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Child is now in Year 6, but doing Year 2 work. Can I now apply for EHCP?

(26 Posts)
blueeyedguy Wed 07-Oct-20 20:40:16

Hi,

Our child has been under senco from year 3, as it was discovered she had real difficulties when it came to numeracy. She is behind on reading and writing, but it's numeracy she really struggles with.

There are historical learning difficulties on one side of our family.

She has had 2 Psy Ed Reports done, most recently before lock down this year, it confirms she is only working at KS1 (Year 2 level).

We were told in the past by the senco that although our child was struggling we wouldn't meet EHCP criteria.

We are due to apply for her high school at the end of the month. Unfortunately we live a bit of a distance to a secondary school in the area that we feel would be best for her, which would limit our chances of sending her there. We really wished we had applied for the EHCP last year but was never told we could do it ourselves sad

Looking at info online it states that an application for EHCP can be made if the support a school puts in place doesn't equal 'expected progess' for the child.

Having the EHCP would help us to get her into the secondary school we feel she would do best in.

I do have a feeling that the academy she is in at the moment doesnt want us to apply, but can only imagine it being a funding issue that they would be out of pocket.

Would be interested in any help or advice. Thank you

OP’s posts: |
PathOfLeastResitance Wed 07-Oct-20 22:55:59

You can apply for this yourself. All the information should be on the Local Offer for your area if you google “*your LA* local offer” and search for EHCNA - the needs assessment results in the EHCP. In my area it comes down to how much support is being put in place - 20 hours a week is needed here. There should also be a link on the local offer for independent advice for parents (SENDIAS) who should be able to help you.

BackforGood Wed 07-Oct-20 23:38:42

The school won't be out of pocket if they apply for an EHCP. It doesn't cost them anything (other than time to fill in some paperwork)

However, if you apply now, it won't be in place before you have to put in your secondary school application.

That said, if she needs one, then you should apply, even if it is too late for secondary school choices.

As Path says - you can search for 'Local Offer' with the name of your Local Authority, but I disagree that there is a trigger linked with how much support is being put in place - that must be a local rule which should be legally challenged . The assessment should be an assessment of the child's needs, not an assessment of how the school have responded.

Every local authority should have a SENDIAS though (Special Educational Needs and Disability Information and Advice Service) set up to assist parents.

IPSEA are a national charity set up to support parents of dc with SEND who have letter templates on their website

Contact are another excellent charity who have lots of advice and support on this. They have appointments you can book for a phone chat with advisors.

Iamnotthe1 Thu 08-Oct-20 07:19:52

OP

You absolutely can. Often, in my LA, a parental application is given more weight than a school one. You need to be prepared to push for it though and possibly even take it to tribunal.

@BackforGood
Whilst the application will only cost time, they will have to demonstrate that they are funding support for this child from their existing budget. This does mean using additional money for that child as the nominal SEND budget normally doesn't even come close to funding what is required for the the number of SEND students in most schools. However, that isn't a valid reason to not support an application that's in the best interests of the child.

Liftupthereceiver Thu 08-Oct-20 07:31:11

OP, if you are going to do it, do so very soon. As pp says, it wouldn't be in place for allocations, which doesn't really matter as there is time to organise placement before the summer. But it is (at least) a 20 week process and you really do not want your child going into the summer holidays with uncertainty of where they will be going in September.
There is no guarantee that a request will mean an assessment is agreed, but with levels like your dc's, I think the LA would struggle to defend a refusal to assess.

Guymere Thu 08-Oct-20 09:28:33

I’m amazed the school hasn’t helped with this. If their interventions have failed, surely getting more money via the EHCP would have helped everyone? The school seems poor to me and they should give you every assistance prior to secondary transfer. I would start immediately.

10brokengreenbottles Thu 08-Oct-20 13:04:46

The legal threshold for an EHCNA is has or may have SEN and may need SEN provision to be made via an EHCP. Any other test or hoop your LA make you jump through first is unlawful. There is no requirement to be 2+ years behind, have had the school spend £6K or any other test.

