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Home education and EHC Plan

(15 Posts)
NettleTea Fri 09-Jan-15 17:00:35

Just wondering if anyone has done an EHC plan whilst home educating. My 14 year old daughter has a physical illness and probably a neurological issue too. She is currently home educated but plans to return to further education at 16 to study a vocational course, so the plan would be useful for that, and also potentially for any exams which she might do prior to that.

I know that people HAVE done this, I am just trying to track them down for some advice!

streakybacon Sat 10-Jan-15 09:50:48

Me. Got ds's statement at age 14 after four years of HE, then converted to EHCP (my LA was a Pathfinder) which was finalised just before Christmas, at 16.

Like you, I wanted a documented history to take forward to college applications, which I already knew would be beneficial. The college we want has already done a Learner Support Assessment and he's going part-time to a specialist college for autism support (pending funding agreement).

What do you want to know?

Have you read the SEN COP 2014? It's a huge document but most of what you'll need to know should be in there.


NettleTea Sat 10-Jan-15 19:42:52

Thank you streakybacon - I will have a read through the document and then get back with any questions. The social worker has done a fair number of these, but none where the home ed is already in place, so its in relation to that.

We also think that DD has PDA. She certainly ticks all the boxes, and her father (who she has had very very little contact with over the years since a baby, and all supervised so he was on 'good' ish behaviour) also had almost identical behaviour, so I dont think she is 'putting it on' (always a fear when LEA are involved after school refusal/extreme anxiety)
I am currently unsure whether to go private to pay for an evaluation from a specialist in this area of ASD, to avoid any question of doubt. The CF social worker wasnt sure - she said that she didnt know if it was necessary as they could document the behaviour and problems, and document the strategies, so was suggesting her 'complex needs' could be described without it (and she is aware of the cost, which I dont really have)

streakybacon Sun 11-Jan-15 07:54:51

To be honest, I'd get as much independent (of the LA) evidence as you possibly can so that you're relying on the LA's viewpoint as little as possible. There will most likely be an agenda to avoid assessing for funding reasons, and they won't want to commit themselves to promising support they can't afford. All LA reps will have one eye on their budgets so reporting is unlikely to be completely in the child's best interests. If you can get her needs documented independently you'll have other professional viewpoints to submit and they'll have to take notice of that - even if they don't at first, you can cross-reference back and MAKE them.

So I'd go for the ASD assessment (private could be the best route - you could wait two years for an assessment through NHS and then no guarantee of a dx as they rely heavily on input from schools - some even say they can't adequately assess home educated children hmm). I'd also include external advice if you can. My son has personal tutors and I got each of them to write a short piece about the difficulties he/they encountered during lessons (I gave them bullet points of what I wanted them to highlight and we wrote their reports together built around that). I've also used reports from sports leaders and group activities in the past for DLA claims etc - that's something else you could consider. Any evidence that shows she needs more help than a typical 14 year old girl to access everyday activity will help.

Remember ASD presents very differently in girls and 'good' behaviour is quite typical - they mask very well. Tony Attwood has written some excellent stuff about ASD in girls so you might want to read up on it, so you can phrase your next steps around it.

NettleTea Sun 11-Jan-15 19:09:26

I think you are thinking along the same lines as me there. The more info and proof, from different sources, the better. and a DEFINATE rather than an 'it looks like' reduces the argument.
With PDA if I go to a specialist who knows what to look for, they will say ASD with PDA behaviour, whereas if I went through CAHMS they may well miss the PDA and say she is just anxious, or worse still, ODD, which lays it at my door as a behavioural problem. They just seem really useless diagnosing atypical, especially if, on a good day, they are highly charismatic.
Luckily the guy recommended to me has worked with lots of girls and has done alot with PDA, including a friends daughter, so Im following my instints here.

streakybacon Sun 11-Jan-15 19:25:38

The NHS (CAMHS) often work in partnership with schools and the LA and if they're unsure, they'll say "wait and see", leaving you dangling for another six months or longer of getting nowhere and no help in between. And that's before they even begin the assessment process, which could take years. CAMHS also rely heavily on reports from 'the norm', ie schools. My son's assessment for ADHD was scuppered because the school he attended at that time lied on the Connors questionnaire so the two settings didn't match - he didn't get his diagnosis until we went privately a few months later (at which point he got it at first meeting hmm).

If you go private you'll have your dx (if applicable) in weeks, possibly less. Go for it, and good luck.

NettleTea Mon 12-Jan-15 09:26:26

yes, and until my daughter went into full meltdown mode and refused to even leave her room, she had been the model pupil.
I think we can get her medical team to confirm the meltdown behaviour, and also her dance teacher who has seen what has happened to her (and she has only just managed to return there after 18 months, now she has less anxiety, and only with the promise of being in a competition team)

Will get onto it now!

streakybacon Mon 12-Jan-15 12:49:54

That'll make good evidence smile. It's worth recording specific incidents from now on too, and submit that as a day-to-day account.

