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Reports for EHCP- right to see them?

(42 Posts)
FrayedHem Fri 04-Nov-16 14:38:53

DS1's statement transfer is underway. I had a bit of a struggle to get the EP involved; one did attend a meeting at school a couple of weeks after the transfer meeting. He did refuse to actually meet DS1, but went through the paperwork, made suggested amendments to the drafted EHCP and was going to do a report.

I just chased up the EP report and was told the SEN case officer would send it with the EHCP in due course. As the EHCP won't be issued until February, I would like to see a copy before then. Do I have the right to request it?

blaeberry Fri 04-Nov-16 17:42:15

Absolutely! (Though the right is your dc's so if your dc is over 14 they may have to request it themselves). If they won't just send it to you, put in a Subject Access Request; ico.gov.uk has sample letters but there may be a form on your council's website. You may have to pay £10. While you are at it, you may as well get your money's worth and request any other information they have on your dc (though specify the EP report to make sure you get it).

FrayedHem Fri 04-Nov-16 18:18:41

Thanks, hopefully the SEN case officer will save me the hassle of going official but it's good to know I'm within rights to see it. DS1 is 11.

Is it usual for the EP not to send a copy of their reports to parents? I'm baffled why he won't just give me a copy.

Melawati Fri 04-Nov-16 18:44:04

That does seem odd, the LA EP who assessed DD for her Ehcp sent me a draft copy of her report and we then had a telephone conversation totally it through before it fed into the draft Ehcp.
Your EP sounds a bit obstructive though so perhaps they are just being difficult for the sake of it.

FrayedHem Fri 04-Nov-16 19:14:26

Thanks Melawati. Your experience is what I was expecting but the EP service has been very obstructive. They didn't want to do a report at all and questioned whether it was a good use of resources when the school requested EP involvement in the statement transfer. He was last seen by an EP when he was 3 which is why I followed through with quoting the relevant law (thanks to MN). The EP's email was full of "if you need more help let me know" and I just about refrained from responding with "if you actually want to help just send me the report directly."

We want a specialist placement for DS1 but a couple of the comments the EP made in the meeting makes me suspect he was not going to be supportive. As the LA are starting their sift of placements this month I was rather hoping to see the report before they got it, but apparently it is already there.

I also had a strange phone call from the school SENCo today, cancelling a meeting they hadn't actually invited me to, so I am feeling quite suspicious about it all.

zzzzz Fri 04-Nov-16 19:40:22

Ask school to photocopy their copy for you and anything else you want to see. Totally standard to see everything about your child.

FrayedHem Fri 04-Nov-16 19:47:22

Thanks zzzzz, It didn't occur to me that the school would have a copy, I'll get on to them on Monday. Do they have to give me a copy if it wasn't them who wrote it? I'm not expecting them to be forthcoming either.

Doordye Fri 04-Nov-16 20:23:14

Ive had the same argument previously with my LA, I xhecked with iPSEA and they confirmed that for EP they are within their rights to do this. Very odd in light of coproduction and all that.

FrayedHem Fri 04-Nov-16 20:36:19

Thanks Doordye, although sorry to hear you had a similar experience. Did IPSEA expand on why the EP can do this? I expect as I've had to quote the law to get them involved they are repaying me by being as difficult as possible. I wonder if I could still get a copy via the subject access request.

I'm also still tempted to look into whether the EP refusing to meet DS1 (meeting was on the school premises) would be deemed acceptable.

zzzzz Fri 04-Nov-16 20:51:48

My understanding is that you have the right to see any data held about your child. You also can refuse any assessment or ask to be present.

FrayedHem Sat 05-Nov-16 09:58:24

Thanks zzzzz, I just don't whether I have the right to demand to see the report now, as they are saying I can see when the EHCP is issued in February. It's all just very frustrating. I was there for the Ed Psych visit, but the input is from him going through the school and specialist teacher report and our discussion with no attempt to observe or meet DS1, which is what I am wondering is strictly speaking acceptable and also why I am very keen to see what he has actually reported.

When I was wrangling with the EP service I spoke to a local SN charity, who told me as I had input from the specialist teaching team there was no need for EP involvement as the Specialist Teaching team is LA so counts as that input. (and I was lucky the agreed to come to a meeting at all). From all my readings of the law this is untrue but they very much seem to be sympathising with the EP service being overstretched than anything else.

zzzzz Sat 05-Nov-16 10:10:54

Well the specialist teaching team AREN'T Educational Psychologists, so while their input is probably interesting it's NOT the same thing. I personally would want to see all the reports before the EHCP draft was sent to me so I could think about what I thought was appropriate provision. If the report has been produced then what reason IS there for you not to have it?

(NB remember once the draft is produced you only have about 10 days to turn it around and sign it off. How would you get a second opinion in that time frame if you wanted one? What if you want to investigate and discuss with specialist settings/units?)

I think you don't want to approach it from the point of view of "we want Ed psych and we want reports and we want them done in this way and we want it now" more "we'd like to have a chance to think about the evidence being presented in case we want to get advice on what would help him".

As an indication of how things work here. I get automatic copies of reports and often request that I pass what I want on to schools etc. This has NEVER been queried and I have copies of every reports (as far as I know).

FrayedHem Sat 05-Nov-16 10:39:38

It was the Specialist Teacher who said DS1 should have an EP assessment which is why I pushed for it after the school's request was met with "is this a good use of resources". What concerns me is an allegedly independent charity is giving out incorrect advice to help the poor EP Service hmm. Not a battle for today, but it does mean there is limited RL help as I've previously had their help with other issues.

