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Is 14 too late to start HE?

(8 Posts)
sugaraddict Sat 27-Feb-16 06:10:47

DD has a statement (soon to be converted to EHCP). This names a home based education programme after she couldn't manage secondary school. She has ASD which presents with extreme anxiety. The programme involves having a tutor at home in the morning supplied by the LEA. She also has various appointments fairly regularly with CAMHS, SALT, OTS etc

While the tutoring started well in September, things seem to be deteriorating now. She is not engaging very well any more and struggles with the demands on a daily basis. It''s starting to seem like school at home!

We've gone from her being the highest achieving child at her primary school to a child who struggles to leave her room and will be lucky to achieve a handful of GCSES.

The strain on our family is immense ( I also have a 9 year old DS). I just feel that the situation is going to break her and probably me as well. So.....have been fantasising about pulling her out of the system altogether, letting her have a bit of time to rest and recover, then gradually do a bit more stuff when she feels like it.

The worries about this are that if we do this we may be cutting off future help from the LEA. Also that the home ed community will be difficult to access at this age and friendships hard to make. And....well many many more things really.

Has anybody out there started HE at this age? And anybody whose DC has an EHCP opted out of the system and how has that gone down with LEA?

Any advice at all would really be appreciated, her childhood is rapidly running out and I would like us to enjoy it before it'shows too late

EustaceTheDragon Sat 27-Feb-16 06:48:07

I could be wrong, but I think the EHC is a legal document that will bind you to follow it even in a home ed setting. Definitely look that one up. Also, have a look on Facebook for local home ed groups to see what the community is like. In my experience, many children actually return to school by 14; however a lot of home ed teens go on to college programmes and bypass school altogether. There was a college in our previous town that was popular with the home ed families as they accepted 14 year olds into vocational courses with embedded GCSEs.
Best of luck!

onlyoneboot Sat 27-Feb-16 07:37:41

My DD1, also ASD, stopped going to school at 14 so yes it can be done. We went through a period of possible tutors but she wouldn't engage and actually got funding for online schooling but that didn't work either. Like you say, it just brings school into the home, which needs to feel safe. We're a year on and her mental health has improved dramatically and she is teaching herself languages, reads and draws, follows a healthy eating and fitness programme, all at her own pace. DD2 and DS are also HE now too, it suits our family. We're in Scotland so I can't answer the EHCP question but we are still registered for now to keep options open. Good Luck!

QueenStreaky Sat 27-Feb-16 11:26:57

In your position I would call a review of her statement (perhaps even accelerate the EHCP transfer, if they'd agree) and explain that the current provision isn't working and that you'd like to deregister her to home educate. Nothing is carved in stone, and often children in school have their placements changed when they break down, so it can be done. It's no different to moving from one school setting to another.

I agree with looking at FB for local HE groups. There may not be a lot available at her age but it depends on your area and the current group of home educators. Definitely worth a try though.

QueenStreaky Sat 27-Feb-16 11:29:08

If you haven't already, you should probably read the current guidance for LAs on Elective Home Education here.

It wouldn't hurt to have a look at the SEN COP 2015 as well, especially Chapter 9 on EHCPs here

HarHer Wed 02-Mar-16 18:48:48

This is very interesting. My eldest son in 16 (nearly 17) and has an EHCP. His mainstream placement failed early in 2014 and he spent seven months in a CAMHS unit. When he was discharged, he tried attending a school specialised in meeting the needs of young people with ASC, but this did not work out. So, essentially, he has had no structured education for two years.
His younger brother (nearly 15) stopped attending school a year ago and has five hours tuition with a tutor at my house. However, he spends about half an hour (or more) hiding from the tutor when she comes or he leaves the room if she coughs (he has a health anxiety). He is diagnosed with a generalised anxiety disorder.
For months I have been chasing the LA about finding the right provision for the boys and I have tried to get my eldest into two colleges (but he has panicked at both interviews and the colleges stated they could not meet his needs). Now I am beginning to think that the boys need something much more 'alternative'
I teach with a large distance learning institution and I know there are modules that my eldest son would enjoy. I can also help him read and record data from his weather gauges. My youngest swots up on You Tube and through books about engines and cars. They both enjoy cutting wood and planting trees at their uncle's farm.
I wonder whether we should withdraw them from the system and home educate. My greatest reservation is that the boys will not have any social contact outside the family. How can I remedy that? Home education appeals in so many ways but more formal education would give them opportunities to mix with other young people and I am not sure how I can provide such opportunities outside the formal system.

ClumpyPlumpy Mon 07-Mar-16 14:02:27

Onlyoneboot how did you manage to get funding for the online school? I've been trying to get this for months but have only just managed to get a home tutor who my son hides from for most of the time she's here! She's only here for another few weeks anyway so we need to find an alternative. Or do we just home educate?

QueenStreaky Mon 07-Mar-16 14:12:37

The only way to get funding as an Elective Home Educator is if you can prove (and the LA agrees) that there is no other suitable alternative setting for your child. If this is the case and the LA recommends EHE in their EHCP, they will be obliged to fund.

If the child remains on the roll of a school and is under Home and Hospital Tuition, the LA might provide online schooling rather than a personal tutor. Depends on the LA, their usual procedures, the child's presentation and what they think is the best use of resources.

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