Special educational needs: changing a statement

As part of an annual review, the Education Authority (EA) in your region decides whether it should make changes to your child's statement of special educational needs. The EA must check your child's progress and make sure that the statement continues to meet their needs.

Changes to a statement

If you have had a review of your child's statement, the EA will write to you, your child's school and others involved in the review. They will let you know about any changes they want to make and will ask you for your views. You will always be asked what you think before any changes are made.

Why changes may be made

Changes may be made if:

  • your child's needs have changed a lot
  • the EA decide that different kinds of extra help are necessary
  • your child has to move to a different school

Once you've heard from the EA, you have 15 days to ask for a meeting to discuss the changes it wants to make. The EA must tell you its final decision and any changes it has made within eight weeks of suggesting a change.

If the changes are to part four of the statement - changing the name of the school - you have the same rights to choose a school as you had when the statement was made.

You also have the right to ask the EA to change the name of the school in your child's statement, if it is at least 12 months since you asked for a change or since the statement was made or changed.

When your child is in the last year at their school before going to another school - say, when they are moving from primary to secondary school - the recommendations of the last annual review before the transfer are important in helping you and the EA decide the school your child should go to.

If you disagree with the EA's changes

If you disagree with the changes to the statement, you have the same rights as when the statement was first made. The EA in your region should tell you about the local arrangements for dealing with disagreements and your right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

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