The statement of special educational needs

Information for families in England and Wales

Under the Welsh education system, children or young people with more complex needs might have a statement of special educational needs.

Although some children in England still have statements, these are being replaced by Education, Health and Care plans. If you're new to the SEN system and live in England then you might want to start on our page An introducation to special educational needs.

What is a statement?

This is a legal document which sets out all of your child's special educational needs and all the additional help that will be given to meet those needs. The local authority is responsible for ensuring that all the educational help in the statement is provided.

What is in the statement?

The statement should draw on all the advice in the reports provided as part of the statutory assessment  by parents, school and other agencies. This advice forms part of the statement, so must be attached to it and listed on the first page of the statement. The statement is in six parts.

Part 1 Introduction - the personal details such as your child's name and date of birth.

Part 2 Special educational needs (SEN) - a description of your child's educational needs: including any diagnosis and explaining what they have difficulty with. This should be based on all the advice in the professional reports. For each educational need identified, there should be matching help in part three.

Part 3 Special educational provision -this sets out the extra help which will be given for each of your child's difficulties. It is important that all the help is specified in detail including:

  • staff
  • equipment
  • and changes to the curriculum

This is so everyone understands the kind of, and amount of help, your child must get. All of the help listed in part three should match a need identified in part two.

Part 4 Placement-this should state the type of school, or other education provision, which can meet your child's needs. It should also name the school your child will attend.

Part 5 Non educational needs -these could be health needs, for example a medical condition such as asthma or epilepsy.

Part 6 Non educational provision- this sets out the help that will be given to meet the needs in part five, for example, monitoring by the health service.

Some types of help may be 'educational' or 'non educational'. These should be listed in both part three and part six.

Some therapies may be provided by the health service but can be 'educational', such as physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.  

Make sure that if these therapies are needed then these are listed in part 3 as 'educational provision' - as if they are not the local authority does not have to ensure they are provided.

Having problems understanding your child's statement? Call our freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555 to talk to one of our education experts or post us a query on Facebook.  

Common queries about statements - find out what other parents ask about statements and what advice our experts gave.

Information for families in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Although this information applies to England and Wales, we also support Scotland and Northern Ireland. Give our helpline a call on 0808 808 3555 for information and advice on any aspect of raising a disabled child or call your local contact. Find out our details in the In your area section.