meet the needs of the child and
- Provision should normally be quantified (e.g. in terms of hours of provision, staffing arrangements)
Case law has regularly reinforced this message, stressing that the wording of statements needs to ensure that everybody is clear what the child concerned is entitled to and should receive. There is an acknowledgement that where a child attends a special school (note, not a unit or base), a lower level of specificity may be appropriate but ‘any flexibility built into the statement must be there to meet the needs of the child, and not the needs of the system’.
Furthermore, in order to demonstrate that your child needs a particular special school, especially one of the independent or non-maintained speech and language schools, it is usually necessary for the provision in the statement to be specified and quantified. So to all intents and purposes, this is a hard and fast rule.
If you have any further questions about the wording of statements, please contact the Afasic helpline.
Queries from previous months can be viewed in our query archive.