Parents often have many questions about the process of Formal Assessment of their child. Detailed information about the Formal Assessment process is included in the SEN Code of Practice (Guernsey) 2004, but the following aims to answer some of the common questions.
Formal Assessment is the process that enables the views of all those working with a pupil, including parents, to contribute to the identification of the pupil's special educational needs. A Summary of Needs will be agreed and a Determination may be drawn up stating the specialist provision that is required to meet those needs.
Who conducts the Formal Assessment?
- The Education Officer with responsibility for Special Needs administers the Formal Assessment process by requesting, collating and distributing reports; organises a multi-agency meeting, to which parents are invited, and drafts the Summary of Needs and Determination (if required).
Who can request a Formal Assessment?
- Your child's school will normally request a Formal Assessment following a School Action Plus review meeting, at which this course of action has been agreed. An Educational Psychologist should already be involved with your child and be present at the meeting.
Do parents have to give their consent?
- Parents should be in agreement with a Formal Assessment. However, it is sometimes necessary to proceed without parental consent, for example if parents are not present at the review meeting. In these circumstances the school will inform parents that they are requesting a Formal Assessment.
When does a school consider making a request for a Formal Assessment?
- A request for Formal Assessment is considered if, at a School Action Plus review meeting, it is felt that additional resources beyond those provided at School Action Plus are required to meet your child's special educational needs. A Formal Assessment is essential where consideration is being given to placement in a special school (i.e. Le Rondin, Le Murier or Les Voies Schools) or to an off Island placement.
Who will be consulted?
- You as parents, your child and all professionals with current involvement in meeting your child's special educational needs need to be consulted. The school will advise you of the forms for recording parental and child views at the review meeting, and agree who will be your main contact in respect of ensuring the forms are completed and returned.
What happens after a request for Formal Assessment is received?
- The Education Officer will write to you, the school and all the agencies currently involved in supporting your child, requesting that a written report be submitted, detailing their involvement and listing all your child's educational needs. A deadline for the receipt of reports is given. The letter will also contain the proposed date for a multi-agency meeting, which will normally take place within 10 weeks. All reports are circulated to all parties prior to that meeting. The individual agencies involved with your child will advise you of the contents of their reports prior to circulation.
What happens at the multi-agency meeting?
- The meeting is chaired by the Education Officer. A verbal summary of the report submitted together with an update is requested at the meeting. All parties have an opportunity to seek further clarification. The Chair summarises your child's special educational needs and consideration is given to future educational provision. Towards the end of the meeting the Educational Psychologist is asked to make a clear recommendation for your child's future educational provision.
What are the outcomes of Formal Assessment?
- A Record of the Meeting is circulated, together with your child's Summary of Needs. The accompanying letter will state whether a Determination is to be drawn up, naming the future educational placement. Where there is no change of placement, a summary of the recommendations for educational provision will accompany the Summary of Needs.
- Where a change of placement is to be made, clear responsibilities for the transition programme are included. The draft Determination will then be shared with you, and you will be asked to return a reply slip stating that you are in agreement with the Determination. The Final Determination is then circulated to all involved, plus the receiving school or base.
- Occasionally it may be necessary for the meeting to be reconvened to consider further reports or the outcomes of ongoing assessments. This is agreed at the meeting.
Who should I contact for more information?
- The Education Officer for SEN, Inclusion and Intervention is able to give further information regarding the Formal Assessment process and timescale.