PathofLeastResistance blanket policies such as those in place in your LA are unlawful.

If the LA refuse to assess appeal, the vast majority are successful.

I agree with looking at IPSEA's website and trying to get a call back.

Iamnotthe1 Thu 08-Oct-20 17:49:20

@10brokengreenbottles
There is no requirement to be 2+ years behind, have had the school spend £6K or any other test.

These are not a requirement of having the assessment itself but can be a requirement of having the EHCP granted, particularly if you are wanting it granted with additional funding.

SinkGirl Thu 08-Oct-20 18:00:09

Apply yourself. Do it today. The fact that the school haven’t done it themselves despite evidence of your child struggling should be shocking, but LAs often fill school’s heads with unlawful LA policies rather than the law.

Different situation but I made parental requests for assessment last summer for my twins who were then 2. Plans were issued in December last year, and we’ve just finished the tribunal process to get them into the right school. I haven’t had a solicitor, just whatever free advice I could get and a lot of work. I did get private EP reports after we filed our appeals which were invaluable.

Read everything you can on the IPSEA website and the relevant sections of the SEN Code of Practice. It’s a steep learning curve but you can do it.

10brokengreenbottles Fri 09-Oct-20 09:40:41

LAs can say they have whatever criteria they like but if they have blanket policies and don't take into account individual circumstances they are acting unlawfully.

As are LAs who refuse to issue because a child isn't 2+ years behind academically. Pupils can have EHCPs and be academically able.

Of course it is much easier if the school have already tried to support the pupil, and spent money doing so, but it is unlawful to refuse to issue just because a school has not spent £6K. Case law suggests that theoretically it is possible to have an EHCP in order to enforce provision where a school could provide support, but won't or where an EHCP is needed in order to access a certain type of SEP needed.

Funding isn't the parents concern, as long as section F is specific and quantified provision can be enforced regardless of the funding attached. If the school need more money they should approach the LA.

Iamnotthe1 Fri 09-Oct-20 10:30:31

@10brokengreenbottles

It's unlawful to refuse to carry out an assessment based on additional criteria but that's not the same thing as granting the ECHP. As part of the assessment, the LA must look at a series of criteria including what provision the school have already put in place to mitigate any barriers for the child. This includes:
- evidence of attainment and progress,
- SEN specific info,
- evidence regarding what the school has already done,
- evidence regarding the impact of those actions.

If the LA feel that the school hasn't tried everything possible, they can refuse to issue the EHCP. That's where things like minimum funding levels, minimum support levels, thresholds of severity, etc. end up coming from.

None of those things stop an assessment being carried out but they do stop an EHCP from being granted.

Punxsutawney Fri 09-Oct-20 11:06:46

blue I would do a parental application. We did, with no support at all from Ds's old school.

iamn Ds is going through the statutory assessment process at the moment, he's older though and in year 12 and I don't think a plan will be issued for him.

AldiAisleofCrap Fri 09-Oct-20 11:13:06

That’s shocking a child would need to be two years behind. My child with an EHCP is gifted and talented and working way ahead of his peers. He has autism and can’t self regulate emotions.

10brokengreenbottles Fri 09-Oct-20 11:31:28

Iam Taking into account all information, as you have stated, and refusing to issue is different to having a blanket policy stating they won't issue if a child isn't behind academically or if the school hasn't spent £6K. The later is unlawful for both assessing and issuing.

There are many children and young people up and down the country who are academically able and have an EHCP. EHCPs are about much more than academic ability alone.

As I said, it is theoretically possible to get an EHCP if a school could provide more support but won't. See this IPSEA page and the associated case law.

Also see JP v Sefton MBC [2017] UKUT 0364 (AAC) and DH & GH v Staffordshire CC [2018] UKUT 49 (AAC) - without an EHCP can a child's needs be met with provision normally available and WILL they be.

Also SC & MS v Worcestershire CC [2016] UKUT 267 (AAC) - without a statement will the provision be provided, and LS v Oxfordshire CC [2013] UKUT 135 (AAC) - if SEP isn't secure a statement may be necessary.

