These pages apply to children and young people in Wales, where the law on statements continues to apply.
They only apply to children and young people in England with existing statements, which are not yet being transferred to Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). For information about EHCPs and the transfer process, see our page Getting Extra help under the Children and Families Act.
What is a statement?
All schools are expected to provide for children with special educational needs. Some children with significant or complex needs, including the majority of children with Down’s syndrome, will need more or different help than the school can provide from its own resources.
In that case the local authority may have carried out a statutory assessment leading to a statement of special educational needs. The statement is a formal document that describes your child’s difficulties (special educational needs) and specifies the help (special educational provision) that they must have. It is a legally binding document; your local authority will be responsible for ensuring that your child gets the special educational provision in the statement.
The links below will guide you through the different stages of the process:
Planned changes to Education Law in Wales
On 16 December The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (ALNET) Bill was introduced to the National Assembly of Wales. It proposes to replace statements of educational need with an “Individual Development Plan”. If passed, it could become law by 2019.
The aim of the proposed changes is to simplify the SEN system and to enable parents, children and young people to be more closely involved in decisions about the help they need in education.
The key aspects of the proposed law change are:
- The term Additional Learning Needs (ALN) will replace the terms “special educational needs (SEN)” and “learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD)”.
- A single system for 0-25 year olds with ALN instead of the two current systems for children of school age ; and young people in further education
- The introduction of Individual Development Plans to replace a variety of statutory and non-statutory SEN or LDD plans.
- Increasing the participation of children and young people in the planning of their educational support.
- A greater focus on high aspirations and measurable outcomes that will help children and young people achieve their full potential.
- A new Code of Practice that will ensure the new system is clear and consistently applied, including rights of appeal.
Until the law changes, the current system of support will remain.