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Allow them to talk me out of asking for an asssesment ?

(12 Posts)
Jess01 Sat 27-Jul-13 19:35:36

Can someone please help me,.... I have queried applying for an assessment with my DS's HT & he said it would be quicker & better to get an EP in to get the help my son needs. DS is waiting to be seen by an EP in September but I had a chat with her before the holidays and she advised against me asking for a statement. Why do they do this ? is it not better for the school with regards to funding etc if DS were to get a statement ?? are they aloud to advise me this? will I just request one anyway ?? (DS has been working between SA & SA+ for his entire school career DS is 11yrs old)

please help as this has got me stressing out....

Nerfmother Sat 27-Jul-13 19:39:21

What I suspect she means is that a statutory assessment may result in a statement if they agree to it, but the whole thing takes six months and they don't think there's enough evidence. Whereas if the ep comes in they will follow those strategies which should help your dc. Question is : do you trust them to do this? Do you have evidence of dcs needs? Do you want special school for secondary?

Jess01 Sat 27-Jul-13 19:52:00

Thanks for your reply, No I don't trust them at all to follow through with measures the EP would advise. I was promised DS would be fully supported when he went into year 5 at th school, lots of patronizing meetings and a period where DS stayed at home for 3 day (because of a teacher not been aware of his needs and ripping his work out of his book in front of the entire class, DS is meant to be in a small class but was put into a larger one 'because it was the end of term') DS has made progress in maths because he is in smaller class but all other subjects he is still well below the levels of his peers. I just think if he ended up with a statement they would have to provide what it states. Ideally I would LOVE for DS to be in a special school, he cant cope with mainstream sad

sorry for the rant but it really annoys me

Nerfmother Sat 27-Jul-13 19:56:46

Well if he is going into year six you are already cutting it fine for secondary to be in place so I would apply, assume a refusal and go to appeal then. And if in the meantime they do their bit, it's all good. I suspect there isn't enough box ticking evidence for your la hence the head saying not to apply.

JavaDad Sun 28-Jul-13 18:03:08

Its probably the evidence thing. They need to have demonstrated that they have tried a lot at a lower level than a statement, and that it has not worked. If an EP hasn't already been involved andtheir recommendations tried and evaluated, it is therefore highly likely that the application would get rejected.

The HT may be also thinking at a strategic level. The statutory assessment process costs the LA upwards of £12k, which is money that could be spent elsewhere. Furthermore, the money that a statement would provide would have to be taken from somewhere else, so if it is not demonstrably necessary, HT might not want to take it away from other schools.

lougle Sun 28-Jul-13 18:22:16

JavaDad, that is absolutely not the case.

The reason the school is unlikely to want you to apply for a Statement is that they would then have to meet the needs of your DS and that money would have to come out of their budget for the first £6k.

Imagine this:

You are given £12,000 to spend on whatever you think you need at home. Some of it is intended to go towards decorating, but you decide that you can live with the house as it is. You have £12,000 to spend.


You have £12,000 to spend on whatever you need at home. However, £6000 is given to you in decorating vouchers, so you have to spend it on decoration. You then have £6000 to spend on everything else. You wish they hadn't done that, because actually you wouldn't have chosen to decorate so nicely and would prefer to spend more on a fitted kitchen.

That's the reality of SEN funding. Schools are given a 'notional budget' for SEN. It isn't ringfenced - that means that they can spend it on anything. If a child has a Statement, they have to meet the child's needs as specified in the statement, which means that they have less money to spend on flower borders things that benefit the whole school.

In your situation, especially if you think Special School is a realistic necessity, you should write to your LA's Chief SEN Officer without delay, requesting a Statutory Assessment. If it is agreed, you'll see an Ed Psych anyway, so there is absolutely no sense in the HT telling you that 'Ed Psych will be more helpful'. It's not an 'either or' situation.

maristella Sun 28-Jul-13 18:31:46

You can request a statement directly, and the EP can add to this process. Don't be talked out of it if your child needs a statement

JavaDad Sun 28-Jul-13 18:31:55

What is not the case?

Nerfmother Sun 28-Jul-13 18:41:58

I think in practical terms java dads first paragraph is right - in practice LAs like a lot of evidence of failed strategies ( rightly or wrongly) and so the head will have experience of a lot of paperwork followed by a refusal. I'm not saying that's right I'm just a explaining their pov.
Funding lougle pretty much sums up. Changes from April make it all pretty similar area wise.

Jess01 Mon 29-Jul-13 13:54:03

Thanks for your replies, I did think money was behind it but wasn't 100% sure. As a parent I am prepared to look silly if a statement is refused. Only trouble is school does not actively seek help at SA+ they have only agreed to get an EP in because I refused to send him as a result of a teacher being unaware of his needs and tore his work up in front of the class (1 he was not meant to be in)........parents should not have to battle schools to get help,...its actually rather sad and very stressful !!

JavaDad Mon 29-Jul-13 14:59:29

You may even have trouble getting an EP in via school. The EP service will likely want to see evidence that the school has tried plenty at SA and failed before they even get involved. School may be a bit incompetent and be unable to demosntrate this.

lougle Mon 29-Jul-13 15:05:11

Don't be deterred. It doesn't matter what the school has or hasn't done, in the end.

This is because:

1. You can only be refused a Statutory Assessment if you've asked for one.
2. You only get the right of appeal if you've been refused a Statutory Assessment that you've (or school have) asked for.
3. Once it gets to appeal stage, the decision to assess/refuse assessment will be scrutinised by SEND first tier tribunal.

They'll need to be able to show that there is adequate progress.

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