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LEA Funding independent mainstream school

(41 Posts)
T3009 Sun 18-Nov-12 22:45:59

Dear all, has anyone been successfull with the LEA funding (whether partial or full) an independent mainstream school - please share your experience/best approach etc
DS will start reception in Sept 2013, and we're looking into independent maisntream school. He performs better in smaller setting.

Many thanks

All children perform better in a smaller setting so you won't get it on that basis.

You will have to prove that he can't perform at all in a state mainstream which will be very hard (though not impossible) to do. You will also have to prove that the difference in performance justifies the cost to the tax payer.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Mon 19-Nov-12 08:54:38

Does the mainstream school have a unit? What particular learning difficulties does DS have? Proof that DS could not perform at all in state ms would also likely prove that he was not able to perform in any ms - state or independent.

T3009 Mon 19-Nov-12 09:47:48

hi, thanks for response. DS is HF asd - in the process of finalising statement - so far been given funding for 25 hours of ABA in private nursery - we are funding for the nursery.
He performs better in a smaller setting, he fnds big group quite overwhelming - hence we would like, if at all, possible to put him in a small group in an independent school.
I would like him to eb supportd by an ABA shawdow in small setting in mainstream.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Mon 19-Nov-12 10:32:56

From the LEAs pov this could be belt and braces if they were being expected to fund independent setting with small classes and 1:1. You could of course pay the fees yourself with the 1:1 and other interventions funded by the LEA. Would this be a possibility?

T3009 Mon 19-Nov-12 11:03:23

We'll we're happy to pay the fees provided they pay the support..This is why I wnat to hear about others who have been through this situation - whether they paid fees and LEA fund support or LEA paid fees etc etc...We're quite flexible to be honest.

hatchypom Mon 26-Nov-12 14:37:14

We paid fees and lea funded support

gaia Tue 04-Dec-12 14:45:06

Hi T, I've responded to your message and just seen this thread as well. I just wanted to say that like hatchypom we paid the school fees and the lea funded the 1 to 1 support. One of our arguments was that all we were asking for was the support our child would have got in the state sector. And again, we found IPSEA very helpful.

moosemama Tue 04-Dec-12 17:15:41

Sorry for the hijack, but I am interested in the idea of parents paying fees and LEA funding interventions.

We are currently in the situation of just finding out our chosen secondary (new academy) is refusing to be named on ds1's statement.

We've been advised by various people to look at a particular out of area independent, that isn't a ss, but has a lot of expertise in supporting children with a variety of SENs, particularly HFA and AS and these make up a good proportion of their intake. It looks fantastic, but obviously we would have to fight to get the LEA to fund it. There are children from our LEA already attending the school, so there is a precedent there.

We have been told by the statementing officer that they want ds in the secondary we've chosen and that given their reasons for refusal, if they lose the fight to get him in there, he is effectively rendered unsuitable for any ms secondary.

Is it easier to get the LEA to agree to an independent placement if you offer to pay the fees yourself (not that I have a clue how we would manage it) and is this something that would be possible with an out of area placement?

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 04-Dec-12 17:24:22

I have a good pal who had to fight like hell (though not as far as tribunal) but eventually got LSA paid for while she paid school fees. It has been a fantastic success I would say, and he may be able to fly solo at secondary.

This is exactly what we want to do, if we can find the school which will accept it! We are just at the beginning of statementing process, all we want is some ABA funding, and we have been upfront about this from the outset.

Hatchypom and gaia that is very encouraging.

Also encouraging news from sickof, and glad it was a success.

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 04-Dec-12 17:37:55

The thing is that, in theory, if your child's statement would entitle them to an LSA in mainstream, then those funds should be flexibly available elsewhere. I make that about £20 k per annum - eg 15k salary for LSA and £5k for the pupil premium or whatever it s called. The new SEN white paper has banged on about parents having more choice of provider, so.... But of course what happens at local council level is often far removed from what central govt is trying to make happen!

mariammama Tue 04-Dec-12 22:19:14

But in the new arrangements for 2013/14, the state school place itself is costed at £4k and then the first £6k of extra SEN funding comes from the school's existing budget. So the LA only has to top up a bit.

