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What is school liable for? Tribunal question

(10 Posts)
amunt Wed 12-Oct-16 21:44:24

Ds' HT said today that the school could not support us in our appeal against Herts for ABA (which staff recognise as having a huge impact) provision because the school would then be liable to pay for it. Is this true? It doesn't sound right. It would imply that the SENCO for example would have to lie during the hearing in order not to be positive lest the school gets lumbered with the bill.

Thanks

tartanterror Wed 12-Oct-16 22:01:24

School funding comes in different levels from the LA. There is the basic level of finance (level 1?) which is about £3k per pupil (I think). Then there is a top up - called notional allowance from memory - which is calculated based on the number of pupils on SEN (SEN Support plus EHCP) and Free School Meals. You would have to ask the school or LA to find out what they get per pupil - it's all murky.

If you check your LA policy on additional funding for SEN it probably says that the school have to fund a child up to £6k or so and then the EHCP would provide funding to cover the costs over and above the £6k.

So the HT is right, they will probably have to pay more than they get on average for each SEN child to cover the ABA costs, even if the EHCP pays for the balance. They are probably worried about other parents asking for the same service as they can't possibly fund all the SEN kids to the tune of £6k. However it is best to stay out of discussions about money with the school as you need to advocate for your child. The school needs to sort out its finances. I'm sure our school put DS on the SEN register to boost their funds with no intention of giving him any support and I slightly wonder whether the money goes on any SEN at all sad Certainly now he has an ASD diagnosis they are certainly not falling over themselves to put anything in place angry The whole funding thing is very opaque and it seems fairly common to not have support from the school.

On the other hand, do you have any school reports or documents which provide support without their presence at the appeal? Good luck.

ZuleikaDobson Thu 13-Oct-16 22:46:10

I don't see how the school will conceivably be paying more for this. As tartan terror says, they get around £6K a year delegated funding for each child with SEN, and any costs over and above that are covered by the funding allocated to the EHCP. Therefore they can't be made to pay more than £6K, and they are already receiving that from the LA.

amunt Fri 14-Oct-16 09:26:58

Thanks both. I think HT is just using it as an excuse. It's incredible how easily some Heads will sacrifice the right support for one of their pupils just to stay in with the LA. Pathetic!

ZuleikaDobson Fri 14-Oct-16 13:26:40

Some school staff genuinely don't realise how SEN funding works. A friend of mine told me that her child's headteacher had a massive change of mind about her child's need for SALT once she realised that the cost wouldn't be coming out of the school budget. It could be worth asking the head why she thinks the school would have to pay for it when the law says that any cost over and above the delegated SEN funding of around £6K has to be borne by the LA.

amunt Fri 14-Oct-16 18:24:19

Thanks ZuleikaDobson. I will ask, at least it will clarify which side of the fence she is on.

tartanterror Fri 14-Oct-16 20:52:32

Hi - just to clarify they DON'T get £6k for every child on SEN Support! However once an EHCP is in place they only get the top up over-and-above the £6k. IPSEA suggested to me that this is why schools don't want people to apply for EHCP if the costs are less than £6k as when this is done on SEN support it is optional/negotiable - once on EHCP they are obliged to pay for it.

amunt Fri 14-Oct-16 22:53:57

Thanks Tartanterror
Ds has EHCP and gets zero support. He desperately needs 1:1 but new HT took it away as soon as she arrived with no consultation. Our EHCP was so awful it did not specify any provision.

ZuleikaDobson Sat 15-Oct-16 08:19:08

amunt, you need to ask for provision to be specified at the next annual review. If or when they refuse, you can appeal. The tribunal will certainly require provision to be specified.

tartanterror Sat 15-Oct-16 22:42:41

Amut you need to book a call back from the IPSEA helpline. They should be able to advise how to deal with school and also the LA. That's appalling!

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