Advanced search

To think if your dc attends an independent school its unfair that they cannot access other state services?

(38 Posts)
Y0L0 Wed 30-Apr-14 22:23:48

My eldest child has a learning disability, they also attend an independent school funded by a bursary. Therefore we are not well off but we cannot access the additional time required for public examinations (GCSEs and 'A' levels) as to do that an Educational Psychologist report is required.

If we were in a state school we would have free access to an Ed Psych but because we are in an independent school we have to pay at least �475 to obtain the report. No report no extra time - not the independent's rules but the state's rules.

Therefore we cannot access the additional time or other allowances available, thus putting my child at a disadvantage.

Mrsdoasyouwouldbedoneby Wed 30-Apr-14 22:30:56

Is there another way to access the ED PSch. Could you go through your GO for instance, or the person who diagnosed your son? It's difficult because whilst you are in a private school, you are not really paying for it as the bursary had provided for it. Does the school have additional funding you can apply for in addition to the bursary?

WooWooOwl Wed 30-Apr-14 22:31:24


They still come in to private schools and dish out vaccinations without making parents pay, I don't see why an ed psych report should be any different.

fairyfuckwings Wed 30-Apr-14 22:32:22

My daughter's in state but I still had to pay for the ed psych report. It was only £220 though (up north).

Charley50 Wed 30-Apr-14 22:32:56

Not every child with a learning disability at a state school gets an educational psychologist report paid for by the LA / government. Far from it.
I thought it was possible to get exam arrangements made without a full diagnostic assessment. Does your school have an SEN? They should be able to advise you. They need to do some tests and send the results and request e.g extra time or reader, to the exam awarding body.

BrianButterfield Wed 30-Apr-14 22:34:53

In a state school, it's free to the parents but the school will pay for it (in a roundabout way maybe but it will come down to school/LA funding somewhere down the line). So the problem here is that the school won't pay for it, really.

fairyfuckwings Wed 30-Apr-14 22:35:18

Actually the 220 was for the full detailed document. The report to get extra time (for her sats but surely tge same?) Was only 25 quid.

475 sound really really excessive. If you're anywhere within commuting distance to West Yorkshire pm me and I'll give you the details if the centre we use.

Coldlightofday Wed 30-Apr-14 22:36:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Y0L0 Wed 30-Apr-14 22:37:29

The school's SEN, sent me a list of Ed Psych's and said I needed to get a report from one of them.

Our LEA pays for the Ed Psych here, and I've even had it suggested (by the Ed Psych's) to "register" them at a state school to get it free. I'm not sure how that would work exactly and I'm not comfortable with conning the system.

I hadn't thought of the GP so I will give that a go.

cestlavielife Wed 30-Apr-14 22:37:41

That doesnt sound quite right .you have the right to see an educational psychologist from local borough . Has the local LEA educational psychologist refused to assess your child ? For example this clearly says the service is free and does not say any exceptions

If you live in county a your child can access the ed psych service of that county. What you might find though is that if the school he attends is out of county then that can make the school visit tricky..but not impossible .

But if the school is out of county The local ed psych might not visit that school.

Which is the rule that says it has to be an ed psych report ? Why not a paediatrician ? Or other profressional ? Who has diagnosed the learning disability ?

BridgeOfWhys Wed 30-Apr-14 22:38:31

Many, many children with learning disabilities are on a very long waiting list to see an Ed Psyc. in mainstream schools. Although I don't know your sons needs, so can't really judge the level of need against those in a state school.

But I don't think you are being unreasonable as your son is on a bursary. Could you go through your GP?

Y0L0 Wed 30-Apr-14 22:39:11

Sorry x-post - I was advised the LEA pay for it here, it maybe the state school's budget.

bochead Wed 30-Apr-14 22:39:23

Apply to be assessed for a statement. Look on the IPSEA website for details of how to go about it.

Research if you are entitled to any grants from charities.

You may just have to stop eating for a few month though, as there's no guarantee you'll get funded.

SN education in this country is in a shambolic state, & so many children are now unable to obtain access to a suitable state education. It's totally at odds with the government's professed desire to reduce the welfare bill for adults in a nation with an appalling functional literacy and numeracy rate.