I would guess the private school £10-12k fees would be considered as equivalent to the state's £4k, and the LA would want you/ private school to cough up the first £6k of SEN support on top. You might win if challenging this, but it'd be complex.

Can you put DS in a big nursery 2 days and a small one 2 days? to prove that big groups are totally worthless to him?

T3009 Tue 04-Dec-12 22:34:06

Hi, I am not very much into the arrangements for 2013/2014 - where can I find all the information about funding etc... That's a good idea, I could send him to a smaller setting at an independent school's nursery as from January for 2 days and prove that he performs better in smaller group!
I will get a private ed psych report and private SLT report at the time of the review.
We are finalising current Statement which states ABA in mainstream nursery - DS already attends private nursery where he gets 15 hours free and I top up.
The proposed statement mentioned special school which we refused.
My main worry are the units in our borough - how could I argue against the unit.

sickofincompetenceandbullshit Wed 05-Dec-12 07:22:46

In my LA, a number of children have their fees and TA paid for at selective independent mainstreams...without Tribunal in some cases. Independent m/s is cheap compared to independent special!

We have a brand new special school in our borough (non-ABA, goodness knows why they are still setting up such schools without using the evidence base to inform their teaching but anyway...) and I don't imagine we would be able to argue against it (except for the fact that we believe that only ABA is the way to go for DS, which may not be their opinion!). That is why we are planning to go for (and pay for) indep school, I don't imagine the LEA would pay the school fees as they would argue he could go to their school for free.

So I am going to focus on getting ABA funded (or at least part-funded) and resign myself to paying the school fees. We were planning to have him go to indep school anyway, before we knew he had special needs (his name has been down from birth for several of the very academic schools but they are distinctly non-interested now).

ilikemysleep Wed 05-Dec-12 23:49:37

I'm sorry but it depends on your local authority.

I am certain that this info is correct as we have been briefed by barristers who specialise in SEN.

In the Code of Practice, and SEN law, there is no way that a local authority can legally name an independent mainstream school in the statement without being liable to pay the fees.

Some local authorities make arrangements eg to pay the same as the child would have had in state mainstream, but these are local arrangements.

If your LA doesn't make these local arrangements, they will be very reluctant to name a m/s independent as they will have to pay the fees as well as the additionality and this will make it an inefficient use of taxpayer's money as they can provide a mainstream education with the same additionality from within their own state schools.

With luck you'll have a LA that makes these arrangements, but if you don't they will likely fight you to tribunal, and if they are being reasonable in funding ABA etc they will have a strong case.

Well I very much hope I can make a deal with them as I have no intention of asking them to pay the school fees. I would not ask them to put the indep school into the statement, just the 1:1 help he will need at school (if they won't fund the full cost of an ABA tutor then just the equivalant of what a TA will cost would do, I would be happy to top it up).

PS if they are "being reasonable in funding ABA" I would not be taking them to Tribunal! All I want is a contribution to the ABA, if I even get a portion of that I won't fight them any further! Basically: I can afford private school, or ABA, or even private school and part of ABA, but probably not both private school and full cost of ABA.

T3009 please do let us know what your statement ends up saying!

T3009 Thu 06-Dec-12 12:31:47

theDudesmummy - hi basically they said only 25 hours of 1:1 funding which we will ue towards ABA, they do not want to put ABA on statement-advised to go for it at this stage and in the meantime, get all evidence for review in March./April. if they refuse to negotaite, we'll start appeal by Feb.
I will def go for independent school. FOund a lovely school yesterday but with witing list!

thereonthestair Thu 06-Dec-12 14:39:55

the school I want to send my DS to is independent small classes etc, and I want to send him because he can't walk without a walker (CP) and he really can't cope in a big school as he would get knocked over. It also happens to be the nearest school to home by some margin and therefore the only school he would currently have a hope of being able to get to independently. The school have a few children who have 1-1 funded by our lea where parents pay the basic fees. I am therefore going to keep a watch on this as I am working out what to do next. DS gets 25 hours 1-1 in nursery so I hope it may carry over

T3009 is that 25 hours a week of the "1 to 1"? If I could get that I would be really happy! I don't care whether they call it ABA or a barrel of cheese, I just want the money!

T3009 Thu 06-Dec-12 17:17:05

Hi, yes 25 hrs 1:1 support at nursery...