Some provision isn't accessible without an EHCP, so sometimes an EHCP is needed to access that regardless of what the school have or haven't spent. There is case law for this too, but I haven't got it at my finger tips.

SendHelp30 Fri 09-Oct-20 11:37:33

Definitely apply. She definitely needs the extra support and you can have assessments done to support to decision.

blueeyedguy Fri 09-Oct-20 19:10:29

Wow, I am so greatfull for all your feedback. We have an appointment with our child's senco next week, and by the look of above we will be demanding the start of the ehcp process. I'll take the weekend to look at the websites mentioned above.

I'm kicking myself for us not starting this sooner. Our child is a really good kid, well behaved and we were made to think she would have to be having lots of issues to stand a chance of getting an echo.

OP’s posts: |
blueeyedguy Fri 09-Oct-20 19:11:05

*EHCP

OP’s posts: |
FecktheBoss Fri 09-Oct-20 20:11:31

Keep the meeting with the senco but dont wait for them to apply. Do this yourself as you will start the clock ticking, if you wait for school it may take them another couple of weeks. Yr 7 places within SEN school will be allocated by 15th Feb so you need the process working now

Ellie56 Sat 10-Oct-20 17:34:11

Yes as others have said, apply yourself, and be prepared to fight for it.

Model letter and information here:

www.ipsea.org.uk/asking-for-an-ehc-needs-assessment

www.ipsea.org.uk/making-a-request-for-an-ehc-needs-assessment

blueeyedguy Mon 12-Oct-20 10:21:15

I am looking to do this now... I have one question, but can't seem to find the correct answer.

We live in one local authority, but the school our children attend is in a neighbouring one...which do we Local authority do we apply to?

Thanks

OP’s posts: |
blueeyedguy Mon 12-Oct-20 10:26:15

Sorry, also forgot to add.

If we apply for an EHCP with our own Local Authority, if they do issue one, does that EHCP still allow us to pick a secondary school in our neighbouring Local authority?

OP’s posts: |
Ellie56 Mon 12-Oct-20 11:05:45

You apply for an EHCNA to the LA where you live and when it comes to naming your preferred school, you can name one in a neighbouring LA.

We named a preferred college that was 160 miles away. grin

blueeyedguy Mon 12-Oct-20 11:39:59

Ellie56

You apply for an EHCNA to the LA where you live and when it comes to naming your preferred school, you can name one in a neighbouring LA.

We named a preferred college that was 160 miles away. grin

Thats Brilliant, thank you.

OP’s posts: |
blueeyedguy Wed 11-Nov-20 10:55:57

Hi all, just wanted to update you all.

We have some good news. Our application for an EHC assessment has been accepted by our local authority.

Our daughter's SENCO has said that the panel agreed to the assessment as we had valid concerns with her moving to high school and ensuring that the correct support is in place going forward.

Now, the interesting part of what happens next is with regards EHCP options.

Our child attends a school that is based under a different local authority to the one we live in (and have had the assessment done by).

The schools local authority only issues funded EHCPs, whereas the SENCO has been informed that our local authority can offer two types, funded and unfunded.

From what the SENCO has told me the undfunded EHCP would act almost identically to the funded one (would allow our daughter to pick a secondary school of her choice, and have documented plans for her development with regular review).

I am presuming the unfunded one will be easier to issue, however I see two issed with it:

- the support our dughter has had over the last few years has been in small group work, and apparently that has been helped by the funding another child in the class has received. If she received an EHCP that is unfunded then surely no additional help would be given for her?

- Im wondering if a school she picks will be hesitant to take her on if her EHCP is unfunded, as they will be put out of pocket.

I will be asking these questions to our local authority's SENDIASS contact. They suposedly offer impartial advice for those needing help.

OP’s posts: |
Lougle Wed 11-Nov-20 11:03:30

Funding isn't your concern. A school can't refuse a child because of funding.

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