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Needs Code February 2017

Draft%20Additional%20Learning%20Needs%20Code%20February%202017

Maintained School

Maintained School Decisions – Reconsideration by Local Authorities 8.8 Where a child or their parent, or a young person, does not agree with a maintained school’s decision that they do not have ALN, they may initially wish to engage in the local authorities’ arrangements for resolving disagreements and/or (for a child or young person) receive the local authorities’ independent advocacy services, with the aim of resolving the issue at school level. 8.9 Alternatively, the individual may wish to seek a decision on the issue from their local authority, pursuant to section 24 of the Act. In that circumstance, the local authority must make its own decision as to whether the child or young person has ALN 57 . There is no time limit for a child, child’s parent or young person to make a request for the local authority to reconsider the decision. 8.10 Before the local authority makes this decision, it must inform the school and invite representations from it 58 . 8.11 Local authorities should take into account all available information and obtain any further information necessary in order to take an informed decision. The local authority may reach the same decision or decide that the child or young person has ALN. 8.12 A local authority is not required to reconsider a maintained school’s decision that that the child or young person does not have ALN, where the local authority has previously reconsidered such a school decision in relation to the child or young person and is satisfied that the child’s or young person’s needs have not changed materially since that previous decision and there is no new information that would materially affect that decision. 59 8.13 A local authority is also not required to reconsider a maintained school’s decision that the child does not have ALN, where the request relates to a child who has become looked after by a local authority. 60 Also, it is not required to reconsider such a school decision which relates to a child or young person who has become detained. 61 In either of these circumstances, other similar duties in the Act are likely to apply instead. 57 Section 24(2) of the Act. 58 Section 24(3) of the Act. 59 Section 27(2). 60 Section 27(2). 61 Section 27(2). Page | 68

Local Authority Decisions 8.14 A local authority has various duties to decide whether a child or young person has ALN: section 11 (duty to decide); section 16 (duty to decide in relation to children the authority looks after); section 24 (reconsideration of a school decision as to whether a pupil has ALN) and section 37 (duty to decide in relation to detained person). [This part of the Code deals with decisions under sections 11 and 24. 62 ] 8.15 If the local authority determines that the individual does not have ALN, the local authority must notify the child and the child’s parent, or the young person, of the decision and the reasons for it. 63 The notification of the decision should also be sent to the relevant education institution and the independent reviewing officer in the case of looked after children. 8.16 The notification should be made as soon as possible and in any event no longer than described in Chapter 10. 8.17 As well as outlining the decision and the reason/s for it, the notification must contain: the name and contact details of the relevant contact at the appropriate local authority; copies of the relevant information and advice made available by the local authority or details of how to access it 64 ; details of the local authority’s avoidance and resolution of disagreement arrangements, as well as its independent advocacy services in relation to children, case friends and young people; and, information about the right to appeal to the Education Tribunal against the decision. 8.18 The notification should also contain an outline of what action the school and/or local authority will undertake to ensure the child or young person’s needs are met. This might include any strategies or facilities that form part of the differentiated classroom teaching which can be utilised. This notification should meet any specific communication needs the family has. 8.19 It might be helpful to offer an opportunity to the child, child’s parent or young person to meet to discuss this further. 8.20 A local authority decision that an individual does not have ALN is appealable to the Education Tribunal – see Chapter 19. 62 See Chapter 20 for [duties towards looked after children and detained persons.] 63 Section 11(3) of the Act. 64 Section 7 of the Act. Page | 69

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