PipinJo Thu 06-Dec-12 19:26:23

secondary it is easier to get placement in ind m/s, at primary level if your area has no ASD school/unit etc you might have a case...or if your dc fails at several m/s schools first to show it doesn't work over most of nursery/foundation and key stage 1 (in ds case). Getting the ABA should be first priority then ind m/s as in term of cost to LEA help to your dc!

That is great T3009, that is exactly what I am looking for, just some funding for the 1:1...

Veritate Sat 08-Dec-12 11:06:47

ilikemysleep is correct in saying that the law requires LAs to fund independent school placements fully if they agree to the placement there. However, if they agree to fund support whilst the parents fund the fees, the reality is that no-one is going to kick up a fuss about it - the only people who would challenge it normally are the parents, and they're not going to do so if they agreed to the arrangement and know that the only result of making a fuss is that the LA would name a maintained school. So LAs do quite often agree to deals with parents and, as some people have said, it seems to work OK. The trouble is that they can't be forced to do so.

ilikemysleep Sat 08-Dec-12 15:52:56

Veritate, my LA will not, after they entered this arrangement with a parent who turned around a couple of months after getting the independent school named on the understand that they (parents) would pay fees, and LA would pay extras.....the parents then announced they could no longer afford fees and as LA as named school as suitable etc they then had by law to step in and pay fees.
Those parents are doubtless very satisfied at getting one over on the LA and getting a free mainstream independent school place. However they have now ensured that no other SEN child will get support in mainstream independent from our LA again....

But why does the school have to be named on the statement? If I choose to send my child to a private school at my own expense surely that is no business of the LEA?

ilikemysleep Sat 08-Dec-12 21:16:23

The LA would argue that if you are choosing private school for a child who won't be calling on LA resources that is one thing, but if you are choosing private school with support from the local authority then it has a responsibility to ensure that the setting can meet the needs described in the statement, after all it will be handing a stack of cash over to the school. I'm not sure about the legality of not naming a school, I think they may have to, but if you have to get into that then no doubt you'lll get informed advice from a solicitor.

OK well I will have to make some kind of an agreement with them I suppose. Yes I will get legal advice at that stage, I think. They won't be handing over any cash to the school, though, what I am looking for is for them to help fund my ABA tutors, so it is me they would be paying. He is not going to be going to school for nearly two years anyway, so first I just want some funding for the ABA home programme (including nursery ABA shadow, which I currently fund). I woud then be looking to just carry on getting some help with the 1:1 support, but to gradually transfer this partly to a school seting.

Oh well, I can see this is not going to be straightforward, but i am determined to get my DS what he needs! Meanwhile, the EP and SALT reports from the LEA and local NHS are very supportive of the current ABA programme and the progress he is making on it (as is our privately instricted EP, but we have not revealed that one yet!), so that is good. All agree that he needs 1:1 and will not learn in a group/school/nursery setting without it.

PipinJo Sun 09-Dec-12 12:15:29

you have to play the long game to get what dc needs by proving what they offer fails.

If you go and say I want this! You will get their backs up because you have not tried Maintained MS. If you can afford Ind then pay that and fight for ABA as treble the cost.

Yes, I have no intention of either asking them to pay for school, or sending him to their school/s. I can afford the indep school, yes, he was always going to go to a private school. I just want something towards the 1:1 that he definitely needs.

PipinJo Sun 09-Dec-12 21:53:43

Think there is confusion here..I was talking to OP not Dudes re getting LEA to fund Ind MS school.

OP yes doing the nursery ind and maintained at same time would be good opp to get evidence for tribunal

Sorry didn't mean to hijack and cause confusion!

zumbaleena Mon 10-Dec-12 19:06:38

can anyone of you guide pls? dd's private nursery refusing to let in an ABA shadow

T3009 Tue 11-Dec-12 09:30:24

@Zumbaleena, I'd move to another nursery - not the right attitude- our nursery has been so supportive.

zumbaleena Tue 11-Dec-12 10:08:45

I will speak to the nursery once more with more proof and more emphasis this week and put forth the proposal more strongly.

I'd agree with that, def move nursery. Our nursery has been great, allowed tutor in, send their staff to all our ABA workshops, always interested to learn about ASD and ABA etc

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