Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004

Preparation of education plan by school (including steps preliminary to such preparation).

3

3.—(1) Subsection (2) applies where the principal of a school—

( a) having been notified by the parents of a student in the school that they are of the opinion referred to in this paragraph and been requested by them to take the measures specified in subsection (2), considers that opinion to be well founded, namely, an opinion that the student is not benefiting from the education programme provided in the school to children who do not have special educational needs to the extent that would be expected of the student, or

( b) otherwise forms such an opinion in respect of a student in the school.

(2) Where this subsection applies, the principal of the school shall take such measures as are practicable to meet the educational needs of the student concerned.

(3) Where the principal of a school, having taken the measures referred to in subsection (2), is of the opinion that the student concerned is still not benefiting from the education programme provided in the school and that his or her difficulty in doing so may arise from his or her having special educational needs, the principal, after consultation with the parents of the student, shall, subject to subsection (6) , arrange for an assessment of the student to be carried out.

(4) Without prejudice to section 5(5) , an assessment referred to in subsection (3) shall be—

( a) commenced as soon as practicable, and in any case not later than 1 month, after the principal has reached the opinion referred to in that subsection,

( b) completed as soon as practicable, and in any case not later than 3 months, after the principal has reached that opinion, and

( c) carried out in accordance with such guidelines relating to persons who are to carry out assessments under this section and the form that those assessments are to take as may be issued from time to time by the Council,

and references in this section to the carrying out of such an assessment include references to the preparation of a statement of the findings in relation to the assessment.

(5) Where an assessment carried out in accordance with subsection (4) establishes that the student concerned has special educational needs the principal shall, subject to subsection (11), within 1 month from the receipt by him or her of the assessment, cause a plan to be prepared for the appropriate education of the student (in this Act referred to as an “education plan”).

(6) Where the principal of a school is of the opinion, having regard to any guidelines that may be issued by the Council from time to time under subsection (8), that the arrangement of an assessment under subsection (3) of a student is not practicable he or she shall request the Council to arrange for an assessment of the student under section 4 .

(7) If the Council accedes to a request under subsection (6), section 4 , with the necessary modifications, and section 5 shall apply accordingly.

(8) The Council may from time to time issue guidelines to principals of schools as to the matters they shall have regard to before forming an opinion of the kind referred to in subsection (6).

(9) In relation to the preparation of an education plan under subsection (5) , the principal shall ensure that—

( a) the parents of the child, the special educational needs organiser with responsibility for the school concerned and such other persons as the principal considers appropriate are consulted and, in the case of the parents of the child, their involvement in the preparation is facilitated, and

( b) guidelines for the time being in force under section 9(3) are complied with unless he or she decides, with the consent of that special educational needs organiser, that there are good and substantial reasons for their not being complied with.

(10) Immediately after an educational plan has been prepared under subsection (5) the principal of the school shall furnish to the parents of the child concerned and the special educational needs organiser with responsibility for the school a notice in writing of that fact, together with a copy of the plan.

(11) Where the principal of a school is of the opinion that—

( a) having regard to the nature and extent of a child's special educational needs as established by an assessment under this section, the preparation of an education plan under subsection (5) in accordance with the guidelines for the time being in force under section 9(3) will not meet the child's special educational needs, or

( b) whether the opinion is formed in consequence of a review under section 11 or otherwise, an education plan prepared under subsection (5) in respect of a child is not meeting those needs of the child and the taking of any steps by a special educational needs organiser under section 11 on foot of any report by the principal under subsection (3) of that section is unlikely to result in those needs being met,

the principal shall request the Council to prepare an education plan under section 8 in respect of the child.

(12) If the Council accedes to a request under subsection (11), then subsections (3) to (5) of section 8 shall apply and, in the case of paragraph (b) of subsection (11), the education plan prepared by the Council under section 8 shall supersede the education plan referred to in that paragraph.

(13) If the Council refuses to accede to a request under subsection (6) or (11), then the principal, or the parents of the child concerned, may appeal against that refusal to the Appeals Board.

(14) On the hearing of an appeal under subsection (13), the Appeals Board may—

( a) allow the appeal and give a direction to the Council requiring it, as appropriate, to—

(i) arrange for an assessment of the child concerned to be carried out under section 4 , or

(ii) cause to be prepared an education plan in respect of the child concerned under section 8 ,

or

( b) dismiss the appeal.

(15) The Council shall comply with a direction given to it under subsection (14).