EHCP Funding provided by council, being used for other kids?

(24 Posts)
MaddyHatter Thu 09-Jun-16 11:25:01

Posting for Traffic, sorry.

DS has an EHCP, they're funding '25hrs One to One or Equivilant' according to the wording.

I got his IEP from the school today, where they have to state what he's getting and what the funding is covering.

At the moment it says
1:1 - 3hrs daily.
1:4 - 1 hour (group work with his 1:1 and other students in class)
1:10 - 1 hr. Support during unstructured time.

Now, this is the first time he's had funding, but i'm a little dubious over the 1:4 and 1:10. The 1:10 specifically, as its lunch time when he is in the Learning Mentors room as he doesn't eat in the dining hall, but there are 9 other kids there and she is using the time to encourage social skills and playing together.

However, it looks to me, like a salaried member of staff who is there over lunch break as the room has to be supervised, is being used for 5hrs of my DS's funding... which means the school is absorbing money given to them by the council to support my son for 9 other kids!

Is this allowed?

I'm quite happy to be told i'm unreasonable, but i want to get it straight in my head how this works, or if i need to argue the toss that this is money to support my son, not 9 other students.

JustHappy3 Thu 09-Jun-16 11:37:24

I think this happens a lot. Nothing helpful to add sorry.

ThisisMajorTomtoGroundControl Thu 09-Jun-16 11:49:55

It's very common. It doesn't make it right. I think if that member of staff is having to divide time between ten children for an hour at a particular time your child struggles with social skills it's not a 1-1. I would definitely query it and what they would have in place supervision wise should your child need to be removed from the situation.

MaddyHatter Thu 09-Jun-16 12:09:52

i know it goes on, just trying to assess the legality of it, lol.. having issues with the school right now, they don't seem to be wanting to follow this EHCP that THEY asked for!

honkinghaddock Thu 09-Jun-16 12:17:30

There needs to be another member of staff in the room in the 1:10 situation to supervise the other children. If there isn't then your child is not receiving 1:1 during this time. In the group situation, if your child's 1:1 is required to support the other children then again it is no longer 1:1.

bialystockandbloom Thu 09-Jun-16 12:22:09

My ds (ASD) has had a statement (not yet transferred to EHCP) since starting school five years ago. In that time despite having 25 hrs at one point, he only ever got that for one year. He now has 15 hrs specified but for over a year had nothing (literally), and even now those 15 hours are provided by general class TA.

We've had years now of challenging the fucking school over their "those hours can be used flexibly" bollocks. Only reason I haven't kicked off about this recently is that ds is doing so well (no thanks to them), we do more helpful stuff at home on what he needs, current TA is actually great and works with us, he's too negatively aware now of being singled out, and because he only has two years left, so we're focussing now on senior school.

If none of those applied I'd be doing what j did before - writing to head of children's services at SEN dept of LA (ccing HT) informing them school were failing to provide. That approach has been quite successful wink

It's not legal - they have to provide exactly as specified in EHCP, which is why it's so important to pin this down and not let woolly or vague stuff to remain.

Were you the poster whose ds had his safe room taken over for PE changing?

honkinghaddock Thu 09-Jun-16 12:23:15

When my son was in mainstream he was supposed to have full time 1:1. There were a few incidents of him hurting other children which I couldn't work out how they could have happened with a TA supporting him. I eventually discovered his TA had been with another child at the time.

MaddyHatter Thu 09-Jun-16 12:25:35

yes bialy, that is now sorted, thanks to me involving the Governors smile

lougle Thu 09-Jun-16 12:54:03

I think if your EHCP says 'or equivalent' then that, sadly, gives them the wiggle room to use the money how they please. They will say the 1:10 is giving him supported socialisation, etc.

bialystockandbloom Thu 09-Jun-16 12:59:45

I remember, you were impressively calm, reasonable but assertive. You'll do well grin

I have found that you do have to pick your battles (unfortunately) and sometimes have to be a bit pragmatic. The whole thing is exhausting enough, and sometimes you have to save your energy for the bigger fights - of which there'll almost certainly be lots with schools…

So for e.g. if the situation with the 1:4 ratio isn't impacting adversely on your ds for now, maybe accept this for now, and concentrate on those things which are more serious.

As I said, we've had to get really serious a few times with ds's school - once when they stood against us at appeal (before he'd even started school), once when he started and despite statement, they tried to get away with "we'll see how it goes, assess him ourselves and then decide what support he needs" (no you fucking won't), then again when they removed support as "he didn't need" it (yes he fucking did). Those battles were so time consuming, tiring and disheartening, that we allow ourselves to not fight too hard on those things that are not seriously affecting ds at the moment (e.g. his current TA being the actual class one, as it is working quite well). The only thing I do kick myself for is that we let them get away his 25 hours a week TA who was allocated as TA to a completely different class, when her funding was totally provided by the LA angry

It is totally unfair, and as you say, the fact that they are using funding for your ds to benefit others is unfair, but if the actual practice is benefiting him, the funding issue might be something you have to swallow, just for your own wellbeing. There are years of battling, and I have come to realise I don't have the energy to challenge every time even if the principle sucks.

But also be aware that this may be the thin end of the wedge. School will probably think Ah, we got away with x, so we can get away with y and z. So I'm definitely not advocating accepting something which could lead to even less support, or accept a situation such as the 1:10 issue - I'd definitely challenge this as with that many other children it is very hard to see how he will get any support from this.

