My Child Does Not Meet Hillingdon LEA's Criteria For Assessment. What Does This Mean?
My child does not meet Hillingdon LEA's criteria for assessment. What does this mean?
Your child's papers have been considered by the special needs assessment panel and you have been told that she/he does not meet Hillingdon's criteria for assessment.
This does not mean that your child does not have special educational needs (SEN) but rather that those needs are not severe or complex enough to meet the assessment criteria.
All Hillingdon LEA maintained schools (including aided and foundation ones) have an amount of money within their own budgets to enable them to identify, assess and provide for children in their school who have SEN. This money comes into school in a variety of ways and should be sufficient to meet the educational needs of children on School Action and School Action Plus (see table below). The Government estimates that about 5% of a school's total budget should be available to support SEN.
The Graduated Response
What happens?
How is it funded?

School Action (used to be known as Stage 2 of the Code of Practice

The school's SEN Co-ordinator takes lead responsibility for gathering information and for co-ordinating the SEN provision, working with the child's teachers. An individual education plan (IEP) should be drawn up and clear records kept.

School-based, i.e., funded through the school's own resources.

School Action Plus (used to be known as Stage 3 of the Code of Practice

Teachers and the SEN Co-ordinator are supported by specialists from outside the school. The IEP should also specify the outside help. The LEA carries out an annual audit of pupils on School Action Plus against set criteria.

School-based, i.e., funded through school's own resources.

Statements of Special Educational Needs (used to be stages 4 and 5 of the Code of Practice)

The LEA considers the need for a statutory assessment, if appropriate, makes that assessment, and considers the need for a statement. If appropriate, a statement is made and the special educational provision is arranged, monitored and reviewed.

If your child's needs fall into the 'high incidence' category (learning, communication, behaviour) the statement will not carry additional funding. This is because the school will have already been funded to meet high incidence special needs.

The LEA will have told you in their letter why your child does not meet the criteria (the criteria can be obtained from your local education office). This may be because:
their needs are not severe or complex enough and the panel feels that those needs could be met by the school through School Action and School Action Plus
there is insufficient evidence from the school about how they have been helping your your child
certain outside professionals have not been asked by the School for their advice on how to help your child (this might be the school's educational psychologist or a specialist advisory teacher)
the panel may have suggested strategies that the school has not yet tried
What will happen next?
It is important that you liaise closely with your child's school. The special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) should follow any advice given by the LEA.
What can I do?
If, after discussion with your child's school, you still disagree with the LEA's decision, you could:
You have a right of appeal and you can contact the SEN Tribunal to ask them to send you their leaflet and application form so that you can lodge the appeal.
You might also wish to consider mediation (See Parent Partnerships information sheet "Keep Talking")
N.B. You only have two months to get the papers in to the SEN Tribunal from the date of the letter from the LEA informing you of your right of appeal (i.e. if the letter from the LEA is dated 12 April you have until 12 June of the same year). If you miss that date you will lose the right of appeal.
It is important to remember that:
it can take several months for an appeal to be heard by the Tribunal
you can withdraw the appeal if you feel you no longer need to go ahead
if your appeal is about the LEA's refusal to assess, the only decision that the SEN Tribunal can make is to assess or not to assess
if the decision is to assess, the LEA will have to carry out the statutory assessment which can take up to six months
if the decision is not to assess, then your child will remain on the school-based stages if appropriate
while you are waiting for the appeal to be heard your child should continue to receive support from the school at the relevant Code of Practice stage
if you have some new information about your child's SEN or you feel that his/her needs have changed, you can ask the LEA again to consider whether a statutory assessment should be carried out
entering into mediation does not affect your right to appeal to the SEN Tribunal
Contact Hillingdon Parent Partnership on 01895 277001 for information on Mediation Services.