Last updated: 26 Jan 2011
- Many parents find the process of obtaining a statement, incredibly stressful, and tremendous hard work, but the advice is, if you feel you have a good case, to persist. You will usually need appropriate written supporting evidence, from medical or educational professionals in the field. Many parents simply give up, worn down by the process.
- Before parents can secure a Statement of Special Educational Need, they need to apply for an assessment.
- After several years of decline in the number of statements issued, KCC has seen a steady rise in the past five years, from 493 to 744. You will find fuller statistics for both Kent and Medway here.
- If parents are unsuccessful in securing an assessment of need for their child, or a statement, or a statement naming your preferred school, then you have the right to appeal to the Health, Education and Social Care (HESC) Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal (previously known as SENDIST) to reconsider your case.
- Kent County Council will sometimes use a barrister to defend difficult cases at Tribunal, which can be very daunting for a parent depending on their own resources. However, in 2007-8, of the 3125 cases heard nationally, the Local Authority conceded in around a third, and the Tribunal reached a decision (unspecified) in another third, so many Tribunals do rule in favour of parents.
- Kent had one of the highest proportions of appeals to SENDIST per head, in the country outside London again (12th highest per head of population) in the School Year 2007-8 (the latest for which data is available). Medway was 13th!
- A Times Education Supplement survey in 2008 reported that a third of primary staff nationally report that pupils are waiting over 12 months for a Statement of SEN. 20% report waits of over two years. I have no reason to believe that Kent is different.