Ollyoscar18 Wed 04-Feb-15 18:22:37

New to Mumsnet so forgive me for any mistakes!! Have just taken big step of informing DS primary school that we are to HE her. Everything feels a bit scary at the moment but we felt we had no other choice. DS has Statement due to be transferred very soon to EHCP. Given that there seems to be no benefit to DS by having this plan since LA are not compelled to provide anything to HE child, is it really worth hassle of going through extra stress and hassle of meetings etc for EHCP? Especially when I'm trying to steer family in our journey of HE, and whatever that will hold!

streakybacon Thu 05-Feb-15 08:06:44

I always say yes, keep the statement/EHCP if you're able to, because although you're committed now to HE you never know what lies ahead and your circumstances might change. If one day you find you need a school place it will be in your son's interests to have a continuing record of his SN and how his needs are met. If he does have to return to school at some point, you can bring it up to date with a review and ensure he will get support at school. If he doesn't have a statement/EHCP he'd have to start from scratch with no support at all, as schools tend to 'wait and see', which can be tough on some children and particularly difficult for a HE child who isn't used to the school setting.

I have also found that having a statement has been helpful for college applications, and college learner support staff have agreed that they think differently when a student has a background known to the LA. College have to liaise with LAs about funding for a student's needs, if they fall into High Needs block and LA has to pay. If there is knowledge about the student these discussions are much easier for all concerned.

FionaJNicholson Fri 06-Feb-15 11:06:12

I'd say keep it for insurance. Be aware that yr LA may try and frame it as a favour to you by dropping it "now that you're home ed there's no point, save you the bother" but they shouldn't be doing this!

Ollyoscar18 Fri 06-Feb-15 11:33:45

We are due to have an early annual review at the end if Feb, ahead of the transfer to a EHCP and assessment by Community Paediatrician next week. I will strive to ensure that any overview of DD is as accurate as it can be although I don't know whether the school will still be allowed to have input. I don't think they should since we gave made HUGE decision to HE as they failed her so badly.

hilliz Tue 26-Jan-16 15:12:57

I am going through the EHC process as the LA think it is a good idea for my aspergers, visually impaired + other issues son to go to college after 5 years of home education. The college have assured me that the care and support can be provided but the learning manager is concerned he will be a square peg in a round hole because of the lack of "structured learning" at home.
I have asked about part time because whilst I think college could be good for him, I do not think he will cope with 4 full days but have been told it is either full time or nothing, IS THIS RIGHT?? as I see someone on here is talking about their child going part time.
I have meeting tomorrow afternoon with SEN so info urgently please

Saracen Tue 26-Jan-16 23:57:40

I'm sorry that I have no proper expertise and cannot tell you anything authoritatively. I just have a few ideas for questions you could ask and avenues to explore, based on what I have "overheard" others say (and possibly misunderstood or misremembered!).

Who says your son cannot attend part-time, and why? Is there some general restriction which they believe would be breached, and if so what is it? If it's to do with him being in full-time education, then he WILL officially count as being in full-time education if you continue to HE him alongside his college course. Likewise I believe that HE young people are exempt from the government requirement that college attenders who don't already hold a GCSE C grade or higher in English and maths must work at college towards those, alongside any other college course they are doing.

Or is it just the college's judgement that full-time is in his best interests? If so, do they have access to all the relevant information which you do - bearing in mind that they know their educational setting best, but you have been your son's main/sole educator as well as his carer for the last five years?

When you say that your son "wouldn't cope" with full-time college, why is this? If you can demonstrate that it's likely to take a toll on his mental health then surely they are discriminating against him if they don't make reasonable efforts to accommodate his needs, just as they would be if he had physical health issues and could be expected to collapse physically under the strain of full-time attendance. For example, I hope they wouldn't say to a young person in the throes of chronic fatigue syndrome that he has to attend full-time or not at all.

Maybe you can press them to be very specific (in writing) about their reasons for requiring full-time attendance and explain to them exactly why you are sure it won't work?

Have you posted on the Mumsnet Special Needs board? People there will have been in a similar situation, I'm sure.

Good luck tomorrow!

QueenStreaky Thu 28-Jan-16 17:15:07

Under the 2015 SEN COP you can now have provision across a number of placements, not just one setting. Eg my son's EHCP included two days at mainstream sixth form, two days at specialist autism college, and one day of work placement. He's only doing one AS level this year. Could you perhaps suggest you continue HEing part time (like a flexi arrangement) if you feel he'd struggle with a full college week?

Actually, 'full time' isn't all day, five days a week. I can't remember the number of hours that constitutes full time, but it's worth checking.

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