Your suggested angle would work well as we have named a specialist placement. I know the LA are starting the process for deciding specialist placements now and I'd be beyond gutted if the EP report was pitched against that, given the circumstances.

I'll push forward and see what happens.

flowers

zzzzz Sat 05-Nov-16 10:46:44

Here, school have their own budget for EP so they pay for the time they want. It's more like booking a hair cut and certainly they don't get second guessed and told to spend their money elsewhere by the provider shock.

How can the EP have advised without meeting the child confused??? Surely the whole point is that they are advising on the child's setting and how to utilise it to his best advantage.

FrayedHem Sat 05-Nov-16 11:17:26

The EP Service alleged that the Head Teacher told them EP input was not needed for the transfer. This apparently happened in March, the EHCP transfer was delayed from being done at the AR as the LA were so behind and the transfer started in September. By an amazing coincidence, the HT retired and the EP's evidence of her instruction consists of a spreadsheet that only has DS1's name on it, marked as not EP required hmm. It was when the school SENCo made the EP request after the transfer meeting that they came back with the resources comments.

The charity told me a percentage of children getting EP visits which was very low but I can't remember whether it was 10% or 30% blush. It was low which is why I was lucky to get them to a meeting even if they wouldn't meet DS1.

I queried it with him, it just wasn't needed as the school and specialist teacher reports were comprehensive, and the EP only get involved where that isn't the case. He did go through the school's transfer paperwork with some amendments which were good, all the while maintaining there was no EP Service needed. I restated the law to him, and he was genuinely surprised to hear parents had to give their agreement on no EP input. He was going to note down my frustration though.

The EP visit was also 3 weeks after the EHCP transfer had started so the school had already submitted paperwork. The EP did contact the SEN caseworker and arranged to accept the amendments. I'm thinking I should have requested to see it before that happened.

After a rather patronising meeting with the local mainstream Secondary SENCo, I'm obsessed with getting DS1 into the Specialist placement so I'm going to take it as far as I can.

FrayedHem Sat 05-Nov-16 11:33:42

I should have said the Head used to be the SENCo as well, which is why the HT would have been dealing with the EP team.

blaeberry Sat 05-Nov-16 14:45:12

In our area there are three levels of EP involvement; 1. general advise to the school, 2. advice about a particular child and their circumstances, and finally 3. Assessing the child and possibly even doing some work with them (though that might be a fourth level). Any child with an EHCP equivalent (we are in Scotland) would definitely have the EP meeting and assessing the child and coming to review meetings. If a child was going to panel for a special school then they would have to have EP reports and assessments to place before the panel.

FrayedHem Sat 05-Nov-16 16:13:39

Thanks Blaeberry. The law is clear that the EP have to be involved in the transfer unless parents and others agree it is not required, yet I still find myself doubting it because all parties are united in saying it isn't so. I have been repeatedly told the EP has 30,000 children on his caseload, but at the same time mentioned dropping in unannounced to the local secondary school as a mystery shopper exercise hmm. I also asked how exactly the EP service would know which children didn't have sufficient school reports for EHCP (which is their criteria for getting involved) and I was met with silence!

I'm trying not to borrow trouble before it's happened, but I can't shake the feeling I am going to have to go down the grievance/legal route. I'm also in the process of getting DS3 assessed for ASD so it's all a bit full-on.

FrayedHem Mon 07-Nov-16 12:22:49

To update I won't be getting the report as there is no report! The Ed Psych paperwork is a 1 page, 2 lines. The action following the meeting was for SENCo to incorporate the amendments to the transfer paperwork that were reviewed with the EP, school and me.

zzzzz Mon 07-Nov-16 12:28:13

Do you have those amendments that they feel were discussed and a copy of the minutes of the meeting?

If not my own path would be to take this opportunity to help them through the process by writing what you feel was discussed and what those amendments are going to be wink

Send hard copy and soft copy to all concerned grin

StarlightMcKenzee Mon 07-Nov-16 12:40:12

Firstly, it is your child's LEGAL ENTITLEMENT to have a full assessment of need for an EHCP transfer.

Secondly, it is your right to see all information that someone else holds on your child.

Tell the EP that unless the report arrives by return of email/post you will be making a formal complaint about the LA breach of the law.

(use kind wording, - do it in writing/email - think of this as evidence for a possible future tribunal judge to see)

StarlightMcKenzee Mon 07-Nov-16 12:41:09

Just caught up with the rest of the thread.

As always - do what zzzzz says!!

StarlightMcKenzee Mon 07-Nov-16 12:44:07

Dear LA,
As you are aware it is your legal duty to carry out a full assessment of my child for the EHCP. On x date, I was informed by a member of your staff - namely y, that this will not happen because the EP has 30,000 children on his caseload.

I'm certain this is a mistake. However in order offer my assistance, please find below the name and address of a reputable EP I would be happy for you to commission.

Love to you all...

FrayedHem Mon 07-Nov-16 13:00:27

The Ed Psych went through the school's paperwork and crossed out and added bits by hand. I thought all the suggestions were good, my issue was the refusal to meet or observe DS1. I'm sure the school will give me the updated paperwork but the EP has basically pushed their input onto the school and I don't think that it leaves me anywhere to go.

I spoke to SOSSEN this morning and they said the meeting wouldn't count as an assessment. As we are trying for a specialist placement, the advice was, if we could afford it, to get some private assessments done so we are in a strong position for appeal. This was when I asked worried the EP would be biased against at specialist provision (EP commented if you want them to become more autistic place them with other autistics) than non-existent.

StarlightMcKenzee Mon 07-Nov-16 13:46:05

Bloody Hell!

You can't make someone autistic, nor remove it from someone!!!! shock

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