At my DCs state school (primary, 250 pupils) there is budget for one Ed.Psych assessment per year for the entire school, they are for the most seriously affected pupils only and most definitely not available to all those who have SENs. So, they have slightly more chance of getting one than in the independent sector, but they have to be the most severely affected pupil out of 250.

AndreasVesalius Wed 30-Apr-14 22:39:33

You may find this helpful

The Senco at our (state) school organises access arrangements - it is really rare for the Ed Psych to be involved.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 30-Apr-14 22:40:49

£475 is quite a conservative estimate you may find

My bill is already £2000 and we have to go for another appointment.

We haven't got a diagnosis as camhs refused to refer ds due to funding cuts but reccomended an Ed psych report instead which we like you can't access.

Jellypudmum Wed 30-Apr-14 22:41:54

My ds has SEN and the only way for him to access the support a full statement was to take him out of Ind Ed. We had the local pm and everyone try to fight our case but they would not pay for a TA to support him in an Ind school.

apermanentheadache Wed 30-Apr-14 22:41:56

It isn't true that children in independent schools cannot access state help for SEN. Local authorities can choose to fund add-on SEN provision, or even a full-time place, for children in independent schools. It doesn't often happen for reasons of costs but there is no legislative barrier.

It is definitely not true that all children in state schools get access to a free educational psychologist.

Y0L0 Wed 30-Apr-14 22:43:15

We got the diagnosis while at state primary school from an Ed Psych that the school arranged to come in, we are now at independent senior school and the original ed psych report is now "out of date" (4 years old) I didn't know they had a shelf life.

I thought the payment was a new thing with council cuts etc, but the EPs have advised me that our LEA are still funding them.

wonderstuff Wed 30-Apr-14 22:55:24

State schools get an SEN budget. I work in an academy and we are paying £900 for two days of ed psych time. The LEA will provide ed psych for purposes of a statutory assessment, which private schools or parents can request.

I am a SENCO and I write exam access reports. Most schools have someone trained to do this or buy in a specialist assessor. It cost my school £1500 iirc to put me through the course. I've seen independent schools advertise for specialist teachers with the qualifications to write exam access reports.

I think the failing here is your son's school, not the LEA.

Btw people often believe a diagnosis gives entitlement to exam access, this is not the case, an assessment of need needs to be carried out. Exam access is how exam boards comply with the Equalities Act. I would contact IPSEA and find out if actually the school can legally make you pay for access reports, may be considered discrimination.

cestlavielife Wed 30-Apr-14 22:55:57

Is it a diagnosis With a shelf life ?

Ask the Senco to submit the original diagnosis backed up by reports from school Senco showing what adaptations are necessary, IEPs etc. Has the diagnosis been accepted by your gp, by DLA etc?

Ask Senco to make a referral to your county ep service .

If the diagnosis is a lifelong diagnosis then it seems a waste of money for all to get a detailed ed psych report when all you need is something confirming the diagnosis still stands and recommended adaptations are x and y.

IDK Wed 30-Apr-14 22:56:46

It's not all rosy in the State system. Our school wouldn't organise a report because they didn't believe there was anything wrong with DS. Turns out that they were very wrong. The only way I could get him assessed was to pay for it myself.

Can you ask the school for help with the Ed Psych fee - it's in their interest because it will help to boost their exam results.

WooWooOwl Wed 30-Apr-14 23:14:08

I was told by the school that ds had to be assessed in Y9 because he'd need extra time in the exams, and that his earlier reports and diagnosis wouldn't be recent enough to convince the exam boards. They needed a specific assesment relating to the need for extra time before they would allow it.

Apparently they have really tightened up the criteria for being allowed extra time in exams.

I never realised that the school paid for the assessment. I guess we were lucky, especially as the school is in a different LA to the one in which we live.

sashh Thu 01-May-14 06:44:39


Try things like the Rotary club, they often have small amounts of money available as grants.

You could also look in to the DDA and Equality Acts to see if the school has a duty to provide this.

And yes they are time limited, my first one was done at age 32, I have had two more, then someone at last saw sense and now tests done post 18 are not time limited. It's because the help/support needed can change over time, which makes sense for a child, the support needed at 7 and 17 can be totally different, not so much for an adult.

My state school refused an ed psych report for us!

And others.

They don't just happily for them, they'd rather not....

Could you get money from family? Grandparents?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now