Ultimately, he should get what is specified. If you haven't already, familiarise yourself with the SENCOP (which still applies to EHCP). Don't let them try to get away with the old "support can be provided flexibly" kind of lines. The ins and outs of funding etc are not the issue - they have the funds for x support, so x support is what he should be getting.

honkinghaddock Thu 09-Jun-16 13:06:46

Even with the word equivalent they still have to give a total of 25 hours 1:1. 20 hours of 1:1 and 10 hours of 1:2 would be equivalent but what they have said they will provide isn't.

RedHelenB Thu 09-Jun-16 13:13:15

It is a very rare child that actually needs 1 - 1 for the entire school day. Any child needs to learn to be as independent as possible, to learn to socialise to learn to take turns etc - this won't happen if an adult is exclusively with just them for the entire school day. Working with an adult within a group setting, having the teacher or classroom assistant with them for some of the day is also necessary.

GoblinLittleOwl Thu 09-Jun-16 13:14:26

As always, have you discussed this with the school first before airing it on Mumsnet?

'lunch time when he is in the Learning Mentors room as he doesn't eat in the dining hall, there are 9 other kids there and she is using the time to encourage social skills and playing together.'
How do you propose his social skills and playing together are encouraged if the time is 1-1?
It sounds a very sensible distribution of support; entirely 1-1 means he will become totally dependent on TA support, which will not help his development.

enterYourPassword Thu 09-Jun-16 13:21:13

Do you actually want him to see and be with no one but the TA for the entire day?

"However, it looks to me, like a salaried member of staff who is there over lunch break as the room has to be supervised, is being used for 5hrs of my DS's funding... which means the school is absorbing money given to them by the council to support my son for 9 other kids!"

But that contact time the 'salaried' member of staff is providing means they will have that time as non-contact during another period leading to costs.

Whilst your son is specifically allocated much more money than many others, how is 'his' money being absorbed? Do you think that the fact that there are 9 others means that the 1 hour should count as 6 minutes? Really?

but there are 9 other kids there and she is using the time to encourage social skills and playing together.

And you see this as a bad thing or is it more to do with getting all of everything you're entitled to?

honkinghaddock Thu 09-Jun-16 13:42:04

I think the op just wants everything her child needs and he has been assessed as needing this level of support. I can see there is a lack of understanding of the role of a 1:1.

honkinghaddock Thu 09-Jun-16 13:43:40

The lack of understanding being from other posters not the op.

lougle Thu 09-Jun-16 14:00:12

I think that people are pointing out that 1:1 support isn't actually the inherently beneficial thing that people assume it is. But you are right that if a child has been awarded 1:1 support, that's what they should get. However, we know that the wording is crucial and so many times the wording isn't explicit enough to secure true 1:1 support.

bialystockandbloom Thu 09-Jun-16 14:19:25

1:1 support doesn't mean that the child is separated from his peers, taught exclusively in a corridor by a TA, or shouldn't have group time. The ideal scenario is that there is a good, expert trained TA who is on hand at all times during the specified hours to specifically support the child. It could be from a distance at those times when the child doesn't need specific 1:1 teaching. It should certainly include group activities to address social development, so will necessarily include other children.

But there is a difference between a TA putting together a group to specifically work on e.g. social targets identified for the child with ECHP and which needs a large group of other children to fulfil those targets, and taking a group of 10 children to supervise during "unstructured times" (as in OP) which just happens to include the child with EHCP. That's the kind of woolly 'support' which schools just love to provide.

If school can demonstrate clearly and explicitly how that hour of unstructured time with 9 other children is directly addressing his needs as specified in his EHCP/IEP, great. Somehow I doubt it.

bialystockandbloom Thu 09-Jun-16 14:25:43

Maddy, I think you need to clarify with the school whether those 9 children would be in that lunchtime room anyway under supervision, or whether this has been set up for your ds and they have been selected to specifically help with working on an identified target for your ds.

ThisisMajorTomtoGroundControl Thu 09-Jun-16 16:24:06

OP I read some of your other threads. It's exhausting dealing with ongoing Sen issues in school, especially one that seems determined to be awkward. All these Sen problems happen in my child's school too. I don't think we even have a senco at the moment. Nobody seems able to find them.

MaddyHatter Thu 09-Jun-16 17:17:40

bialy, they would be there any way.

I had a meeting with IASS today, so we're going to have a meeting with the SENCo to make sure his EHCP and his IEP are working with each other and that the funding is being used appropriately.

As to the other ongoing thing, i did make a formal complaint, i'm waiting on a response, depending on what they come back with, IASS feel i can push for a discrimination tribunal.

bialystockandbloom Thu 09-Jun-16 17:41:11

The crux is whether the support provided is meeting his needs as set out in his EHCP. Don't get dragged into discussions about the funding - this shouldn't be the issue. They need to demonstrate exactly how this hour is working on his targets (what in the old Statement format is termed Objectives). Simply having an adult present to supervise is no more than babysitting if that adult is not doing anything proactive.

Penfold007 Thu 09-Jun-16 18:14:18

Your DS is only getting 16 hours and 45 mins out of there 25 hours. Ring your local authority and ask to speak to your child's SEND officer. What you describe isn't unusual but it's not right.

mamachick2016 Tue 01-Nov-16 10:50:29

Maddy u kno how u feel trying to get my son more than 2 hrs a day at mo is impossible. They say he needs 1:1 but that I kno the kids never have 1:1 they r always in a group. I have been through the ehcp thinking it would be best as his speech is slow but they've picked up everything all kids do and piled it on including his bone condition which genetic saying it will help. Using them to keep him out of school. I'm definitely appealing as 15hrs a week ain't enough which is what he's granted. I went through hell with my eldest and he was on the sen and now having to go through hospital to make sure his 1st school didnt screw up. This school not off to great start.

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