Can an Ed psych refuse to attend an independent school?

(12 Posts)
Principality Mon 19-Nov-12 13:11:42

I do not want to give too much information away as it is not actually my DS, but that of a friend, I am so angry on her behalf and would very much like to help her.

Her DS, aged 5, attends the same independednt school as my children. He is a lovely boy and has some issues with speech and language processing. He is seen on the NHS by the SLT. She recently visited the school to work with his teachers so that they can provide appropriate support. At a later hospital appointment the SLT and my friend discussed the possibility of an Ed psych visiting his school to advise his teachers being helpful for him, and enable the teachers to provide correct support and make things eaasier for him. The SLT agreed and said, as the department was in the same building, she would nip out and see if she could get him an appointment.

She apparently came back and said I am very sorry but the Ed psych team will not visit an independent school, only state schools, on the NHS. You will have to pay for a private assessment!

I am sure this cannot be right?? Can it?? My friend pays her taxes like everyone else and is therefore surely entitled to access appropriate services when required!

I have advised her to complain to PALS and also write to the MP.

insanityscratching Mon 19-Nov-12 13:26:23

It is what happens here the ed psych's offer support and guidance to maintained schools only. If an ed psych is needed your friend will need to pay. If the child has SEN that need a lot of support he may well be better off in a maintained school tbh to benefit not only from ed psych input but also outreach services.

It may be that the ed psych is funded by the lea and the private school don't "buy into" the services, so if the ed psych did it it would be unpaid, which is obviously not on.

Yes this is right - the Ed Psychs are employed by the LEA so are linked to certain state schools. DS1 attended a private school and we had this problem. As it turned out, the private school staff were inflexible in their approach to him (he has Aspergers, is very academically advanced but struggles socially & emotionally) and we took him out - now he is thriving in a state school and has access to so much more support (Ed Psych & Autism Outreach) and in fact the state school challenges him academically as they are more flexible (eg send him up 2 years for maths lessons - something the prep school refused to do so he was constantly bored).

Principality Mon 19-Nov-12 13:40:16

Ok, thanks for your help.

I'm taken aback, but very grateful for your responses.

Well someone has to pay the ed psych! And it generally makes sense to be the lea as they visit lots of schools. I think academies can choose whether to buy in or not, so there may be more people in your friends situation, unless it is compulsory for them to do so.

State schools are funded and supported by LA who provide services for them. EP is one of those services. Academies and independent schools can sometimes buy in those services, or they are at liberty to chose not to or even to buy from elsewhere.

However, if you threatened to withdraw the child to access state support and starting hinting at applying for a statement to get funding, you might find the LA EP is willing to visit the school to give them strategies to keep him (and his potential expense). You can sometimes win funding for an independent school if the child has SEN.

LIZS Mon 19-Nov-12 16:02:20

Agree Ed Psych is an LA resource not NHS. She would have to pay privately for an assessment/observation if he is attending a fee paying school. Unfair,I'd agree (we fell foul similarly) but that is the norm. She may be lucky in getting the school to contribute but may also find that the school is reluctant to help and may not offer as good support as a state school could.

PandaNot Mon 19-Nov-12 16:09:51

The EP and the local authority only have to fulfil their statutory duties which are around assessment for a statement. This is for all pupils in the LA, whether or not they are at a private school. They will not visit to give advice And talk to the teachers as this is not part of their statutory duties.

Floralnomad Mon 19-Nov-12 16:14:48

It's the case with all these sorts of things . We had to pay for the hearing impaired teacher to go and assess our DS when he was at an independent school . When he went to the local grammar he got seen at least once a term . Sometimes children with issues are better served in the state system .

Mummyoftheyear Tue 15-Jan-13 23:24:56

Sadly, yes. Your friend will need to pay privately for an independent Ed. Psych. to visit his school- very often independent schools encourage/ pressurise parents (subtly) to use an E.P. they have worked with many times before and who they feel will advise in ways the school will be 'in tune with'.

BackforGood Tue 15-Jan-13 23:51:27

Agree with everyone else. The money to pay for the Local Authority services, comes from the local authority schools budgets. Private schools don't contribute so their children can't then benefit. Not that an EP in our LA would have the capacity to advise teaching staff on speech and language issues. Why isn't the SaLT doing that ? confused

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